# Why should RED-LINING be illegal?

## Should Red-Lining be illegal?

• ### No.

• Total voters
3

#### Alcoholic Actuary

##### Senior Member
I am quite familiar with redlining. I have many friends who either pay a large amount for insurance, or sometimes decide they can't afford it at all. Most of these people are middle class whites, but a few of them are considered wealthy. The wealthy are less affected and the insurance allows them to enjoy a high standard of living in a high risk area. I am speaking of flood insurance.

This is a case where the red lines are drawn by the government because left to themselves, insurance companies would not offer flood insurance of any kind. The government regulates the flood insurance market, so that rates are kept artificially low and any single provider is not exposed to excess risk.

The result is an interesting economic model in play. Flood insurance allows land to be developed which otherwise would not be economically viable for housing, due to the risk of losing it all in a given period of time. This development changes the geography enough to increase the risk of previously marginal areas, so overall flood risk increases. Some properties have been declared 50% (and higher) losses 3 or 4 times in the past 40 years.

None of this would have happened if not for government regulation which created a insurance market for high risk properties, by drawing a red line around an area and requiring insurance companies to sell flood insurance to any who can afford it. A home owner is not required to be insured, but no bank will finance an uninsured property, which drastically affects market price.

So, if red lining is a problem, the government has shown it has a remedy. It just depends on who needs to be remediated.
I don't think that's exactly right. NFIP is a government program that takes the premium and pays the losses. There is still no insurance 'market' for flood except for gaps in what the government doesn't cover. The economic model you are describing is a government subsidy to develop land that would otherwise be too risky to occupy.

There is still government regulation all over the insurance industry - particularly to personal lines carriers. It's just different than how flood insurance works. And if the current climate change storm trends continue, it will be increasingly difficult to find ANY kind of storm coverage from Oklahoma to Virgina down to the gulf.

aa
Close enough. There is no economic incentive for the private market to provide flood insurance because the at risk group is too small and too well defined. Banks require flood insurance before they issue a loan to anyone in the "Hundred Year" flood plain. This greatly increases the premium paying base. Development which increases the rate of runoff has expanded this plain, which has led to more regulation of land use.
Government flood insurance allows people to invest in property which no private insurer would touch, in other words, land that was reclined long before there was such a term.

If it works for geographically unviable land, it would work for the economically unviable land as well.
Correct, but I think that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac already tried to provide this kind of economic backstop to 'unviable land' (similar to the NFIP insurance backstop) but were met with less than stellar results. Perhaps not enough intrusion?

aa

#### Bronzeage

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
I am quite familiar with redlining. I have many friends who either pay a large amount for insurance, or sometimes decide they can't afford it at all. Most of these people are middle class whites, but a few of them are considered wealthy. The wealthy are less affected and the insurance allows them to enjoy a high standard of living in a high risk area. I am speaking of flood insurance.

This is a case where the red lines are drawn by the government because left to themselves, insurance companies would not offer flood insurance of any kind. The government regulates the flood insurance market, so that rates are kept artificially low and any single provider is not exposed to excess risk.

The result is an interesting economic model in play. Flood insurance allows land to be developed which otherwise would not be economically viable for housing, due to the risk of losing it all in a given period of time. This development changes the geography enough to increase the risk of previously marginal areas, so overall flood risk increases. Some properties have been declared 50% (and higher) losses 3 or 4 times in the past 40 years.

None of this would have happened if not for government regulation which created a insurance market for high risk properties, by drawing a red line around an area and requiring insurance companies to sell flood insurance to any who can afford it. A home owner is not required to be insured, but no bank will finance an uninsured property, which drastically affects market price.

So, if red lining is a problem, the government has shown it has a remedy. It just depends on who needs to be remediated.
I don't think that's exactly right. NFIP is a government program that takes the premium and pays the losses. There is still no insurance 'market' for flood except for gaps in what the government doesn't cover. The economic model you are describing is a government subsidy to develop land that would otherwise be too risky to occupy.

