The conflicts that arose around the establishment and enforcement of building lines foreshadowed the events that followed the release of the report, demonstrating the doctrinal and governmental limits facing both professional planners like Gilbert and Olmsted and their local patrons and supporters in prominent civic organizations.
For planning proponents, the establishment of building lines enabled cities to widen streets without having to take improved land and, therefore, to pay less compensation under the power of eminent domain.
Building lines were among the oldest forms of municipal land use controls in New Haven.
His suggested solution to the shortcomings of municipal politics was the establishment of a permanent building lines commission, "constituted somewhat after the manner of a Park Commission and acting through a Building Line Bureau in the City Engineer's Department.
The reading of Olmsted's report at a February 1910 meeting of the Aldermanic Committee on Building Lines caused some controversy among property owners.
The Building Lines Commission, therefore, was a governmental entity intended to perform one regulatory task that the city charter had initially authorized almost ninety years before.
Even if the design had architectural merit, how did the council give itself permission to build 27 feet forward of one of the most famous building lines in Europe?
Alas, even if they conformed to the building line, there is no architectural merit in the two rectangular boxes Conwy council is bent upon rushing through.