Should We Forbid "Gated"Communities?

I say yes. Allowing rich people to isolate themselves from the rest of the citizenry is a very bad trend. it will lead to the establishment of a “entitled class”-one where the children forget about their fellow citizens, eschew military service, and generally ignore the poor. When such people enter politics, their actions seem to favor themselves-to the exclusion of the other classes.
I can understand the desire to be safe-but is living behind locked gates going to be good for this country? I think not.

I don’t see a direct correlation between what you are worried about and gated communities. We would have a “entitled class” with or without gates.

I don’t see how that would fix anything in particular. I also don’t see a way to outlaw gated communities legally or practically either even if it was a good idea. People are free to self-segregate however they want when they choose a place to live. Not all gated communities are especially wealthy either. Some are just like other upper-middle class subdivisions except they are gated because they want to provide their own security and often maintain their own roads and other infrastructure as well.

How does one legally do what the OP is suggesting?

Local Zoning boards could do this very simply.
Every building and every street in the city are built to standards set by the local government.
Residential streets must be of a specific width,lots must be of a specific size, mailboxes must be built at specific locations, etc.
It would be easy to pass a regulation, say, that all lots containing residential houses must be built with access from a public street. If necessary for reasons of politics, this could be “camoflaged”, and presented as an issue of public safety, saying that all houses must be accessible to fire/police/ambulances.

I see that kind of reaction a lot lately even if it is a gated community within an otherwise bad area of town that is trying to improve the housing. I have a friend who lives in Inglewood in Los Angeles right by the Forum and the surrounding area is a dump with graffiti and gang members, but within their community, it is nice, and by that, I mean ‘lower middle class’. The difference is, the people who live there don’t have to worry about home break-ins while they are at work, people speeding down their streets where children are at risk of being run over, etc. They pay homeowner’s association fees for that privilege and consequently, properties within that community sell at a premium relative to the surrounding area. It also creates jobs for the security people, landscapers, etc. In your version of society everyone in that neighborhood should be placed at the same risk as everyone else…uh why?

Gated communities also typically have resources that are meant for just the residents who pay for them. This may include a gym, pool, golf course, tennis courts, clubhouse, nicely manicured landscaping and parks, etc. Presumably you have no issue with those things existing, but would like everyone, including those who do not pay for their upkeep, to have access to them. Does that seem reasonable? If so, then why do you have a front door that you lock? I should have free access to use any of your stuff as I please. How dare you live in a mini ‘gated community’ consisting of four walls and a door.

In all seriousness though, the gate provides a level of protection, even if it is just a perceived one. I don’t think it creates all the evil you are perceiving. I live in a nice area that is ungated, but there are plenty of gated areas near us. As you might guess, when the thieves do on rare occasions have a crime wave in the area, they target our ungated neighborhood the most. I also don’t have kids. If I did and was worried about pedophiles, asshole drivers speeding up and down the streets, etc., I would have considered paying the little bit extra for that gate.

Good or bad depends on which side of the gate you live on. I think it would be hard to outlaw them just because most of the people you need to convince they’re bad live in them.

I think we should lock gated communities permanently, let all the people inside homeschool their children and telecommute to their jobs. If they don’t want to work by computer, they can operate phone sex chat lines. Groceries and mail can be dropped in with drones. They can burn their trash. I don’t want to see any of them walking in my neighborhood.

Sounds like a clumsy attempt at some kind of liberal gotcha-ya.

Zoning rules. First, require them to have more than one entrance/exit. This is valid for emergency purposes. It’s a damn badly planned community where there’s only one way out! (What if Godzilla goes on a rampage?)

(Many California communities are required by law to have more than one exit, because of our tradition of deadly brush fires.)

Once there’s a way in and another way out, use eminent domain to open the pathway between to public passage. You can’t use “private roads” to block people’s access from one place to another. Right of Way laws keep this from happening.

I’m also opposed to public streets having restricted parking, often near colleges (for the obvious reason that thousands of college students try to find parking places.) If I have to pay for that street, then I retain the right to park on it. If it’s for resident parking only, then bill the residents for the cost of the street.

Having it both ways is bad government.

I have no idea of the actual numbers, but my guess is that far more middle class people live in gated communities than rich people living in such places.

By that same logic used in the OP, we should forbid security guards, burglar alarms, and locks on doors. Let people learn to live with the results of their lifestyle that causes other people to become criminals!

There are gates on apartment buildings too. Poor ones at that.

I used to know a family who lived in a gated community. I would say (based on what I saw) that it was for middle class families. The apartment was small and non-luxurious. There certainly wasn’t a pool or tennis court or anything like that.

It seems to me that the wealthy mostly live in single family homes in ungated areas near other wealthy people now anyway. And not many wealthy people join the armed forces, whether they live behind gates or not.

I’d be curious to see statistics on the gates as to whether it’s a significant protection from crime. Didn’t Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin live in a gated community? A fairly low-income one at that, and they had a history of break ins and things of that nature.

I’ve never lived in a gated community (unless you consider an apartment building to be one, which is sort of was strictly speaking) but I think it’s basically an aesthetic choice of little to no societal significance and thus there is no reason whatsoever to interfere with the practice. The gates don’t cause any of the ills the OP mentions, as those things all exist independent of gates and are not at all caused by gates or exacerbated by them.

Not a fan (despite living in an apartment complex with perhaps the least effective gates ever–several buildings and one clubhouse are entirely outside of the gates), but who am I to tell folks how they want to live? For me, if you want to shut yourself up in a gated community with draconian HOA requirements to ensure that each house looks exactly like the next, knock yourself out–I’d probably rather not have you out here in my rough 'n tumble world anyway.

Class divisions happen naturally, without any need for a gate. All getting rid of gated communities would do is rile up everyone who lives in them, and quite possibly increase the tension between the rich and poor.

This. The outward manifestations of privilege are not the privileges themselves.

Although I’d go along with a ban on gated communities because they are such a pain in the ass to deal with. I can’t wait for the day a whole string of McMansions burn down because the FD can’t get through the gate.

I amuse myself by quoting Rorschach every time a fuggin’ gate finally closes behind me and I can get to the client, kid’s house or whatever I have been delayed getting to.

I have a better idea. How about if you find gated communities distasteful, if you fear they’d lead you to become elitist and isolated, then don’t live in one. Others who feel differently, let them do what they want. You’ve heard of it? It’s called the “let’s all mind our own @#$%ing business” philosophy. Alternately called the “I don’t get to force people to live exactly the way I want them to for speculative reasons with zero evidence that their actions materially impact anyone but themselves” school of thought.

Short answer to OP: No

Not all gated communities are full of millionaires, fyi. I live in a gated community that’s full of $120-$180k houses (so, about average for this area).

Because of the gate, I feel a lot safer as a single woman living alone than I would down the street. Our crime rates in our little enclave are substantially lower than the surrounding areas, so it’s not just me deluding myself into a sense of security. Gated communities ftw.