I just realized that all the talk about the high-speed train in California is a great excuse to make a reference to my favorite Creedence Clearwater Revival song, Lodi. Since the stupid high speed train to nowhere is only going to reach as far north as Merced, the narrator of that song is still going to be waiting for that “fast train back to where [he] lives” (he never says where that is). If he was lucky enough to have been stuck in Merced instead of Lodi, however, he could at least use the high-speed train to get to Bakersfield, where another song narrator “ran twenty red lights in His honor.” Remember that one?
SHOULD LAND USE PLANNING BE ABOUT FORCING PEOPLE INTO SOMETHING THEY DON’T WANT, FOR THE GREATER GOOD?
I have been trying to ignore all the talk about the “Green New Deal” (acronym GND), but the Antiplanner has an interesting discussion of what it could mean for land use planning. He thinks it will mean a push to increase density of housing, i.e. toward more multi-family and less single-family housing. He also thinks it’s wrong to presume that increased density will result in greater energy efficiency, and presents data supporting his opinion, although he excludes whatever impact greater density might have on energy consumption for transportation.
All of which, for me, begs the question: if I want a single-family house, should I be deprived of that desire for the greater good? On a whole host of issues, it seems like that is what the GND is all about.
To be more specific, if you build a tiny house that’s on wheels and has a trailer hitch (in other words, it’s a trailer), then you had better make sure that it is secured, so thieves can’t just hitch it up to their vehicle and haul it away. Seems pretty self-evident to me.
Of course, if your tiny house is parked on land that you own, the obvious solution is to make it so that it’s no longer mobile, by taking the wheels off. With old-fashioned mobile homes, you would take the wheels off, then tie it down to anchors that are permanently set in the ground. That’s called an “affixed” mobile home.
If your tiny house is on land that someone else owns (with their permission of course) you may not want to anchor it to the ground or take the wheels off, but there are other ways you can make sure it stays put.
A tangible personal property list is a list you can make to go with your will, if it’s provided for in the will, to specify who is to receive items of your tangible personal property. Read all about it in my Estate Planning Law Report for December, now posted in the publications section at my firm’s web site, deconcinimcdonald.com.
Tangible personal property does not include currency. It also doesn’t include real estate, since that is real property, not personal property.
That reminds me of my favorite bit of dialogue in A Charlie Brown Christmas (which I watch every year, and watched again on Friday):
Lucy: “I never get what I really want [for Christmas].”
Charlie Brown: “What is it that you really want?”
Lucy: “Real estate.”
There’s news today about a case in which the Supreme Court had to answer this question: what did Congress mean by the term “critical habitat” in the Endangered Species Act?
The court answered the question: “critical habitat” does not include land where the endangered species in question could not currently live. If it’s an area where the species couldn’t live, then it’s not that species’ habitat. All of the justices agreed.
Seems like a common-sense answer to me.
I think this guy has said this before, but it’s worth highlighting, to illustrate the fact that just because someone gets elected mayor of New York City doesn’t mean he understands the Constitution, or that he always has good ideas about how a city should be run:
“Look, if I had my druthers, the city government would determine every single plot of land, how development would proceed[.]”
Does he really think that a city government can, or should be able to, dictate the use of every piece of land within its boundaries?
That’s the question I asked in my Real Estate Law Update for the month of November. In the Update I discuss what I see as possible trends in the way residential real estate transactions are put together.
If you are selling or buying property without (or with) the services of a real estate broker, I can prepare the contract, or help with the contract, the title report, and any or all other aspects of the transaction.
Please go to the link above to read all about it. As always, your comments are welcome.
IF YOU HAVE EVER HEARD ABOUT THE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION (OR NOT) BUT DON’T KNOW WHAT IT IS OR WHAT IT DOES, READ MY REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE
I have found that many people I talk to don’t know what the homestead exemption is, and don’t know what it does. People are frequently surprised when I tell them that the first $150,000 of equity in their home is exempt from the claims of creditors.
If you are an Arizona homeowner and don’t know what any of this is about, you need to read my Real Estate Law Update for October. It’s posted in the publications section of deconcinimcdonald.com.
I DON’T KNOW IF IT WOULD WORK, BUT REPLACING SUBWAY TRAINS WITH AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES SOUNDS LIKE AN IDEA WORTH EXPLORING
I have written several posts on autonomous vehicles. I think they will be in widespread use in my lifetime.
I had never heard this idea before, but it is intriguing: in cities where there are subways, replace the electric trains (an early 20th century technology, at best) with autonomous electric cars. Such a system would replace the old subway trains with smaller, more efficient, easier to maintain vehicles. Sounds like it might be a good idea.
I wrote about a superficially similar idea several months ago: have dedicated lanes for autonomous vehicles, like the HOV lane on the freeway.
I don’t claim to know much about urban planning, but I find the subject interesting. It is somewhat related, sometimes, to my work on real estate transactions.
I found this item on worker commuting trends to be very interesting. It explains phenomena that I believe can be discerned from simple observation: large population centers provide greater opportunities for both workers and employers, but there is a limit to how much time workers will spend commuting.
The contents of this blog, this web site, and any writings by me that are linked here, are all my personal commentary. None of it is intended to be legal advice for your situation.