Sunday, August 2, 2015

Plumbing the depths (Underground Economy)

Like H.L. Mencken's puritans, some worry that someone, somewhere, somehow, is increasing their standard of living. Even if they have do it underground;
Yes, the lowly basement is having a very big moment in South Bay cities like Woodside and Palo Alto, where underground space has become an opportunity for a home addition without worry over square footage restrictions.
"Most cities and towns limit the size of a home, but don't count underground space in that square footage. Basements are typically built on expensive lots, often after a smaller house has been razed, where the owners have maxed out their above-ground space. Adding a basement maximizes the value of the property," the Chronicle's Kathleen Pender notes.
Basements under houses are rare in California, but land use restrictions and  bureaucratic limitations on building, guarantee that they will come to be valued highly.
As the trend grows, so do concerns over groundwater and grading. Both Atherton and Woodside are actively looking into determining limits for basement builds.
What would California do without the housing police.

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