There is still government regulation all over the insurance industry - particularly to personal lines carriers. It's just different than how flood insurance works. And if the current climate change storm trends continue, it will be increasingly difficult to find ANY kind of storm coverage from Oklahoma to Virgina down to the gulf.

aa
Close enough. There is no economic incentive for the private market to provide flood insurance because the at risk group is too small and too well defined. Banks require flood insurance before they issue a loan to anyone in the "Hundred Year" flood plain. This greatly increases the premium paying base. Development which increases the rate of runoff has expanded this plain, which has led to more regulation of land use.
Government flood insurance allows people to invest in property which no private insurer would touch, in other words, land that was reclined long before there was such a term.

If it works for geographically unviable land, it would work for the economically unviable land as well.
Correct, but I think that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac already tried to provide this kind of economic backstop to 'unviable land' (similar to the NFIP insurance backstop) but were met with less than stellar results. Perhaps not enough intrusion?

aa
The sub prime mortgage debacle would need it's own thread.

#### Harry Bosch

##### Contributor
Technically, redlining was literally a bank circling a neighborhood on a map that they didn't want to do business with.
That's not what it meant around here several decades ago.
I don't think it meant that most places in the USA.

Realtors and banks had to do business. Showing or financing homes to people on the wrong side of the redline for their race would put them out of business. That started changing by 1975. By 1985, such overt racism would destroy your business as effectively as not doing so would have done in 1965.

Society has changed hugely in the last few decades. "Redlining" has become a dogwhistle word for one variant of social extremism.
Tom
Tom: I'm not sure that I'm following you. I'm a reformed banker. I was also an FDIC regulator for awhile. Redlining is literally circling a neighborhood that a bank wouldn't want to business. Often times it was because the homes were older (not as long economic life); sometimes in hazardous spill areas, lower income areas, minority areas. Fair lending act regulated redlinning. IOW, it's not allowed anymore.
I realize that de jure redlining is not allowed. Do you disagree that de facto redlining still occurs? I know it's a little long but the article I posted in #34 about recent discrimination based on race.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-modern-day-redlining-20180215-story.htmlNew Jersey-based TD Bank, which denied a higher proportion of black and Latino applicants than any other major lender, said it "makes credit decisions based on each Customer's credit profile, not on factors such as race or ethnicity."
Reveal's analysis included all records publicly available under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, covering nearly every time an American tried to buy a home with a conventional mortgage in 2015 and 2016. It controlled for nine economic and social factors, including an applicant's income, the amount of the loan, the ratio of the size of the loan to the applicant's income and the type of lender, as well as the racial makeup and median income of the neighborhood where the person wanted to buy property.
Well, the problem with redlinning is that it excluded many "good borrower's" from getting a loan. Residential lending criteria today is based on debt to income, credit score, appraised value, and etc. If someone doesn't have a strong enough debt to income, that means that they don't have the cash flow to service their loan adequately. A bank should never make a loan to a client who can't afford the loan. Same thing with credit score. If someone has poor credit, you're just setting them up to fail by financing a home to them. Appraisals are a different story. But at the end of the day, approving a loan to a customer who doesn't have the capacity to afford it or pay it back is doing them a great disservice. The worst mistake that I ever made as a commercial banker was financing a project that was just too tight. I loved the owners. Incredible family. But the project failed. It was too tight at the beginning. And they went bankrupt.
That’s not what I was talking about. I’m not talking about buyers who are financially unable to qualify for the loan. I’m talking about being offered different t rates compared to people whose skin tone or name suggested someone not sufficient fly Anglo. Appraisals, as you mentioned, are another thing—and another opportunity for lenders to, consciously or not, keep certain prospective home buyers out of the market.
Well, lenders have no control over appraisals. Federal regulation does not allow the banker to talk to the appraiser. Big separation there. Yes, offering a higher rate to someone with a different skin color is wrong. It's very bad for that bank also. But people need to shop around. There also is a very large group of minority bankers that people can seek out. I and several other minority bankers were in a group that presented directly to minority businesses. But if the bank that I worked out had a slightly higher rate than the white banker at the competing bank, people would go to that competing bank in a drop of a hat. So, it goes both ways sometimes.

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
That segment from John Oliver includes a lot of information on red-lining and how minorities were concentrated in areas that were subject to devaluation through industrial development, dumping, land seizures, etc. It is pertinent to lumpenproletariat's questions.

