Last spring, controversy erupted in the D.C. suburbs over residential crowding, or the excessive occupancy of homes by unrelated adults. Of course, the issue has an ethnic angle:
“These are changes in neighborhoods, and change is sometimes hard to manage,” said Fairfax Supervisor Penelope A. Gross (D-Mason), whose district includes large communities of Koreans in Annandale, Vietnamese in Seven Corners and Latinos in Baileys Crossroads. “It’s a different model. A transition from the nuclear Caucasian family to the ethnic extended family.”
Meanwhile, affluent home buyers — those nuclear Caucasian families — are moving into cool, walkable urban neighborhoods, leaving unwanted McMansions to decay on their large lots.
Isn’t the solution staring us in the face here? Maybe the exurban buildout hasn’t been the colossal waste that it’s always described as, but actually an ingenious way to gracefully integrate foreign residency patterns. Soon the unpasteurized milk set will make weekend shopping jaunts to the exurbs, where places named BryndenCrofterWindermere have become home to exotic migrants growing truck gardens on those heretofore too-large lots. The hierarchy of extended family/clan/tribe seems to map perfectly onto house/cul-de-sac/subdivision, and you can keep a lot of livestock in a three-car garage.