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3 Local Warehouse Sociology- Urban Studies City Specific
4 Remote Warehouse Sociology- Urban Studies City Specific

Snob Zones: Fear, Prejudice, and Real Estate

by

Snob Zones: Fear, Prejudice, and Real Estate Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An exploration of the corrosive effects of overpriced housing, exclusionary zoning, and the flight of the younger population in the Northeast

Winner of the 2014 Bruss Silver Award and First-Time Author Award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors

Towns with strict zoning are the best towns, aren't they? They're all about preserving local "character," protecting the natural environment, an dmaintaining attractive neighborhoods. Right? 

In this bold challenge to conventional wisdom, Lisa Prevost strips away the quaint façades of these desirable towns to reveal the uglier impulses behind their proud allegiance to local control. These eye-opening stories illustrate the outrageous lengths to which town leaders and affluent residents will go to prohibit housing that might attract the “wrong” sort of people. Prevost takes readers to a rural second-home community that is so restrictive that its celebrity residents may soon outnumber its children, to a struggling fishing village as it rises up against farmworker housing open to Latino immigrants, and to a northern lake community that brazenly deems itself out of bounds to apartment dwellers. From the blueberry barrens of Down East to the Gold Coast of Connecticut, these stories show how communities have seemingly cast aside the all-American credo of “opportunity for all” in favor of “I was here first.”

 

Prevost links this “every town for itself” mentality to a host of regional afflictions, including a shrinking population of young adults, ugly sprawl, unbearable highway congestion, and widening disparities in income and educational achievement. Snob Zones warns that this pattern of exclusion is unsustainable and raises thought-provoking questions about what it means to be a community in post-recession America.

Review:

"This collection of comprehensively reported accounts of ugly local politics spawned by the absence of affordable housing in New England towns is an earnest but slow-moving examination of distasteful and often illegal behavior that takes the 'not in my back yard' credo to its tawdry low point. Journalist Prevost tackles the abuses of restrictive zoning in communities from affluent Darien, Conn., to hardscrabble Milbridge, Maine, examining the 'point at which controls on growth and development cross the line to unnecessary, purely self-interested exclusion.' She traces the effects of a century-old legal prejudice against high-density housing in New England, a densely settled region with little room for suburban sprawl. Some of the corrective measure included Massachusetts's 'anti-snob zoning law' supporting the construction of affordable housing, even in quaint villages that boast historic roots. From the exploits of savvy gadfly developers upending ritzy Connecticut suburbs with plans for high-density housing scattered amid posh colonial houses to an aging New Hampshire town struggling with deep-rooted prejudices, Prevost charts a national problem on a local level. While housing policy analysts and populists will nod in assent to her well-drawn critiques of the 'fortress mentality' that makes local restrictions understandable from within and unconscionable from without, the focus is often so tight that even a sympathetic reader can lose interest. Agent: Lynn Johnston, Lynn Johnston Literary." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

An exploration of the corrosive effects of overpriced housing, exclusionary zoning, and the flight of the younger population in the Northeast

 

As anyone of moderate income who has wanted to buy a house or condo in the Northeast knows, young couples and families are increasingly being priced out of the market. And the housing crisis only drove up rents. As a result, young people are leaving the region entirely: six northeastern states now rank among the top ten nationally in age of their residents. In Snob Zones, Lisa Prevost argues that rising housing costs and a huge increase in restrictive zoning laws are undermining the very notion of community. Prevost illustrates this issue with eye-opening stories that illustrate the outrageous lengths to which towns will go to exclude the less affluent. She takes readers from notoriously upper-crust Darien, Connecticut, to a rural second-home town that is so restrictive its celebrity residents may soon outnumber its children and a northern lake community that brazenly deems itself out of bounds for apartment dwellers. This “every town for itself” mentality is threatening the social health and economic vitality of the region, argues Prevost in this thought-provoking exploration of what it means to be a community in post-recession America.

About the Author

Lisa Prevost is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe Magazine, More, Ladies’ Home Journal, and other publications. A native New Englander, she has lived and worked as a reporter in four of the six New England states. She lives in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1: ConnecticutRural Character for the Rich: Roxbury, Connecticut

Chapter 2: Dread of Density: Easton, Massachusetts

Chapter 3: Pride and Prejudice: Milbridge, Maine

Chapter 4: Rhode IslandShifting Lines in the Sand: Watch Hill, Rhode Island

Chapter 5: Priority Population: Darien, Connecticut

Chapter 6: HampshireNo Town Is an Island: Ossipee, New Hampshire

Conclusion

Acknowldegements

Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780807001578
Author:
Prevost, Lisa
Publisher:
Beacon Press (MA)
Subject:
Sociology-Urban Studies City Specific
Subject:
City Planning & Urban Development
Publication Date:
20130531
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8.73 x 5.72 x 0.81 in 0.86 lb

Related Subjects

Business » Real Estate
History and Social Science » Law » Legal Guides and Reference
History and Social Science » Law » Wills and Trusts
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » City Specific
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » General

Snob Zones: Fear, Prejudice, and Real Estate New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$25.95 In Stock
Product details 208 pages Beacon Press (MA) - English 9780807001578 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This collection of comprehensively reported accounts of ugly local politics spawned by the absence of affordable housing in New England towns is an earnest but slow-moving examination of distasteful and often illegal behavior that takes the 'not in my back yard' credo to its tawdry low point. Journalist Prevost tackles the abuses of restrictive zoning in communities from affluent Darien, Conn., to hardscrabble Milbridge, Maine, examining the 'point at which controls on growth and development cross the line to unnecessary, purely self-interested exclusion.' She traces the effects of a century-old legal prejudice against high-density housing in New England, a densely settled region with little room for suburban sprawl. Some of the corrective measure included Massachusetts's 'anti-snob zoning law' supporting the construction of affordable housing, even in quaint villages that boast historic roots. From the exploits of savvy gadfly developers upending ritzy Connecticut suburbs with plans for high-density housing scattered amid posh colonial houses to an aging New Hampshire town struggling with deep-rooted prejudices, Prevost charts a national problem on a local level. While housing policy analysts and populists will nod in assent to her well-drawn critiques of the 'fortress mentality' that makes local restrictions understandable from within and unconscionable from without, the focus is often so tight that even a sympathetic reader can lose interest. Agent: Lynn Johnston, Lynn Johnston Literary." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , An exploration of the corrosive effects of overpriced housing, exclusionary zoning, and the flight of the younger population in the Northeast

 

As anyone of moderate income who has wanted to buy a house or condo in the Northeast knows, young couples and families are increasingly being priced out of the market. And the housing crisis only drove up rents. As a result, young people are leaving the region entirely: six northeastern states now rank among the top ten nationally in age of their residents. In Snob Zones, Lisa Prevost argues that rising housing costs and a huge increase in restrictive zoning laws are undermining the very notion of community. Prevost illustrates this issue with eye-opening stories that illustrate the outrageous lengths to which towns will go to exclude the less affluent. She takes readers from notoriously upper-crust Darien, Connecticut, to a rural second-home town that is so restrictive its celebrity residents may soon outnumber its children and a northern lake community that brazenly deems itself out of bounds for apartment dwellers. This “every town for itself” mentality is threatening the social health and economic vitality of the region, argues Prevost in this thought-provoking exploration of what it means to be a community in post-recession America.

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