Construction Freedom

american-flagMost people who have ever considered construction of  any type of building in the United States have had to deal with their local jurisdiction’s Planning Department. Most of those same people may report this as being less than a fun experience. We Americans are fiercely independent, we value the ability to have the freedom to use our things, in the manner in which we feel would be best – without the intrusion of government.  We also tend to get a bit “bucky” about construction…wanting to build exactly what we want…where we want.

Come journey with me….as you remember from yesterday, we’re in Ecuador.

Where anything can be built – anywhere. No apparent zoning here.

Hmmm, one might say, “freedom, I am liking this idea”.

Venture down an average street in Quito, the capitol city. On the corner may be a vacant lot, however it has a ten or 12 foot high fence built of concrete block, topped with broken glass bottles (this is their idea of a “security” fence), so is it actually even vacant?

Next to this, is a six story hotel. Very narrow and deep, with dimensions which run right to the property lines, the street face looks like it should – must be a multi-million dollar building, however the other three walls are plain concrete block (which does match the neighboring fence nicely).

Also in the same block are several single family homes, a repair station for buses, several small retail shops, a tire store, a restaurant and a school. Each one plastered directly against the neighbor, as the mandatory three foot setback from lot lines is totally ignored.

Seeing how this much construction freedom may prove to be a problem?

Apply this type of planning (or lack thereof) to the United States and a million dollar home could have an oil refinery, or just as easily a chicken ranch right next door.

Oh – across the street from the hotel – a pasture with horses in it!

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