Saturday, January 20, 2007
When is "Tinkerbell" the enemy of good sense and community
(I'm thinking about building eventually, and it will be a house where I
can grow old ...)
*_.and Tinkerbell Transit_*
*posted by Josh Goodman*
Only once every three or four blue moons do we receive an interesting
press release through our fax machine here on the 13th Floor, but this
_one_ <http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news/2007/010.htm> from Fairfax
County, Virginia certainly qualifies. It introduced a new term to me:
Peter Pan housing.
Peter Pan housing refers to homes built in a way that seems to assume
their occupants will never grow old -- designs that prove troublesome
because their owners rarely seem to be blessed with perpetual youth.
Problematic features the county has identified include "entry stairs,
narrow doorways or lack of a first-floor bathroom."
In response to these concerns, Fairfax is reviewing building codes and
trying to increase financing options for retrofitting homes.
Retrofitting is expensive, but one Fairfax official pointed out that
having an elevator installed is cheaper than a year in assisted living.
Obviously, the aging of the Baby Boom generation makes this a big issue,
but so does the substantial _decrease_
<http://www.inthenews.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/display.cgi?id=10130> in the
percentage of American houses with only one story over the past few
decades. As a result, a lot of places probably need to go after Peter
Pan housing with Hook-like zeal.