Reducing Emissions Through Limiting House Size

Reducing emissions is the goal. Our city government addresses climate change. To me, it seems a little like making a plan at the city level for influencing nuclear disarmament or accomplishing interplanetary space travel, out of the realm of proper city subjects.

Bozeman’s North East Neighborhood News, March 2010 states, “The future of lowering emissions belongs to residential and new housing.” By this the writer means to say that the surest way to address global warming is to retrofit existing houses and alter the design of new houses. Consumer preferences must be sacrificed.

When will zoning law be used to restrict new homes to the footprint of the average European single family dwelling? In America, the average is , something like 2,500 square feet. In Portugal a home is 800 square feet. Some will say: Why should anyone need more?

A quick google search of “restrict house size” shows that Palo Alto, Surrey, B.C., Aspen and Boulder, CO have done or attempted house size limits. To some, addressing climate change demands every possible tactic. It is easy to predict ¬†demands for restricting house size will increase, enforced by environmentally inclined city planners. Federal law, perhaps though EPA regulations, may try to accomplish something of the kind. Mark my prediction.


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