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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 1, no. 16: July 4, 1868

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AND BUILDERSV GUIDE. Vol. L] • ■ NEW YORK- SATURDAY, JULY 4, 1868. [No. 16 PUBLTSKED WEEKLY BY c; w: SWEET & 'do,, EooAi B, AVOP.LD Building, No, 37 Park Eoav, TEEMS, . Six months, payable in advance................. $3 00 PEICE OP ADVEETISING, 1 square, ten lines, three months.......'..........$10 00 1 square, single insertion.......................... 1 00 Special Notices, per line.,.:...................... 20 ARCADIAN VILLAGES. The simplicity of a "lovely Auburn," of Avliich Goldsmith, so tenderly -wrote, has been resuscitated even in this, our age, at tlie'\allage of Vineland, New Jersey, -where a settlement has been formed upon the most primitive principles of municipal virtue. According to newspaper accouuts, a phenomenal settlement has recently been formed at this place, Avhich attempts to emulate in virtue and surpass in enterprise some of those unsophisticated vil¬ lages on the banks of the St. LaAvrence, Avhere the inhabitants live the peaceful liveg of a community far removed from the vices, frivoli¬ ties, and ambitions of great capitals. This infant toAvn is not yet even in its teens, for only eight years ago it Avas a barren wilderness. At that period Mr. C. K. Landis bought some forty-eight square miles of pine Avildemess, and proceeded immediately to locate a colony upon it under peculiar, though beneficial re¬ strictions, some of which are as folloAvs: No settler may purchase more than tAventy acres of land, though, generaUy, not more than from five to ten is OAvned by one man, and all Avho purchase are obliged by contract to erect a house Avithin a year before receiving the title deeds. This prevents speculation and increases population. One of the regulations prohibits the erection of fences, and enjoins that each house be placed twenty-five feet back from the road, the side-Avalk of which is to be grassed and lined Avith trees. Each dAveUing is em¬ bowered in orchards of fruit trees, Avhich rise amidst gardens of vegetables, small fruits, and flowers. In fact, among this community of eleven thousand people, there is no great afflu¬ ence nor any squalid poverty, everybody being comfortably off, because no bad influences are allowed to operate, in the Avay of rum shops, &c. To carry out these ideas for any great length of time, among a large population, would be Utopian; but yet the idea in the main points is good, and deserving of imi¬ tation. For example, if some of those gentle¬ men who have recently invested largely in suburban properigr, were to enforce compulsory improvements before a_ delivery of the title deeds, less land would be held on mere specula¬ tion, and more settled on, thereby conductog to the general value of the property. This idea has certainly been partially adopted in some of the recent large sales in New Jersey, where land was offered at a nominal value, provided the purchaser would erect thereon, before the year, a -villa, the value of which was not to be less than $3,000 ; but then there were no laws insuring a freedom from nuisances of aU sorts. One good feature, also, is the pro¬ hibition of fences, Avhich are at best but ex¬ pensive nuisances, that detract from the beauty. of the landscape ; and as domestic animals, such as cows, poultry, and pigs, should be penned up and not allowed to roam at large, they are not by any means indispensable. This novel idea in the location of settle¬ ments might be carried out to great advantage in many of those suburban toAvns Avhich are being laid out all around the city, by merely inserting clauses in the title deeds simUar to these given at Vineland. Should there be a bridge over the East or North lliver, it would be easily possible to locate advantageously a square mile of territory upon the railroads over such a bridge on the same principle as Vine- land, Avhere every advantage of a respectable society and the absence of a city's evils Avould be insured. A general aiTangement of this kind Avould prevent many of tho evils that arise from locating toAvns in unhealthy locali¬ ties, such as one may see at the back of Hobo¬ ken and Jersey City, where houses have been erected in a reeking swamp, Avhere they should never have existed had there been some fore¬ cast shoAvn by those who originated and laid out their sites. The time is coming when sanitary science will be brought into play in the foundation of towns and cities. The Corportion Counsel has been requested to give his opinion as to the legality of the acts of the Board of Councilmen during the year 18C8, It is generally regarded as a plain principle of law, that an act is constitutional until it is declared unconstitutional, and so it must be in this case. To declare the acts passed since January 1, 1868, by the Common Council illegal, would involve the city, as Avell as indi- Ariduals, in unnecessary litigation; and surely we have had enough of expense arising from this and similar legislative " muddles." It is a sad commentary upon our system of government and our laws, and expensive, too, Avithal. It is na- tiu-aUy, though it may be impertinently, asked, when Avill we have an end of this special legis¬ lation, which gives rise to so much question about the right, and so much litigation and ex¬ pense ? It would seem that our legitimate ex¬ pense were heavy enough Avithout ha-ving to bear the expense of determining Avhether every other law on our statute book affecting the government of oitr city is constitutioxial or not. If the principle on which this act extending the terms of office of the Councilmen is deem, ed unconstitutional, viz., that every act of the Legislature should be expressed in its title, and this was surreptitiou.sly inserted in the Tax Le-vy, the Board of the previous year must also have been an unconstitutional one, inas¬ much as it was created and existed under a provision of a section of the LcA-y for that year. Not until the people elect men to the Legisla¬ ture Avho can have some knoAvledge of the effect of laws, and how to frame them so as to avoid constitutional questions arising out of them, and not until some deference and obe¬ dience to a Constitution and LaAV can be ob¬ served by our Legislators, can Ave expect to see such a change as will secure to us immu¬ nity from such conflicting acts as these of which this Councilmanic muddle is a notable in-stance, Verbum sapienti sujficit, speramus. BUY A LOT. It is pleasant to notice that the same impulse (or instinct, is it ?) Avhich induces the wealthy to invest their savings in real estate, is also opera¬ ting among the comparatively poor, who, by means of cooperative land associations and other agencies, are getting possession of lots and houses upon which to found permanent homes. The horse-car railAvay system, by Avhich population can spread over tolerably Avide areas cheaply and Avith expedition, haa put cheap land within reach of the poor; and the latter have not been slow to avail them¬ selves of the chance to secure at least the be¬ ginning of a home. This is at once a conservative and reforming tendency in the life of our large cities. So long as the poor voter is homeless, or a mere tenant, he cares but little for the kind of municipal officers he selects; but, once he has a stake in the community, he avUI see to it that he does not vote for Councilmen or Legislators Avho Avill raise his taxes or otherwise rob him. A home of his OAvn gives a man self-respect, and adds to his value in the household, society, and the nation. Employers should foster this disposition among their Avorkmen to secure homes of their own. A mechanic Avill not vote against the interests of capital when he is himself a capi¬ talist in a small Avay. Hence, encouragement should be given to the ncAv toAATis which far- seeing real estatfe operators are locating aU around New York city. As oxir railway sys¬ tem extends, population will be throAvn out to greater^ and still greater distances ; and an investor can scarcely miss it who invests his fcAV hundreds of dollars anywhere Avithin twenty miles of our City HaU. LA