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  #1  
Old 06-29-2011, 04:02 PM
code_grey code_grey is offline
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does it cost a lot to make a "gated community"?

gated communities seem stereotypically associated with "rich people". By contrast, a "gated trailer park" is not at present a popular meme.

So how come? Is setting up a perimeter fence with razor wire on top at present sufficiently expensive that only a rich neighborhood could afford it? Or is this just a matter of cultural difference between the sort of people who manage middle class neighborhoods and "rich" neighborhoods, so that the middle class ones don't do it "because that's not how it's done" as opposed to because it is objectively not feasible?
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  #2  
Old 06-29-2011, 04:05 PM
Quintas Quintas is offline
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so that the middle class ones don't do it "because that's not how it's done"
Lots of middle class communities are gated.

Last edited by Quintas; 06-29-2011 at 04:05 PM..
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  #3  
Old 06-29-2011, 04:13 PM
Quercus Quercus is offline
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I don't think the real cost is in building a fence and gate; it's in hiring guards to stand there all day and open and close the gates. Even spread out over all the residents, for a trailer park that's going to add up to some real money. For CEOs of investment banks, that amount of money is a rounding error. And for middle-class people who desperately want to feel like they're successful, paying for guards might be noticeable, but worth it for the status.
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Old 06-29-2011, 04:15 PM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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It's the damn gate that normally always breaks down that is the difference. The homeowners in a middle class neighborhood hate paying extra homeowner association dues, to constantly fix the gate. The upper class neighborhood dues are already high enough to cover gate maintenance, plus the like the exclusivity of the gate.
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Old 06-29-2011, 04:16 PM
Quintas Quintas is offline
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it's in hiring guards to stand there all day and open and close the gates. And for middle-class people who desperately want to feel like they're successful, paying for guards might be noticeable, but worth it for the status.
Guards? They usually have a gate with an access code or card reader for the residents.
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Old 06-29-2011, 04:22 PM
code_grey code_grey is offline
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Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
It's the damn gate that normally always breaks down that is the difference. The homeowners in a middle class neighborhood hate paying extra homeowner association dues, to constantly fix the gate. The upper class neighborhood dues are already high enough to cover gate maintenance, plus the like the exclusivity of the gate.
in other words, all that stands between us and the hypothetical wonderful utopia of cheaply built fences all over the place is a "gate" contraption that would have a minimum of moving parts (to avoid breaking) and be capable of operation by a part-time minimum wage employee? (for which role the middle class neighborhoods of today probably have no shortage of candidates)

Last edited by code_grey; 06-29-2011 at 04:24 PM..
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Old 06-29-2011, 04:23 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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Sorry, I can't resist retelling this story whenever the topic comes up:

Quote:
Inmates at the NC Women's Prison answer calls to some state public-affairs bureaus, like (but not necessarily for example) the board of tourism....

My ex-father-in-law used to work at the prison and used to tell stories. One was about a lady who was exceptionally good at this job, and who occasionally had to talk people out of wanting to meet her in person without saying that she was an inmate. One of her better lines was in the vein of, "Well, I live in what you might call a 'gated community.'"

That phrase hasn't meant the same thing to me since.

Last edited by KneadToKnow; 06-29-2011 at 04:24 PM..
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  #8  
Old 06-29-2011, 04:24 PM
bump bump is offline
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Another consideration is to design the community in such a way that the access is limited (i.e. only 1-2 ways in or out) so that you can actually regulate who and what comes in and out.

