Single-family houses are great, single-family zoning is not
We need a world of choices
Berkley, California is considering zoning reform, which is great. It is naturally prompting some political opposition, including this sign which warns that “the war on single-family homes is a war on families.”
This sort of thing worries me for two reasons.
One is that it reflects a misunderstanding of what the policy issue is, and if it spreads it will be toxic to the cause of reform. Most Americans live in single-family homes, and many of those who don’t aspire to. If people believe that zoning reform is a critique of those homes or the desire to live in them, zoning reform is likely to fail.
The other reason is that I’m afraid proponents of zoning reform may not work hard enough to correct the misperception.
After all, a significant minority of the American population does not live in detached single-family homes. And many of the people in that minority have a strong affective preference for neighborhoods full of apartments and rowhouses and have developed a resentment over the yea…