The "Pointe System" was Grosse Pointe's formal means of property owner discrimination. Much consternation arose from its exposure. Private detectives working for Grosse Pointe realtors and the Grosse Pointe Property Owner's Association filled out a questionnaire on prospective Grosse Pointers, which asked some of the following:

  1. 1.  If not American born, how long have the applicants  lived in this country?
  2. Is their way of living typically American?
  3. Are the husbands immediate associates typical?
  4. Are their friends predominantly typically?
  5. Appearances- swarthy, slightly swarthy or not at all?
  6. Accents- pronounced, medium, slight, not at all?
  7. What is the husbands position as distinguished from his occupation?
  8. How does this position stand in the publics estimation?
  9. Dress- neat, sloppy, flashy or conservative?
  10. Grammar- good, fair, or poor?

The maximum score for the survey was 100. A score of 50 was acceptable for many persons. However, persons of Polish descent had to score 55, Greeks 65, Italians 75 and Jewish people 85.  There were no ratings for Negroes or Orientals. This prospective resident assessment surprised many Grosse Pointers themselves when it was exposed by State Attorney General Paul Adams in 1960. By that time it had been secretly used for 15 years. Many residents did not realize they had entered the community under such scrutiny.

June 5, 1960 New York Times, Section 8, page 1 column 5. / Time Magazine, April 25, 1960 volume 75 page 25. 

Fire hydrants, fire zones & various forms of no parking areas are implemented to keep people from outside the neighborhood to park & take walks. The same use of fire hydrants is used to block off streets (i.e.: Grayton & Mack). The use of one-way streets, dead-end streets, turnabouts & cul-de-sacs not only direct traffic but also are exclusive to the surrounding communities. 


Restrictive covenants, excluding African Americans from white areas, that began as private agreements but then were adopted as explicit public policy. Also known as Deed Restrictions (below).



Also known as racial covenants, this was a powerful instrument of segregation used in American cities before the 1968 Fair Housing Act. The wording in these Deeds were blatant, baring people who were not of the specific white race from owning property. Often the restrictions would be a mandatory stipulation of the lender, in order to grant the developer money.

Racial steering refers to the illegal practice whereby real estate brokers guide prospective homebuyers towards or away from certain neighborhoods based on their race.


Community parks and Library passes are given to residents only. The passes come with numerous restrictions such as guest, noise, pet and attire. 


Restrictive land use and building codes in cities limit housing construction (and therefore housing supply), leading to increased costs, worse affordability problems, and deepened inequality in urban centers. *Richard Florida / CityLab

Examples of Zoning: Density Restrictions, Open Space, Supply, Height, Historical, Commercial / Residential / Mixed use and so on. Delaying approval, policy and complicating the process aids in manipulating land use.