Did you watch the video? What did you think of that proposed pipeline in Memphis meandering through the predominantly black neighborhoods instead of taking the much shorter direct route through the predominantly white ones? The cost of construction per mile of pipeline is very high. What was it about going through the black neighborhoods that made it worth the added construction cost?

I watched that video. Among sad stories: The soil in East Chicago is too poisonous for children to play in; this was known for many years before residents were informed.

Lumpenproletariat, please provide the definition of red-lining that you are using. I don't want to get into a multipage discussion of the illegality of racial discrimination and the Constitution's purpose to "promote the general Welfare" only to discover that you aren't using the common one.
There used to be very real issues with redlining. However, these days the discrimination cops need cases to justify their jobs.

It's true that relevant players are motivated by love of money rather than hatred of blacks. But institutional racism still acts. One stat from the John Oliver segment is that Blacks earning $200,000 are exposed to more air pollution than Whites earning$25,000. So the racial income gap, while itself egregious, is not the full story.

Loren, have you watched the John Oliver segment?
Nothing is making them stay there.

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
I am quite familiar with redlining. I have many friends who either pay a large amount for insurance, or sometimes decide they can't afford it at all.

I am speaking of flood insurance.
I'm not sure why you are comparing flood insurance to racial segregation.
One is risk management. One is socially enforced race segregation.
Tom
You don't think that socially enforced race segregation is dressed up in risk management in order for white bankers and realtors and neighborhoods to feel secure and not 'racist?'
There's no enforced race segregation. And floods don't care about your skin color.

#### Trausti

##### Deleted
Nothing is making them stay there.
Truly. Whites making $25K are probably living in mobile homes. Surely Blacks making$200k can do the same if they wanted the clean air.

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Lumpenproletariat, please provide the definition of red-lining that you are using. I don't want to get into a multipage discussion of the illegality of racial discrimination and the Constitution's purpose to "promote the general Welfare" only to discover that you aren't using the common one.
There used to be very real issues with redlining. However, these days the discrimination cops need cases to justify their jobs.

Thus we get things like the claims of redlining some years back--paying no attention to the fact that what was going on makes more sense as the mortgage bankers considering another factor: expected appreciation.
Okay, nothing like self-fulfilling prophecy.
Which still doesn't address my point that it's the simplest assumption required to get a consistent picture.
Except the part where a bank is saying they won't loan money to the owner because in the future they won't see as much appreciation in the value of property because of the owner because of the race of the owner. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Except it isn't. It has no relationship to race, only to location. Locally it's exactly the area that is the part of town I certainly wouldn't go out at night and the lowest appreciation.

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Except the part where a bank is saying they won't loan money to the owner because in the future they won't see as much appreciation in the value of property because of the owner It is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Has this happened, in the last 30 years?
"because of the race of the owner."?

I don't think so. I think you're buying a bunch of crap from CRT proponents.
Tom
Loren isn't much of a CRT'er. He stated it, not me.
No, you jumped to a conclusion that's not valid.

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Maybe you don’t understand what redlining means.

This is truly worth the read. Unfortunately my ability to cut and paste is really limited at the moment.
Sorry, but that article is long on disparate impact = discrimination and short on documentation.

"I had a fair amount of savings and still had so much trouble just left and right," said Rachelle Faroul, a 33-year-old black woman who was rejected twice by lenders when she tried to buy a brick row house close to Malcolm X Park in Philadelphia, where African Americans were 2.7 times as likely as whites to be denied a conventional mortgage.
But no evidence about qualifications. Those who have little experience with the mortgage process are a lot more likely to be denied--because they don't know the things that will trip them up. The experienced people are much more likely to know what will stop them and not try in the first place if they won't qualify.

No matter their location, loan applicants told similar stories, describing an uphill battle with loan officers who they said seemed to be fishing for a reason to say no.
Duh! That's their job! They are making sure there is no reason to say no.

