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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6 Comments

  1. James Joyner September 15, 2003
  2. Jeff September 15, 2003
  3. jen September 15, 2003
  4. Sean Hackbarth September 15, 2003
  5. Teri September 17, 2003
  6. Sharpshooter September 17, 2003