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A residential area is a land used in which housing predominates, as opposed to industrial and commercial areas.
Housing may vary significantly between, and through, residential areas. These include single-family housing, multi-family residential, or mobile homes. Zoning for residential use may permit some services or work opportunities or may totally exclude business and industry. It may permit high density land use or only permit low density uses. Residential zoning usually includes a smaller FAR (floor area ratio) than business, commercial or industrial/manufacturing zoning. The area may be large or small.
In certain residential areas, especially rural, large tracts of land may have no services whatever, such that residents seeking services must use a motor vehicle or other transportation, so the need for transportation has resulted in land development following existing or planned transport infrastructure such as rail and road. Development patterns may be regulated by restrictive covenants contained in the deeds to the properties in the development and may also result from or be reinforced by zoning. Restrictive covenants are not easily changed when the agreement of all property owners (many of whom may not live in the area) is required. The area so restricted may be large or small.
Residential areas may be subcategorized in the concentric zone model and other schemes of urban geography.
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Residential development is real estate development for residential purposes. Some such developments are called a subdivision , when the land is divided into lots with houses constructed on each lot. Such developments became common during the late nineteenth century, particularly in the form of streetcar suburbs.
In previous centuries, residential development was mainly of two kinds. Rich people bought a townlot, hired an architect and/or contractor, and built a bespoke / customized house or mansion for their family. Poor urban people lived in shantytowns or in tenements built for rental. Single-family houses were seldom built on speculation, that is for future sale to residents not yet identified. When cities and the middle class expanded greatly and mortgage loans became commonplace, a method that had been rare became commonplace to serve the expanding demand for home ownership.
Post–World War II economic expansion in major cities of the United States, especially New York City and Los Angeles produced a demand for thousands of new homes, which was largely met by speculative building. Its large-scale practitioners disliked the term "property speculator" and coined the new name "residential development" for their activity. Entire farms and ranches were subdivided and developed, often with one individual or company controlling all aspects of entitlement (permits), land development (streets and grading), infrastructure (utilities and sewage disposal), and housing. Communities like Levittown, Long Island or Lakewood south of Los Angeles saw new homes sold at unprecedented rates—more than one a day. Many techniques which had made the automobile affordable made housing affordable: standardization of design and small, repetitive assembly tasks, advertising, and a smooth flow of capital. Mass production resulted in a similar uniformity of product, and a more comfortable lifestyle than cramped apartments in the cities. With the advent of government-backed mortgages, it could actually be cheaper to own a house in a new residential development than to rent.
As with other products, continual refinements appeared. Curving streets, greenbelt parks, neighborhood pools, and community entry monumentation appeared. Diverse floor plans with differing room counts, and multiple elevations (different exterior "looks" for the same plan) appeared. Developers remained competitive with each other on everything, including location, community amenities, kitchen appliance packages, and price.
Today, a typical residential development in the United States might include traffic calming features such as a slowly winding street, dead-end road, or looped road lined with homes.
Suburban developments help form the stereotypical image of a "suburban America" and are generally associated with the American middle-class. Most offer homes in a narrow range of age, price, size and features, thus potential residents having different needs, wishes or resources must look elsewhere. Some residential developments are gated communities.
Criticisms of residential developments may include the following:
A suburbs is a mixed-use or residential area, existing either as part of a city/urban area, or as a separate residential community within commuting distance of one. Suburbs might have their own political or legal jurisdiction, especially in the United States, but this is not always the case, especially in the United Kingdom where most suburbs are located within the administrative boundaries of cities. In most English-speaking countries, suburban areas are defined in contrast to central or inner city areas, but in Australian English and South African English, suburb has become largely synonymous with what is called a "neighborhood" in other countries and the term encompasses inner city areas.
Zoning is a method of urban planning in which a municipality or other tier of government divides land into areas called zones, each of which has a set of regulations for new development that differs from other zones. Zones may be defined for a single use, they may combine several compatible activities by use, or in the case of form-based zoning, the differing regulations may govern the density, size and shape of allowed buildings whatever their use. The planning rules for each zone, determine whether planning permission for a given development may be granted. Zoning may specify a variety of outright and conditional uses of land. It may indicate the size and dimensions of lots that land may be subdivided into, or the form and scale of buildings. These guidelines are set in order to guide urban growth and development.