When Faroul applied for a loan in April 2016, she thought she was an ideal candidate. She holds a degree from Northwestern University, had a good credit score and estimates she was making $60,000 a year while teaching computer programming as a contractor for Rutgers University. Still, her initial loan application was denied by Philadelphia Mortgage Advisors, an independent broker that made nearly 90 percent of its loans to whites in 2015 and 2016. "I'm sorry," broker Angela Tobin wrote to Faroul in an email. Faroul's contract income wasn't consistent enough, she said. So Faroul got a full-time job at the University of Pennsylvania managing a million-dollar grant. Keyword: Contractor The rules are more strict for those who don't have a standard paycheck. Eventually, an unpaid$284 electric bill appeared on Faroul's credit report. She paid the bill right away, but it still tanked her credit score, and the bank said it couldn't move forward.
Duh, again! Paying the bill doesn't make the credit ding go away. If you can't even keep your finances straight while applying why do you think they should give you a mortgage?
The loan officer had "completely stopped answering Rachelle's phone calls, just ignored all of them," Franz said. "And then I called, and he answered almost immediately. And is so friendly."
Yet another duh! Why would a loan officer waste time on an application that had already been rejected?

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Crime Score and Credit Score are routinely used in insurance and lending underwriting standards and rating. The redlining occurs when those same criteria are used as a substitute or proxy for race. I've always been on the other side of that argument - I'd love to insure the drug lord's house:
1. I can get more premium if it's in a higher crime area
2. No one is going to rob the drug lord
3. If someone did, they have "internal controls" to deal with it other than filing a claim and drawing attention to themselves

aa
There's basically zero risk of a theft claim but you could get a nasty payout from someone taking out the drug lord.

And with insurance the companies are generally required to tell the state how premiums are set. They'll have a hard time discriminating on race, although some things may end up showing a racial pattern anyway.

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Technically, redlining was literally a bank circling a neighborhood on a map that they didn't want to do business with. It was generally older areas with older homes. It was thought that these homes couldn't support a 30 year economic life (banks like to finance assets that have a longer life than the term of their loan). These areas tended to be owned by minorities.
Quite sensible. Like you will have quite a time getting a loan to buy an older mobile home. While it shouldn't be decided at the neighborhood level it's completely reasonable for a bank to not loan on an asset that won't outlast the loan.

#### Toni

##### Contributor
Maybe you don’t understand what redlining means.

This is truly worth the read. Unfortunately my ability to cut and paste is really limited at the moment.
Sorry, but that article is long on disparate impact = discrimination and short on documentation.

"I had a fair amount of savings and still had so much trouble just left and right," said Rachelle Faroul, a 33-year-old black woman who was rejected twice by lenders when she tried to buy a brick row house close to Malcolm X Park in Philadelphia, where African Americans were 2.7 times as likely as whites to be denied a conventional mortgage.
But no evidence about qualifications. Those who have little experience with the mortgage process are a lot more likely to be denied--because they don't know the things that will trip them up. The experienced people are much more likely to know what will stop them and not try in the first place if they won't qualify.

No matter their location, loan applicants told similar stories, describing an uphill battle with loan officers who they said seemed to be fishing for a reason to say no.
Duh! That's their job! They are making sure there is no reason to say no.

When Faroul applied for a loan in April 2016, she thought she was an ideal candidate. She holds a degree from Northwestern University, had a good credit score and estimates she was making $60,000 a year while teaching computer programming as a contractor for Rutgers University. Still, her initial loan application was denied by Philadelphia Mortgage Advisors, an independent broker that made nearly 90 percent of its loans to whites in 2015 and 2016. "I'm sorry," broker Angela Tobin wrote to Faroul in an email. Faroul's contract income wasn't consistent enough, she said. So Faroul got a full-time job at the University of Pennsylvania managing a million-dollar grant. Keyword: Contractor The rules are more strict for those who don't have a standard paycheck. Eventually, an unpaid$284 electric bill appeared on Faroul's credit report. She paid the bill right away, but it still tanked her credit score, and the bank said it couldn't move forward.
Duh, again! Paying the bill doesn't make the credit ding go away. If you can't even keep your finances straight while applying why do you think they should give you a mortgage?
The loan officer had "completely stopped answering Rachelle's phone calls, just ignored all of them," Franz said. "And then I called, and he answered almost immediately. And is so friendly."
Yet another duh! Why would a loan officer waste time on an application that had already been rejected?
Key word: racism

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Close enough. There is no economic incentive for the private market to provide flood insurance because the at risk group is too small and too well defined. Banks require flood insurance before they issue a loan to anyone in the "Hundred Year" flood plain. This greatly increases the premium paying base. Development which increases the rate of runoff has expanded this plain, which has led to more regulation of land use.
Government flood insurance allows people to invest in property which no private insurer would touch, in other words, land that was reclined long before there was such a term.

