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Urban density

There's something to be said for increased density in an urban area - more density means more people, more attractions, more urban goodness. Just look at Manhattan. Charles, though, says, sometimes, in some places, it can go too far; he discusses a specific Dorchester house that originally would have been pushed out so far it would have had only garage doors facing the street:

... One would drive into the garage and enter the house without any need for contact with one's neighbors. While the building might look like others in the neighborhood (although this one in particular does not) it wouldn't perform like the other buildings. Most people looking at the building would sense something "wrong", even though they might not be able to articulate what it is that they feel is wrong.

Developers develop to make money and more units means more money. We often hear developers complain that they can't make money if a project is scaled back from the initial proposal or if an existing structure is integrated into a new development. This isn't the neighborhood's problem. ...

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There's a story in the Globe's City Weekly today about the same sort of issue cropping up in Jamaica Plain - the BRA now wants design oversight even on buildings that would otherwise be allowed by right (but with no enforcement powers except to suggest to ISD that it not grant a building permit, which, I dunno, seems like a recipe for a whole lot of lawsuits).

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