Beyond that, there's no requirement for a 10 foot stone wall or anything like that, just a guardhouse, gate and guard, which probably doesn't raise the cost of the community much, and the guard will likely be paid for through HOA dues.
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Old 06-29-2011, 04:25 PM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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Originally Posted by code_grey View Post
in other words, all that stands between us and the hypothetical wonderful utopia of cheaply built fences all over the place is a "gate" contraption that would have a minimum of moving parts (to avoid breaking) and be capable of operation by a part-time minimum wage employee? (for which role the middle class neighborhoods of today probably have no shortage of candidates)
Sure, and getting everyone in your hypothetical middle class neighborhood to agree with your desire to have a gate.
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Old 06-29-2011, 04:27 PM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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Also, in theory at least, the roads in gated communities cannot be funded or maintained by public money. So it's not just the gate.
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Old 06-29-2011, 04:33 PM
purplehorseshoe purplehorseshoe is offline
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Lots of middle class communities are gated.
Lots of shithole apartment complexes are, too. It's not to look exclusive; it's to help ward off crime.
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  #12  
Old 06-29-2011, 05:07 PM
ZenBeam ZenBeam is offline
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What's the minimum requirement for a "gated community"? What if my neighborhood had a four foot tall wrought iron fence, that surrounded the neighborhood, and a couple of road entrances with manually operated gates which are capable of being closed, but never actually are. Maybe we have a "guard house", but its more decorative than functional. Can this be called a gated community?

ETA: I guess having private roads would be necessary, rather than public ones, so assume that also.

Last edited by ZenBeam; 06-29-2011 at 05:08 PM..
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  #13  
Old 06-29-2011, 05:10 PM
UncleFred UncleFred is offline
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I'm familiar with some gated communities in Florida.

The ones I know about are condos populated largely by retirees. It is *exactly* like "Boca Del Vista" from Seinfeld.

These have a practical reason to be gated. They are reasonably close to the ocean, and for a few years before they put in a gate, non-residents would come in to park, using up all the spaces.

The gate they did put in was the type you would open either from your car, using a garage-opener type of thing, or using an access-code at a little kiosk.
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  #14  
Old 06-29-2011, 05:32 PM
code_grey code_grey is offline
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in cases where road funding may be a big issue, could the problem be avoided by having a fence and entrance checkpoints that permit cars to enter freely but do not allow pedestrians or bikers without identification? Let's say the entering cars, having slowed down on the bump, would be classified as residents/registered guests/unknown outsiders, and the latter kind raise an automatic alarm accompanied by a "hello, mysterious stranger" message shown to the driver on a roadside screen? But the cars would not be impeded from entering.

Would this kind of road still fit the definition of "public road"? Or which features of the above setup would need to be removed or altered to stay within the "public road" definition?

Last edited by code_grey; 06-29-2011 at 05:33 PM..
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  #15  
Old 06-29-2011, 05:39 PM
An Gadaí An Gadaí is offline
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Originally Posted by purplehorseshoe View Post
Lots of shithole apartment complexes are, too. It's not to look exclusive; it's to help ward off crime.
Yeah that's common around here, an access gate with a keycode, to stop non-residents loitering in common areas and to ward against break-ins.
I noticed a lot of newer housing estates here, think American cookie-cutter suburbs, have fences, if not gates. If you're walking among the estates it can require you to hop the fence to take the natural shortest route between them. I'm not sure if this is meant for security, or to stop children playing in green areas running out on busy roads, or just because someone thought it would look good. As a pedestrian, it's really fucking irritating.
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  #16  
Old 06-29-2011, 05:41 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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I think 'gating' is just a symbol of these communities. They are just like Homeowner Association communities, with no public roads, and a fence and a gate around it. The community would have to be pretty small for that fence and gate to provide real security. But it would tend to keep out traffic, idle teenagers, and soliciters, except from other members of the community.

We have a small gated community tucked into our town. It's appears to be a bunch of prefab houses. It hardly looks like utopia, more like condos with a little space between the units.
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:13 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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Originally Posted by Quintas View Post
Guards? They usually have a gate with an access code or card reader for the residents.
In the ones I have seen there has to be a guard to screen visitors, the mailman, deliveries, etc. You can't really put up a gate with no guard and have much security.