If it works for geographically unviable land, it would work for the economically unviable land as well.
But why should we be subsidizing living on geographically nonviable land??

(Although I would like to see how they're doing their 100-year calculations. When this place was built we had to have flood insurance that year. The next year we weren't in the 100-year floodplain any more and we dropped it. Looking at the area it would be nearly impossible to flood our house--it would take either a wall of water or an incredible amount of it to avoid it simply running down the street. Our fence is one block higher on the west side than the east side and I know at least some other houses on the street are the same way--while I've never measured it there's no question we are multiple feet higher than half a block away. While we don't get a lot of rain here it can be very concentrated and I certainly would not consider buying a house where the water wouldn't just run down the street.)

#### Bronzeage

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Close enough. There is no economic incentive for the private market to provide flood insurance because the at risk group is too small and too well defined. Banks require flood insurance before they issue a loan to anyone in the "Hundred Year" flood plain. This greatly increases the premium paying base. Development which increases the rate of runoff has expanded this plain, which has led to more regulation of land use.
Government flood insurance allows people to invest in property which no private insurer would touch, in other words, land that was reclined long before there was such a term.

If it works for geographically unviable land, it would work for the economically unviable land as well.
But why should we be subsidizing living on geographically nonviable land??

(Although I would like to see how they're doing their 100-year calculations. When this place was built we had to have flood insurance that year. The next year we weren't in the 100-year floodplain any more and we dropped it. Looking at the area it would be nearly impossible to flood our house--it would take either a wall of water or an incredible amount of it to avoid it simply running down the street. Our fence is one block higher on the west side than the east side and I know at least some other houses on the street are the same way--while I've never measured it there's no question we are multiple feet higher than half a block away. While we don't get a lot of rain here it can be very concentrated and I certainly would not consider buying a house where the water wouldn't just run down the street.)
I don't think the government should be living on geographically nonviable land, but as the old saying goes, "It's not what you know, but who you know." Back when the Indonesian Tsunami was all in the news, a conservative friend thought it was strange that in the US, only rich people could afford water front property, but over there it seemed to be the poorest. I tried to explain how government intervention in the marketplace for the benefit of people like her was the reason. She couldn't understand what I was saying.

The hundred year flood plain is a standard model used by civil engineers. It's a combination of history and statistical projection. In my lifetime, I've seen three 100 year floods, for what that's worth.

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Close enough. There is no economic incentive for the private market to provide flood insurance because the at risk group is too small and too well defined. Banks require flood insurance before they issue a loan to anyone in the "Hundred Year" flood plain. This greatly increases the premium paying base. Development which increases the rate of runoff has expanded this plain, which has led to more regulation of land use.
Government flood insurance allows people to invest in property which no private insurer would touch, in other words, land that was reclined long before there was such a term.

If it works for geographically unviable land, it would work for the economically unviable land as well.
But why should we be subsidizing living on geographically nonviable land??

(Although I would like to see how they're doing their 100-year calculations. When this place was built we had to have flood insurance that year. The next year we weren't in the 100-year floodplain any more and we dropped it. Looking at the area it would be nearly impossible to flood our house--it would take either a wall of water or an incredible amount of it to avoid it simply running down the street. Our fence is one block higher on the west side than the east side and I know at least some other houses on the street are the same way--while I've never measured it there's no question we are multiple feet higher than half a block away. While we don't get a lot of rain here it can be very concentrated and I certainly would not consider buying a house where the water wouldn't just run down the street.)
I don't think the government should be living on geographically nonviable land, but as the old saying goes, "It's not what you know, but who you know." Back when the Indonesian Tsunami was all in the news, a conservative friend thought it was strange that in the US, only rich people could afford water front property, but over there it seemed to be the poorest. I tried to explain how government intervention in the marketplace for the benefit of people like her was the reason. She couldn't understand what I was saying.

