Too Big, Boring, or Ugly (PAS 528)

Planning and Design Tools to Combat Monotony, the Too-big House, and Teardowns

By Lane Kendig

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Cookie-cutter boxes line up like plastic houses on a Monopoly board. Brawny new construction shoulders into established neighborhoods. Monster houses crowd together in new subdivisions. Today's bigger, faster, cheaper home building methods are changing the character of communities, but there are ways to both preserve character and meet market demand. This report offers planning and design t...

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Page Count
Date Published
March 30, 2005
APA Planning Advisory Service

About the Authors

Lane Kendig

Table of Contents

1. Defining the Problem

Mass Production • Monotony • Monopoly-Set Houses • The Too-Big House • Teardowns

2. Monotony

Two Design Approaches for Addressing Monotony • The Primary Tools for Addressing Monotony • Elements of Design That Can Be Manipulated To Prevent Monotony • Evaluating Anti-Monotony Through Criteria • Lot Layout and Design • Other Techniques Used To Avoid Monotony

3.Monopoly-Set Houses 39
Roof-Wall Junctures • Modern Siding and Windows • False Fronts

4.The Too-Big House

Bulk Regulation Standards • The Not-So-Big-House

Economics Drive Teardowns • Predicting Teardowns • Regulating Teardowns • Additional Measures

6.Code Language
Regulations Addressing the Problems of Monotony and Monopoly-Set Housing • Long Grove, Illinois, Zoning Ordinance • New Castle County, Delaware, Land Development Code • Monopoly-Set Regulations