A Place for Civil Debate: A Blog for Grown Ups
Try 15 people in a townhouse. (Well, now 14 after the one fled after breaking into my townhouse). Try living next to that! Take a look at their lovely deck, where they’ve moved a lot of furniture to make room for more mattresses, I guess. Try the loud noise at all hours of the day and night. Live next to that and I doubt you’d be so sympathetic! I wish no loud music or door’s slamming or loud talking after 9 PM. That would be wonderful…
Anon, I think the term you’re looking for is:second degree of consanquinity .
IMO, a person is a person is a person. I don’t care about the relationship. As Valley Girl said what you’re really looking for are good neighbors who keep up their homes and keep the noise to a minimum at night.
I believe the argument that favors ten family members over ten unrelated people involves safety issues. Is the house illegally divided? By that I mean are there baracades (locked doors, only one exit from a bedroom, etc. ) that would be an impediment in the case of fire…safety issues for both the occupants and firefighters. The argument can be made that a family would be more aware of the available exits, have an escape plan, and would know if all members were out of a house in the event of a fire. Unrelated people in a warren of rooms might not have that advantage. I’ve mentioned this before and Medic said the opposite might be true from a firefighter’s perspective … that a firefighter could more easily get adults moving than children. So, there are at least two sides.
Dear Supervisor Covington and others:
Thank you for helping to relieve some of the fear in this county and opting to protect police from allegations of racial profiling.
I hope as you continue through the budget process, you and other supervisors will think about using your discretionary funds to support the necessary social services and fire safety programs that have been cut. In this time of recession, good use of those funds are especially important.
Thank you again for resisting extremists and outside lobbyists. You have helped us turn down the right path towards restoring real democracy in this county.
Katherine Mercurio Gottahrdt
Gotthardt, that is : )
“Kenneth said – two points…….i agree, nobody s/call anyone names” I can’t help calling CS and JS idiots. I try not to but it just slips out.
Censored: yes, that was what I was thinking about (2nd degree of consanquity). Never heard of that word before that policy got temporarily enacted in Manassas.
Wow, great suggestions, in fact, I believe PWC neighborhood services has suggested many of those ideas. As always though, moving from idea to implementation is the hard part!
“Why would we care about the number of related people in a home as long as they don’t bother their neighbors?”
There are several reasons. In older neighborhoods the sewer lines aren’t built to handle that capacity. Point of Woods in Manassas is an example. The number of people tripled or quadrupled in those townhouses. Almost 80% of each set of townhomes had 10-12 people living there. The toilets didn’t flush properly and there were plumbing issues all related to having so many people in every unit.
The trash pickup was once a week. Imagine 10 times the trash sitting out every week. It began to overflow onto the streets. The parking lot had 2 spots for every home. With 8-10 cars, it spilled out onto both sides of the street undermining visibility and the number of accidents went up. Forget having company over. The building violations were numerous with subdivided basements which brought additional fire & safety related issues.
In older neighborhoods such as Point of Woods, the schools had been at stable population, suddenly there were 300 more kids in the elementary. An addition to Weems and the intermediate school had to be built.
When you plan a neighborhood for single homes and townhomes, you make assumptions about how many people are going to live there in your planning for trash pickup prices, sewer lines, schools, parking, etc and that is how they plan the tax system.
When this is thrown severely off balance, there will be problems. So in a sense, even if all the people in these units are perfectly wonderful neighbors, the neighborhood is affected.
In the example above, the city had additional costs in sewer repair, hiring teachers, construction costs for the school, additional sanitation workers, but the tax designation for each unit was still the same.
Even if all the wonderful people living 12 per townhome were 4th generation Virginia born and raised, it would still “bother the neighbors” for the hardships it would cause the neighborhood. People would be complaining.
Now add to this that half of these 12 people in each unit are young single males. Regardless of race, ethnicity or religion, young males have different behavior patterns than older males or females. That adds an entire additional dynamic to the neighborhood as they engage in normal young male behavior of risk taking and looking for a mate. It isn’t bad or good, but it definitely makes a difference in the neighborhood.
Then add to that 4 of the children in every single unit require special services at the schools. That adds to the school costs.
Now of course there could have been a family with 10 kids living in a Point of Woods unit that could have caused all the above, but it is highly unlikely that 80% of the units would be occupied by families with 10 kids. 1 or 2 families of 12 would blend right in. 80 families of 12 in a neighborhood of 100 homes would stand out.
Even if we presuppose that all the scenarios above involved lilly white WASPy families who were all good compassiionate tidy lawn neighbors (with no flamingos), there would still be complaints and problems that arose from having that many extra people in the neighborhood.
Now mix in a different culture and language and you’ve got the perfect storm. The problem is that the original people who lived in the neighborhood transferred all their frustrations onto that particular language and culture and that is absolutely unexcuseably wrong.
But on the other side, when Manassas, where Point of Woods is located, tried to do something about dealing with the issues only (specifically parking, number of people per unit, etc.) there were cries of racism and a court battle.
I think there have been some good solutions on this website, but some are easier said than actually done.
As a resident of Point of Woods, definitely agree with everything that was said in inon’s post.
I think you have just posted an incredibly important piece of information. You have made me see a situation through yet another set of eyes. For those of us not living in a town house neighborhood, I would have never thought of some of these things as having an impact. The sewage and trash just never would have occurred to me.
I honestly believe that much of the anger involved with immigration issues evolves from failure to understand the other guy’s point of view. We do tend to look at things based on our own experiences and own values.
Thank you for posting this eye opener in an unemotional, informative manner.
I agree…I was think that earlier and have not made the rounds to say, I NEVER thought about it in that light.
It just goes to prove the point that EVERYONE, has something to add….the tired OLD
rhetoric which is NEW to some, keeps spinning out of control and only leaves a deaf ear ( eye for blog) and before you know it a good point is drowned.
Here is another one
I haven’t lived in a townhouse for many years. I had forgotten or never known some of the issues Inon mentioned. He or she did a real service, IMHO.
I saw last night about ten PG Md.County Police officers spend more than too much time with some 7 hispanic young men, they played with them, they humiliated them, they photographed them, etc, etc, and meanwhile my white doper, drug dealer neighbors kept on going with their everyday drug business.
This society has changed and gone from bad to worse.
If you are hispanic the last thing you do when there is trouble is call the police, they are not friendly and the hate and racism is clear, they believe that after 911 they all got a licence to abuse power, it is sad to see the down road we are taking, we are peaking down, we are on the highway to hell.
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