Understatement of the year of housing in California

You can debate how dramatically the character of a city would change by building a five-story apartment building next to a single family home.

I don’t think the debate is a debate about an abstract notion of the “character of the city.” It is a very real debate about ambiguous property rights. As a single family home owner, what is my ambiguous property right to not have a five-story apt. building built right next to me. My point is not that I have that right as the neighbor- clearly I do not. But neither does my neighbor have that right to build the five story building (at present). Changing the property rights so dramatically, so quickly, as SB 287 proposed, is a real debate about something incredibly important, not about the “character of the city.”  Saying it is about the character of the city is a rhetorical tactic, and a fine one, but we can pierce the rhetoric.

Source: The state’s most controversial housing bill in years just died. Here’s what to take away from that. | CALmatters

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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