Cramped Style

How regulators derailed California's most environmentally progressive development.

Reason Senior Fellow Michael De Alessi explains how regulation of the Sea Ranch coastal development, 100 miles north of San Francisco in Sonoma County, resulted in a far worse solution than the market would have created.

"The architects who designed the early buildings at The Sea Ranch not only fomented what has become known as the "Sea Ranch Style" but drove the creation of the legal covenants that defined the landscape and created the community that exists today. They advocated 'a close relationship to nature and the use of natural materials'; they believed that 'buildings can and should become a part of the encompassing landscape.'

In the early 1970s, though, The Sea Ranch became a target for the Sierra Club ... their efforts led to the creation of the California Coastal Commission.

...To end the moratorium, The Sea Ranch had to agree to reduce the number of home sites from 5,200 to 2,300... In the northern meadows, houses put up after [The Coastal Commission interceded] line up rigidly along the streets and form solid, view-blocking walls along the bluffs."

Thanks to ArchNewsNow

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