Yeah, for many years now I have been saying that if your property is destroyed by a large-area natural disaster the land should be zoned such that only structures that can stand up to that disaster are allowed to be built there, other than expendable stuff that is specifically is not permitted long term inhabitation. (Thus you can have a business renting out beachfront cabanas or bungalows or the like, but you simply have to consider their periodic destruction a normal part of business.)

The hundred year flood plain is a standard model used by civil engineers. It's a combination of history and statistical projection. In my lifetime, I've seen three 100 year floods, for what that's worth.
What I'm saying about the local situation is that I can't imagine the area flooding because it's not a plain. Dump a bunch of water on it and it goes running down the gullies (that is, before the builder graded the land.) I most certainly would not want to be standing in such a gully in a downpour, but I would be at no flood risk standing between two gullies. The way they grade the land during construction ends up being the streets are the gullies, the houses are the space between the gullies. Our old house was in similar terrain--and maybe once a year enough water would go down the main streets to make them impassable, but the neighborhood never had water even reaching the sidewalk. Since we bought this place I've never seen that kind of water on the main streets but the pattern remains--the housing areas simply do not have long enough sections to build up that kind of water.

You do see people in the city that got flooded now and then, but they're always people living in flatter areas.

#### Bronzeage

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Close enough. There is no economic incentive for the private market to provide flood insurance because the at risk group is too small and too well defined. Banks require flood insurance before they issue a loan to anyone in the "Hundred Year" flood plain. This greatly increases the premium paying base. Development which increases the rate of runoff has expanded this plain, which has led to more regulation of land use.
Government flood insurance allows people to invest in property which no private insurer would touch, in other words, land that was reclined long before there was such a term.

If it works for geographically unviable land, it would work for the economically unviable land as well.
But why should we be subsidizing living on geographically nonviable land??

(Although I would like to see how they're doing their 100-year calculations. When this place was built we had to have flood insurance that year. The next year we weren't in the 100-year floodplain any more and we dropped it. Looking at the area it would be nearly impossible to flood our house--it would take either a wall of water or an incredible amount of it to avoid it simply running down the street. Our fence is one block higher on the west side than the east side and I know at least some other houses on the street are the same way--while I've never measured it there's no question we are multiple feet higher than half a block away. While we don't get a lot of rain here it can be very concentrated and I certainly would not consider buying a house where the water wouldn't just run down the street.)
I don't think the government should be living on geographically nonviable land, but as the old saying goes, "It's not what you know, but who you know." Back when the Indonesian Tsunami was all in the news, a conservative friend thought it was strange that in the US, only rich people could afford water front property, but over there it seemed to be the poorest. I tried to explain how government intervention in the marketplace for the benefit of people like her was the reason. She couldn't understand what I was saying.

Yeah, for many years now I have been saying that if your property is destroyed by a large-area natural disaster the land should be zoned such that only structures that can stand up to that disaster are allowed to be built there, other than expendable stuff that is specifically is not permitted long term inhabitation. (Thus you can have a business renting out beachfront cabanas or bungalows or the like, but you simply have to consider their periodic destruction a normal part of business.)

The hundred year flood plain is a standard model used by civil engineers. It's a combination of history and statistical projection. In my lifetime, I've seen three 100 year floods, for what that's worth.
What I'm saying about the local situation is that I can't imagine the area flooding because it's not a plain. Dump a bunch of water on it and it goes running down the gullies (that is, before the builder graded the land.) I most certainly would not want to be standing in such a gully in a downpour, but I would be at no flood risk standing between two gullies. The way they grade the land during construction ends up being the streets are the gullies, the houses are the space between the gullies. Our old house was in similar terrain--and maybe once a year enough water would go down the main streets to make them impassable, but the neighborhood never had water even reaching the sidewalk. Since we bought this place I've never seen that kind of water on the main streets but the pattern remains--the housing areas simply do not have long enough sections to build up that kind of water.

