If you think California and Maryland have tough state building codes and regs, well it’s time to see what Greenwood, IN is about to force on all builders, both site and modular.
It seems that the town has adopted architectural standards on new houses that will drive up prices so significantly that the costs would preclude home ownership for thousands of residents.
The Greenwood Common Council adopted an ordinance on Sept. 9, 2015 that beefed up architectural design standards for all new local residential construction that will add between $15,000 and $30,000 to the sales price of a new home.
Mark Richards, city engineer and director of the Greenwood Department of Community Development Services, said in an email that "The local ordinance enacting residential architectural standards was a valid use of the city’s zoning authority and is being properly applied by the Community Development Services Department," he said. "Ordinances containing residential architectural standards are commonplace in Indiana communities and throughout the country. Greenwood is committed to requiring builders to construct high-quality housing at all price points so that residents are protected in what is oftentimes their biggest investment—their homes."
Local site builders say they are being required to follow the new standards even if they received permit approval and began development of a subdivision prior to the approval of the ordinance.
When a town’s new homes typically sell for between $130,000 and $175,000, what effect do you think the appraisals will have for new homes built with $30,000 in architectural add-ons that new homeowners neither want or can afford?
Imagine the planning commission meeting where this ordinance was passed. Probably a 5-7 member board, all old family townspeople wanting to leave their mark on what the future of Greenwood should be. Nobody was there to speak out against it and it passed the vote. Probably none of those members were building a new home so what did they care.
National data shows that nearly 25 percent of the final price of a new home is the result of government regulations. The end result is that important members of a community—police, firemen, military personnel, teachers, and even our own adult children—are priced out of home ownership in the cities and towns where they work and live.
The cost of regulations are even higher and more vigorously enforced for modular housing.