Growth management, in the United States, is a set of techniques used by the government to ensure that as the population grows that there are services available to meet their demands. Growth management goes beyond traditional land use planning, zoning and subdivision controls in both the characteristics of development influenced and the scope of government powers used. These are not necessarily only government services. Other demands such as the protection of natural spaces, sufficient and affordable housing, delivery of utilities, preservation of buildings and places of historical value, and sufficient places for the conduct of business are also considered.
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In the United States, a homeowner association is a private association often formed by a real estate developer for the purpose of marketing, managing, and selling homes and lots in a residential subdivision. Typically the developer will transfer control of the association to the homeowners after selling a predetermined number of lots. Generally any person who wants to buy a residence within the area of a homeowners association must become a member, and therefore must obey the governing documents including Articles of Incorporation, CC&Rs and By-Laws, which may limit the owner's choices. Homeowner associations are especially active in urban planning, zoning and land use, decisions that affect the pace of growth, the quality of life, the level of taxation and the value of land in the community. Most homeowner associations are incorporated, and are subject to state statutes that govern non-profit corporations and homeowner associations. State oversight of homeowner associations is minimal, and it varies from state to state. Some states, such as Florida and California, have a large body of HOA law. Other states, such as Massachusetts, have virtually no HOA law. Homeowners associations are commonly found in residential developments since the passage of the Davis–Stirling Common Interest Development Act in 1985.
Suburbanization is a population shift from central urban areas into suburbs, resulting in the formation of (sub)urban sprawl. As a consequence of the movement of households and businesses out of the city centers, low-density, peripheral urban areas grow.
Subdivision is the act of dividing land into pieces that are easier to sell or otherwise develop, usually via a plat. The former single piece as a whole is then known in the United States as a subdivision. Subdivisions may be simple, involving only a single seller and buyer, or complex, involving large tracts of land divided into many smaller parcels. If it is used for housing it is typically known as a housing subdivision or housing development, although some developers tend to call these areas communities.
A covenant, in its most general sense and historical sense, is a solemn promise to engage in or refrain from a specified action. Under historical English common law a covenant was distinguished from an ordinary contract by the presence of a seal. Because the presence of a seal indicated an unusual solemnity in the promises made in a covenant, the common law would enforce a covenant even in the absence of consideration. In United States contract law, an implied covenant of good faith is presumed.
A planned unit development (PUD) is a type of building development and also a regulatory process. As a building development, it is a designed grouping of both varied and compatible land uses, such as housing, recreation, commercial centers, and industrial parks, all within one contained development or subdivision.
Mixed-use development is a term used for two related concepts:
Secondary suites, or accessory dwelling units, ADUs, or in-law apartments, are self-contained apartments, cottages, or small residential units, that are located on a property that has a separate main, single-family home, duplex, or other residential unit. In some cases, the ADU or in-law is attached to the principal dwelling or is an entirely separate unit, located above a garage or in the backyard on the same property. In British English the term "annex" or granny annex is used instead. Reasons for wanting to add a secondary suite to a property may be to receive additional income, provide social and personal support to a family member, or obtain greater security.
Medium-density housing is a term typically used within Australian and New Zealand professional and academic literature to refer to a category of residential development that falls between detached suburban housing and multi-story apartments. In Australia the density of standard suburban residential areas has traditionally been between 8-15 dwellings per hectare. In New Zealand medium-density development is defined as four or more units with an average density of less than 350m2. Medium density housing can range from about 25 to 80 dwellings per hectare, although most commonly sits around 30 and 40 dwellings/hectare. Such developments typically consist of semi-attached and multi-unit housing and low-rise apartments. In the United States medium-density housing is usually referred to as middle-sized or cluster development that fits between neighborhoods with single family homes and high-rise apartments. This kind of development is usually intended to bridge the gap between low- and high-density neighborhoods. Because this kind of housing refers to density specifically, the type of building or number of units can vary from location to location. Medium-density housing in America has historically been perceived as undesirable due to the affordable nature of the housing that attracts low-income residents, and its perceived breach on the established suburban lifestyle. The various styles of housing that fall under medium-density housing are now being considered as more sustainable development options to help solve the housing crisis in America.