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Originally Posted by An Gadaí View Post
I noticed a lot of newer housing estates here, think American cookie-cutter suburbs, have fences, if not gates. If you're walking among the estates it can require you to hop the fence to take the natural shortest route between them. I'm not sure if this is meant for security, or to stop children playing in green areas running out on busy roads, or just because someone thought it would look good.
I think it's to keep you off private property. If you have to hop a fence, you're not supposed to be there.
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  #18  
Old 06-29-2011, 06:17 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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Gates and a fence wouldn't help my neighborhood.

Some of my neighbors are criminals.

They'd get an access code to the gate just like any other resident.
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  #19  
Old 06-29-2011, 06:25 PM
An Gadaí An Gadaí is offline
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In the ones I have seen there has to be a guard to screen visitors, the mailman, deliveries, etc. You can't really put up a gate with no guard and have much security.

I think it's to keep you off private property. If you have to hop a fence, you're not supposed to be there.
Except it's only taking me where I can walk to, if I walk around the fence and follow the path. These areas aren't fully enclosed and I'm not talking about people's personal gardens, talking about green areas that lie between estates usually.
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:29 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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As noted, the cost isn't about the gates themselves. To put those up in the first place, you have to have control over enough land to declare yourself semi-independent from the surrounding area. The gates are just a symbol of that. It isn't like you can't just walk through the woods into most of them if you want to. They just don't want random people around as a general rule. The people that want to do that usually have some money but don't have to be truly rich. My mother and stepfather live in one in the Dallas area. It is a suburban housing development of McMansions as people like to call them all built around the same time. It is nice but certainly not that exclusive for the Dallas area. The gated communities where truly rich people live are the really expensive areas close to the city proper where people want to be close to everything and then go home behind a secure wall of equally wealthy neighbors.
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  #21  
Old 06-29-2011, 06:55 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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Originally Posted by code_grey View Post
in other words, all that stands between us and the hypothetical wonderful utopia of cheaply built fences all over the place is a "gate" contraption that would have a minimum of moving parts (to avoid breaking) and be capable of operation by a part-time minimum wage employee? (for which role the middle class neighborhoods of today probably have no shortage of candidates)
Sure, that's all you need. After all, the fence or wall that you'll need to build all around the neighborhood is free. And I'm sure that the town is going to let you obstruct traffic without any objection. You just need a gate with few moving parts and a part-time minimum wage employee. (Of course, since it's a part-time employee, your neighborhood is going to be inaccessible for much of the week.)
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  #22  
Old 06-29-2011, 07:17 PM
Morgenstern Morgenstern is online now
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I think gating off a community requires that that community also own the streets. Gating off public streets is probably frowned on otherwise.
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  #23  
Old 06-29-2011, 07:32 PM
code_grey code_grey is offline
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hmm, in addition to the questions about public streets that I have asked upthread (post 14), I have to wonder about just how often are streets "public" in the suburbs. Is it uncommon for a neighborhood (a condo development or a bunch of single family houses that look alike) to own its own streets?

Also, if streets are "public", does this mean that they are owned by the town? Or who owns them? E.g. if a town decides to convert into a gated community in its entirety, would the streets ownership be an issue?
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:44 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Originally Posted by code_grey View Post
hmm, in addition to the questions about public streets that I have asked upthread (post 14), I have to wonder about just how often are streets "public" in the suburbs. Is it uncommon for a neighborhood (a condo development or a bunch of single family houses that look alike) to own its own streets?

Also, if streets are "public", does this mean that they are owned by the town? Or who owns them? E.g. if a town decides to convert into a gated community in its entirety, would the streets ownership be an issue?
All of those can happen. There a some streets near me that are private yet not gated even though it is suburbia. It essentially means that the town does not maintain the street and they post signs so that people won't drive on them if they don't need to but you can if you choose. In rural areas, there are plenty of private roads. Some of them are on large amounts of land owned by a single owner and sometimes they are shared. You can generally put up fences or gates at your discretion if you own large amounts of rural land. The King Ranch in Texas is almost as big as the state of Rhode Island and it is private. The only thing special about a "gated community" is that a group of people come together collectively to own the land and control its access. Only people with some decent amount of money generally want to do that but you could buy a trailer park and make it gated if you really wanted to.

