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Crazy Lots

James Joyner notes an article in today's Washington Post that highlights the lengths that developers will go to subdivide lots while meeting "the code". You know whose fault this is: The lawyers.

For some reason "the code" is a magic line upon which local governments abdicate responsibility for having any semblance of critical though. If you read the article you will notice that not one government official thinks that the plan should be disallowed. The attitude seems to be if it complies with the code (which they admit does not foresee such bastardization) then it gets rubber stamped - good idea or not.

My theory is that they are afraid of lawsuits from land owners and developers. I could be wrong, but why else would a zoning authority abdicate the use of discretion unless they were scared of lawsuits? The approvers are part of the bureaucracy, not elected officials so campaign contributions from developers are probably not a factor.

With regard to the Fairfax subdivision, the ultimate question is who would be foolhardy enough to buy such a zigzag lot? Sadly there's always some non-lawn maintaining asshat willing to buy such a beast. I've got the rarely mowed lawns next door to prove it...

See the most asinine subdivision of the year


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Comments (6)

It's all supply and demand,... (Below threshold)

It's all supply and demand, I guess. If the price is right, people will buy. Location, location, location and all that.

caveat emptor - buyer bewar... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

caveat emptor - buyer beware

Only in Northern Virginia. ... (Below threshold)
jen:

Only in Northern Virginia. *sigh* Especially Fairfax County - they're all nuts at the Taj Mahal they call the government center.

The problem isn't lawyers i... (Below threshold)

The problem isn't lawyers its a zoning code so strict that forces developers to do something goofy like this. Zoning should be rather simple. Land should be designated as commercial, residential, or industrial. What it looks like from the graphic is there has to be so much access to roads and a certain number of lots in a given area. That should be the decision of the land owner, not the local government.

I'd love to have the fencin... (Below threshold)
Teri:

I'd love to have the fencing contract for those lots!

Uhm, don't wanna rain on an... (Below threshold)
Sharpshooter:

Uhm, don't wanna rain on anybody's parade, but just because its BIZARRE and DIFFERENT doesn't mean its wrong or bad. Caveat emptor applies, as noted upstream here, and I'd like to know how wide those connecting strips actually ARE, but what the hey? you wanna buy that, live there?

Hey, different strokes for different folks!




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