No “standard” exists for the size of urban residential lots. I thought one did, in fact, exist. And perhaps one did, at one time, but no longer. And I doubt the “standard” was geographically widespread. My assumption, based on the most common sizes I remember seeing on, is that the typical urban lot is a quarter of an acre, or 10,890 square feet. But an article comparing Jacksonville, Florida lot sizes with lot sizes in Austin, Texas, suggests otherwise. In Jacksonville, the decade for “large” lots was the 1970s, when the median lot size was more than 11,000 square feet. Recently, the median lot size there fell to 7,700 square feet, while the medium size of a home grew from 1,800 square feet in the 1970s to 2,300 square feet today. Austin’s real estate plat configurations changed in much the same ways during the same periods. Charlotte, North Carolina had an enormous median lot size back in the 1970s at 59,000 square feet; more recently, the size has shrunk to about 7,500 square feet. Even that big lot size is not really huge, at least in my opinion; it’s only a tad over 1.35 acres.

Given my thirst for space/distance between my neighbors and my home, 1.35 acres is on the very small side.  Multiply that number by 100—or 300—and the amount of space would be getting closer to…what?  Ideal? Adequate? I can live with what I have, of course. Roughly half an acre. But that half-acre is artificially enlarged by the fact that there are no houses close to me. I cannot count on that emptiness, though. I might buy up all the lots surrounding me, except for the fact that every unimproved lot would require payment of a monthly assessment, at present, of $46. “Ownership” is simply a code word that means “control” or “privacy.” And people must pay for control or privacy these days. Or submit to the vagaries of the world around us.


I started this blog very, very late this morning. I’m ending it very, very early (considering how late I started it). Apparently, I have little to say this morning. I have plenty to think, but little to say about it. That’s often a wise approach to the day, though I too frequently disregard wisdom in favor of decompression.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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