Still, most roads in suburbia are just regular streets owned by the town, state, or whatever government entity is responsible for them. Anyone can drive on them. I feel odd having to explain this.

Last edited by Shagnasty; 06-29-2011 at 07:48 PM..
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  #25  
Old 06-29-2011, 07:48 PM
Alley Dweller Alley Dweller is offline
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Another consideration is emergency vehicle access (fire, police, ambulance).

I was in Florida during sweeps week a couple of years ago and watched a local TV "investigative report." In the communities where gates are code-operated (no guard on duty), the local emergency services are supposed to be given access codes or (in some cases) the gates have sensors that activate in response to siren frequencies. The reporter drove around with a fire crew and found that many of the access codes or siren-detectors didn't work. Also, in the case of large gated-communities, the emergency vehicles sometimes had to drive a long distance out of their way to get to the gate. Some communities installed special back gates for emergency access, but (again) many of the emergency access gates didn't work.
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:04 PM
Kiwi Fruit Kiwi Fruit is offline
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My sister lives in a gated community in Cairns, Australia. The gate is operated by one of those garage door type remotes or a keypad by the gate. The mail boxes are all sited beside the gate too. There is a phone at the gate for visitors to call each of the houses in the community. I think there are 35 houses, mostly 3 bedroom ones. There's a common swimming pool and barbeque area near the centre, which, along with the roadway is owned and maintained by the body corporate, which also owns and maintains the common grassed areas and other vegetation (trees and hedges). The whole thing is surrounded by a 8 foot wire mesh fence with barbed wire along the top, not very noticeable from a little distance, so not completely Colditz style.
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:12 PM
appleciders appleciders is offline
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Sure, and getting everyone in your hypothetical middle class neighborhood to agree with your desire to have a gate.
Absolutely. It would be quite difficult to take a non-gated community and turn it into a gated one because of homeowner objections. It has always been my impression that many, if not most, gated communities are built in one big shot by developers or have extremely powerful HOAs to enforce this sort of thing.
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:12 PM
GreasyJack GreasyJack is offline
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Still, most roads in suburbia are just regular streets owned by the town, state, or whatever government entity is responsible for them. Anyone can drive on them. I feel odd having to explain this.
What might be confusing about this is that usually the streets in subdivisions are built by the developer instead of the local government. So they start out as private roads, but unless it's a gated community or similar arrangement, they become public roads essentially as soon as they're built.
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:48 PM
doreen doreen is online now
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in cases where road funding may be a big issue, could the problem be avoided by having a fence and entrance checkpoints that permit cars to enter freely but do not allow pedestrians or bikers without identification? Let's say the entering cars, having slowed down on the bump, would be classified as residents/registered guests/unknown outsiders, and the latter kind raise an automatic alarm accompanied by a "hello, mysterious stranger" message shown to the driver on a roadside screen? But the cars would not be impeded from entering.

Would this kind of road still fit the definition of "public road"? Or which features of the above setup would need to be removed or altered to stay within the "public road" definition?
You can certainly have a public road which prohibits bike riders and pedestrians - NYC at least has public roads where bicycles and pedestrians , but you can't have a public road which prohibits some bike riders and pedestrians- it's no different than a road which prohibits some cars. And the alarm and screen won't work - why would a private group be permitted to install an alarm and screen to discourage entry on a street maintained by everyone's taxes?

Last edited by doreen; 06-29-2011 at 08:52 PM..
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:17 PM
Mr Downtown Mr Downtown is offline
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"Gating" of communities with public roads has been done legally in a couple of places: a couple of subdivisions on the north side of Miami, and the entire single-family portion of Rosemont, Illinois. Since the roads remain public, the only legal requirement that can be introduced is that you come to a complete stop at the stop sign mounted by the guardhouse. You need not speak with the guard, but your license plate will be photographed or recorded. In Rosemont, since I chose not to speak to the guard, I was followed by a patrol car as I drove around.