You do see people in the city that got flooded now and then, but they're always people living in flatter areas.
Hydrology is a subset of civil engineering and like all engineering, there is a balance between risk, precaution, and cost. Your proposal for disaster resistance would make a house in Wichita, Kansas very expensive it had to be able to stand up to a F3 tornado.

A natural environment can absorb a lot of water before it appears in the drainage system. Development such as roofs and roads means water runs more directly into the drainage and down stream. In my neighborhood, there are now laws restricting land use. If someone wants to put a shopping center in a cow pasture, an engineer has to determine what the current rate of water run is and the developer has to maintain this rate for whatever is built. It's common to see a small pond in the corner of a parking lot. The parking lot drains into the pond and water outflow is restricted. When it quits raining, the pond drains slowly, imitating the former cow pasture. This requirement has made many shopping center projects unviable because after the pond takes it's share of the land, there's not enough left for a profitable operation. In some places, there is a large vault under the parking lot, which collects the water. It's expensive, but you get more parking spaces. That's not practical if the water table is close to the surface because the vault would float up out of the ground when it was empty.

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Hydrology is a subset of civil engineering and like all engineering, there is a balance between risk, precaution, and cost. Your proposal for disaster resistance would make a house in Wichita, Kansas very expensive it had to be able to stand up to a F3 tornado.

It would only make building a house expensive--I'm not saying anything needs to be retrofit. And it's not that expensive to build for a F3. Concrete domes will generally shrug off a F5. It won't look anything like a conventional house but it will work.

A natural environment can absorb a lot of water before it appears in the drainage system. Development such as roofs and roads means water runs more directly into the drainage and down stream. In my neighborhood, there are now laws restricting land use. If someone wants to put a shopping center in a cow pasture, an engineer has to determine what the current rate of water run is and the developer has to maintain this rate for whatever is built. It's common to see a small pond in the corner of a parking lot. The parking lot drains into the pond and water outflow is restricted. When it quits raining, the pond drains slowly, imitating the former cow pasture. This requirement has made many shopping center projects unviable because after the pond takes it's share of the land, there's not enough left for a profitable operation. In some places, there is a large vault under the parking lot, which collects the water. It's expensive, but you get more parking spaces. That's not practical if the water table is close to the surface because the vault would float up out of the ground when it was empty.

Around here water absorption into the ground in a heavy rain is limited, the water runs off. Woe to anyone in the path it runs off to, but in most of the city you just make sure there's plenty of place to run off to and that the houses are a bit above the streets. A cul-de-sac that goes downhill is a bad idea, but most of us just see a bunch of water rushing down the street--dangerous to pedestrians but it's not going to do a thing to anybody's house.

#### Bronzeage

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Hydrology is a subset of civil engineering and like all engineering, there is a balance between risk, precaution, and cost. Your proposal for disaster resistance would make a house in Wichita, Kansas very expensive it had to be able to stand up to a F3 tornado.

It would only make building a house expensive--I'm not saying anything needs to be retrofit. And it's not that expensive to build for a F3. Concrete domes will generally shrug off a F5. It won't look anything like a conventional house but it will work.

A natural environment can absorb a lot of water before it appears in the drainage system. Development such as roofs and roads means water runs more directly into the drainage and down stream. In my neighborhood, there are now laws restricting land use. If someone wants to put a shopping center in a cow pasture, an engineer has to determine what the current rate of water run is and the developer has to maintain this rate for whatever is built. It's common to see a small pond in the corner of a parking lot. The parking lot drains into the pond and water outflow is restricted. When it quits raining, the pond drains slowly, imitating the former cow pasture. This requirement has made many shopping center projects unviable because after the pond takes it's share of the land, there's not enough left for a profitable operation. In some places, there is a large vault under the parking lot, which collects the water. It's expensive, but you get more parking spaces. That's not practical if the water table is close to the surface because the vault would float up out of the ground when it was empty.