Zoning in the United States includes various land use laws falling under the police power rights of state governments and local governments to exercise authority over privately owned real property. The earliest zoning laws originated with the Los Angeles zoning ordinances of 1908 and the New York City Zoning resolution of 1916. Starting in the early 1920s, the United States Commerce Department drafted model zoning and planning ordinances in the 1920s to facilitate states in drafting enabling laws. Also in the early 1920s, a lawsuit challenged a local zoning ordinance in a suburb of Cleveland, which was eventually reviewed by the United States Supreme Court.
Residential segregation in the United States is the physical separation of two or more groups into different neighborhoods—a form of segregation that "sorts population groups into various neighborhood contexts and shapes the living environment at the neighborhood level". While it has traditionally been associated with racial segregation, it generally refers to any kind of sorting of populations based on some criteria.
Housing segregation in the United States is the practice of denying African Americans or people of color and other minority groups equal access to housing through the process of misinformation, denial of realty and financing services, and racial steering. Housing policy in the United States has influenced housing segregation trends throughout history. Key legislation include the National Housing Act of 1934, the G.I. Bill, and the Fair Housing Act. Factors such as socioeconomic status, spatial assimilation, and immigration contribute to perpetuating housing segregation. The effects of housing segregation include relocation, unequal living standards, and poverty. However, there have been initiatives to combat housing segregation, such as the Section 8 housing program.
Broadway–Flushing is a historic district and residential subsection of Flushing, Queens, New York City. The neighborhood comprises approximately 2,300 homes. It is located between 155th and 170th Streets to the west and east respectively, and is bounded on the north by Bayside and 29th Avenues, and on the south by Northern Boulevard and Crocheron Avenue. Broadway–Flushing is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
A residential cluster development, or open space development, is the grouping of residential properties on a development site to use the extra land as open space, recreation or agriculture. It is increasingly becoming popular in subdivision development because it allows the developer to spend much less on land and obtain much the same price per unit as for detached houses. The shared garden areas can be a source of conflict, however. Claimed advantages include more green/public space, closer community, and an optimal storm water management. Cluster development often encounters planning objections.
Exclusionary zoning is the use of zoning ordinances to exclude certain types of land uses from a given community. As of the 2010s, exclusionary zoning ordinances are standard in almost all communities. Exclusionary zoning was introduced in the early 1900s, typically to prevent racial and ethnic minorities from moving into middle- and upper-class neighborhoods. Municipalities use zoning to limit the supply of available housing units, such as by prohibiting multi-family residential dwellings or setting minimum lot size requirements. These ordinances raise costs, making it less likely that lower-income groups will move in. Development fees for variance, a building permit, a certificate of occupancy, a filing (legal) cost, special permits and planned-unit development applications for new housing also raise prices to levels inaccessible for lower income people.
A commuter town is a populated area that is primarily residential, rather than commercial or industrial. People who live in commuter towns usually work in other places. Routine travel from home to work and then from work to home is called commuting, which is where the term comes from.
The city of Detroit, in the U.S. state of Michigan, has gone through a major economic and demographic decline in recent decades. The population of the city has fallen from a high of 1,850,000 in 1950 to 680,000 in 2015, removing it from the top 20 of US cities by population for the first time since 1850. However, the city's combined statistical area has a population of 5,318,744 people, which currently ranks 12th in the United States. Local crime rates are among the highest in the United States, and vast areas of the city are in a state of severe urban decay. In 2013, Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy case in U.S. history, which it successfully exited on December 10, 2014. Poverty, crime, shootings, drugs and urban blight in Detroit are ongoing problems.
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The dictionary definition of residential at Wiktionary