In making maps, one of the biggest judgment calls I must make is whether to show private roads.
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:44 PM
ZenBeam ZenBeam is offline
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What might be confusing about this is that usually the streets in subdivisions are built by the developer instead of the local government. So they start out as private roads, but unless it's a gated community or similar arrangement, they become public roads essentially as soon as they're built.
I my city, "public road" means the public has the right-of-way to use the road. It's actually a patchwork as to whether the city owns the land or it's owned by the adjacent homeowner. It's mostly academic, since the city maintains public roads. We have a few subdivisions near me with private roads, and that seems to be because they didn't meet some criteria when they were developed (e.g. too narrow).

In my subdivision, the roads are public, and I believe the developer deeded the land under the right-of-way to the city. That same developer was building one of those subdivisions with the private roads at the same time.
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:45 PM
Kiwi Fruit Kiwi Fruit is offline
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My sister lives in a gated community in Cairns, Australia. The gate is operated by one of those garage door type remotes or a keypad by the gate. The mail boxes are all sited beside the gate too. There is a phone at the gate for visitors to call each of the houses in the community. I think there are 35 houses, mostly 3 bedroom ones. There's a common swimming pool and barbeque area near the centre, which, along with the roadway is owned and maintained by the body corporate, which also owns and maintains the common grassed areas and other vegetation (trees and hedges). The whole thing is surrounded by a 8 foot wire mesh fence with barbed wire along the top, not very noticeable from a little distance, so not completely Colditz style.
And I meant to say - the entire village was built by one developer. The houses are middle of the road size and quality and as far as I can tell, the prices are about the same as a single family house elsewhere in Cairns. I don't know what the bodycorp fees are though.

I'm picking that the cost to the developer was not much different from doing an ungated development on the land because he was able to put more houses in the same area as the private road is narrower and would take less space than a standard one, and each house has a smaller land area than standard for the suburb it's in.
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:13 AM
code_grey code_grey is offline
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"Gating" of communities with public roads has been done legally in a couple of places: a couple of subdivisions on the north side of Miami, and the entire single-family portion of Rosemont, Illinois. Since the roads remain public, the only legal requirement that can be introduced is that you come to a complete stop at the stop sign mounted by the guardhouse. You need not speak with the guard, but your license plate will be photographed or recorded. In Rosemont, since I chose not to speak to the guard, I was followed by a patrol car as I drove around.
yes, that seems to be close to my line of thinking upthread. Everybody is allowed to drive through, but everybody driving through realizes that the checkpoint notices strangers and potentially puts police/security/whoever on alert.

The same logic can apply to pedestrians going through, even if they cannot be explicitly restricted outright. Another nice thing about pedestrians is that they are easier to profile visually, whereas people inside cars may be harder to see given some lighting conditions and car window properties.
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:24 AM
Farmer Jane Farmer Jane is offline
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Guards? They usually have a gate with an access code or card reader for the residents.

And that is the difference now between rich and middle class.

Gated? Sure.

Guarded? Not as common. My son's friend lives in a 'gated' community (really a guarded one) where you must pass security. When they have a party, there's a list.

Downtown, people don't have gated communities :P in lofts and hi-rises, but they do have staff that you have to get past.

Last edited by Farmer Jane; 06-30-2011 at 12:25 AM..
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  #35  
Old 06-30-2011, 07:57 AM
Quercus Quercus is offline
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What might be confusing about this is that usually the streets in subdivisions are built by the developer instead of the local government. So they start out as private roads, but unless it's a gated community or similar arrangement, they become public roads essentially as soon as they're built.
There's generally a formal process where the town takes ownership of the road (and therefore responsibility for maintaining, plowing, etc.). This can happen at early or late stages of the development, even after most houses are sold and inhabited. So the roads might not be owned by the town until quite a while after they're built (if the developer wants to finish the final stages of the subdivision before transferring all the roads at once, or the town wants the developer to fix/improve things before taking ownership of the roads, or possibly other reasons).