Around here water absorption into the ground in a heavy rain is limited, the water runs off. Woe to anyone in the path it runs off to, but in most of the city you just make sure there's plenty of place to run off to and that the houses are a bit above the streets. A cul-de-sac that goes downhill is a bad idea, but most of us just see a bunch of water rushing down the street--dangerous to pedestrians but it's not going to do a thing to anybody's house.
Concrete domes? I want to be sitting in the back at the city council meeting where this building code is introduced.

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Hydrology is a subset of civil engineering and like all engineering, there is a balance between risk, precaution, and cost. Your proposal for disaster resistance would make a house in Wichita, Kansas very expensive it had to be able to stand up to a F3 tornado.

It would only make building a house expensive--I'm not saying anything needs to be retrofit. And it's not that expensive to build for a F3. Concrete domes will generally shrug off a F5. It won't look anything like a conventional house but it will work.

A natural environment can absorb a lot of water before it appears in the drainage system. Development such as roofs and roads means water runs more directly into the drainage and down stream. In my neighborhood, there are now laws restricting land use. If someone wants to put a shopping center in a cow pasture, an engineer has to determine what the current rate of water run is and the developer has to maintain this rate for whatever is built. It's common to see a small pond in the corner of a parking lot. The parking lot drains into the pond and water outflow is restricted. When it quits raining, the pond drains slowly, imitating the former cow pasture. This requirement has made many shopping center projects unviable because after the pond takes it's share of the land, there's not enough left for a profitable operation. In some places, there is a large vault under the parking lot, which collects the water. It's expensive, but you get more parking spaces. That's not practical if the water table is close to the surface because the vault would float up out of the ground when it was empty.

Around here water absorption into the ground in a heavy rain is limited, the water runs off. Woe to anyone in the path it runs off to, but in most of the city you just make sure there's plenty of place to run off to and that the houses are a bit above the streets. A cul-de-sac that goes downhill is a bad idea, but most of us just see a bunch of water rushing down the street--dangerous to pedestrians but it's not going to do a thing to anybody's house.
Concrete domes? I want to be sitting in the back at the city council meeting where this building code is introduced.
They're legal now.

#### Bronzeage

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Hydrology is a subset of civil engineering and like all engineering, there is a balance between risk, precaution, and cost. Your proposal for disaster resistance would make a house in Wichita, Kansas very expensive it had to be able to stand up to a F3 tornado.

It would only make building a house expensive--I'm not saying anything needs to be retrofit. And it's not that expensive to build for a F3. Concrete domes will generally shrug off a F5. It won't look anything like a conventional house but it will work.

A natural environment can absorb a lot of water before it appears in the drainage system. Development such as roofs and roads means water runs more directly into the drainage and down stream. In my neighborhood, there are now laws restricting land use. If someone wants to put a shopping center in a cow pasture, an engineer has to determine what the current rate of water run is and the developer has to maintain this rate for whatever is built. It's common to see a small pond in the corner of a parking lot. The parking lot drains into the pond and water outflow is restricted. When it quits raining, the pond drains slowly, imitating the former cow pasture. This requirement has made many shopping center projects unviable because after the pond takes it's share of the land, there's not enough left for a profitable operation. In some places, there is a large vault under the parking lot, which collects the water. It's expensive, but you get more parking spaces. That's not practical if the water table is close to the surface because the vault would float up out of the ground when it was empty.

Around here water absorption into the ground in a heavy rain is limited, the water runs off. Woe to anyone in the path it runs off to, but in most of the city you just make sure there's plenty of place to run off to and that the houses are a bit above the streets. A cul-de-sac that goes downhill is a bad idea, but most of us just see a bunch of water rushing down the street--dangerous to pedestrians but it's not going to do a thing to anybody's house.
Concrete domes? I want to be sitting in the back at the city council meeting where this building code is introduced.
They're legal now.
There is a difference between being legal and being required by law. Consider how many houses in Wichita have never been destroyed by a tornado. If tornados are such an imminent threat that concrete dome houses would justify the expense, it would be better not to live there at all.

#### Alcoholic Actuary

##### Senior Member
Tornados to southeast US: "We're not in Kansas anymore."

Welcome to Climate Change!

Concrete domes in Kansas are also horrible structures for EQ and earth movement - which are much more likely perils in KS than tornados.

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