Actually that is totally wrong, cookie cutter subdivisions are the result of the free market and economic considerations i.e. it is cheaper to built them all alike and cut down all the trees. They existed long before e.g. Levitown zoning regulations and land use regulations. The appearance and similar requirements are almost always the result of private covenants or decisions of homeowner associations and are examples of the right to contract and not any government edict.
Doubtless some of this is the case. On the other hand, there are the 'planning board' meetings I have attended where plans have been rejected for styles not 'fitting in with the community' and with every little detail from house size per lot size to signage prescribed, along with a heck of a lot more..such as insisting on city approval of the apperance of streetlights.
Sure, zoning and 'standards' laws have nothing to do with cookie cutter.
-------------- Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
I always figured that "cookie cutter" subdivisions where all the houses look very similar is due to economies of scale in construction. It's cheaper/more efficient to build houses that are similar and look the same than houses that differ. Although, there anecdotes of some neighborhood associations that seek legal action against homeowners who paint their house a contrasting color, let the grass grow too tall, put up a too tall fence, etc..
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