Of course, if the developer is planning on transferring the roads to the town, there's probably no gate or other access control, even before the transfer, so they're public in some sense.
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  #36  
Old 06-30-2011, 08:15 AM
kayaker kayaker is online now
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By contrast, a "gated trailer park" is not at present a popular meme.
Around here it is very common for "trailer parks" to be named "estates". Like "Clover Ridge Estates". Weird.
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Old 06-30-2011, 08:48 AM
LouisB LouisB is offline
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Around here it is very common for "trailer parks" to be named "estates". Like "Clover Ridge Estates". Weird.
In my general vicinity there are quite a few "gated trailer parks." The use of the word "trailer" is much discouraged; the PC term is "mobile home" since the trailers are at least theoretically mobile inasmuch as they can be moved. Anyway, most of these places have names that in no way indicate they are actually trailer parks; many of these places are gated. Some have guards and some do not. Some of these so called "trailers" are quite expensive, ranging in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
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Old 06-30-2011, 11:07 AM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is offline
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In the ones I have seen there has to be a guard to screen visitors, the mailman, deliveries, etc. You can't really put up a gate with no guard and have much security.
Agreed. My father-in-law has lived in several gated communities in Florida, and I've visited several others; that always seems to be the set-up. There's an automatic gate (using a bar-code reader) which allows residents to enter and exit easily, but there's also a manned guard station at the front gate, for allowing entrance to visitors.

As far as I can tell, in all of these, the roads themselves are privately owned. Upkeep of the roads (and the guard house) is paid by the residents through their homeowner association fees.
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Old 06-30-2011, 11:20 AM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
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Of possible interest: Rolling Hills, California is a community where the entire city is a single gated community.
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  #40  
Old 06-30-2011, 11:41 AM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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Guards? They usually have a gate with an access code or card reader for the residents.
True anecdote. There's a gated community a few miles from me. It's all new money -- pro athletes, business execs and the like. One day a friend (distinctly middle-aged and driving an upscale car) was driving by and he noticed the gates were open. There was no guard, no guard house (just a keypad and intercom at the gate) and no one in sight so he decided to drive in and see how the rich people lived.

He hadn't gotten five houses in when a secuity car pulled up next to him, politely forced him to the curb and blocked him in. The security guard hopped out and very politely asked him what his business was. The guard (always polite) then "escorted" him back to the main road. My friend swore up and down there was no indication of human life when he pulled in, but it took only seconds for the guard to catch him.
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:36 PM
joebuck20 joebuck20 is offline
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Originally Posted by code_grey View Post
gated communities seem stereotypically associated with "rich people". By contrast, a "gated trailer park" is not at present a popular meme.

So how come? Is setting up a perimeter fence with razor wire on top at present sufficiently expensive that only a rich neighborhood could afford it? Or is this just a matter of cultural difference between the sort of people who manage middle class neighborhoods and "rich" neighborhoods, so that the middle class ones don't do it "because that's not how it's done" as opposed to because it is objectively not feasible?
I don't know about where you live, but I've never, ever seen an upscale gated community ringed with razor wire. I would think it'd be considered rather gauche.
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:53 AM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
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The trailer park next to my neighborhood is almost a gated community. It has a wall all the way around it. It's only missing gates and guards.

In Mexico, lots and lots of middle-class people live in proper gated communities. Heck, I've lived in Mexican gated communities. It's usually a legitimate security issue in Mexico, though.
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  #43  
Old 07-05-2011, 01:22 PM
Clothahump Clothahump is offline
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Bin Laden lived in a gated community for all the good that did him.
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