March 29, 2006

CNN.com - Communities march against 'McMansions' - Mar 27, 2006

Piece on CNN about communities fighting to maintain their character in the face of redevelopment. Set in Delray Beach Fla. it highlihgts the fight to maintain older homes in the face of redevelopment of large singel family homes. Is this starting to sound familiar. The article casts the Mcmansion phenomenon in an urban environment, not the way I usually see the term Mcmansion used. In any event, the loss of community character is a familiar theme on the Outer Banks. I guess its good to know that we are not the only one's struggling with this issue. What is deprssing is the lack of answers or even sensitivity that local governments show to the issue.

In Atlanta, the City Council last month rejected by an 11-3 vote a proposed 120-day ban on construction of McMansions in five neighborhoods.
"You would have thought it was the second burning of Atlanta," said Councilwoman Mary Norwood, who drafted the plan. She said the Atlanta Board of Realtors mounted a massive campaign to defeat the measure.
Last year, leaders in Arlington County, Virginia, adopted limits on home sizes that, in most cases, means a house alone can occupy just 30 percent of a lot.
Officials in Lewes, Delaware, the state's oldest town dating to 1631, recognized the rash of demolitions in historic neighborhoods and instituted a design review process for construction projects.
Nags Head has update in its "initiative" to protect historic properties on the ocean front. I use quotes because the community to be regulated doesn't seem to see the problem with quite the same fervor that some elected officials (now former elected officials) seem to hold. Kind of the reverse of the situation in the CNN piece.
I am increasinly struck by the appearance of new homes in Nags Head. The archectural standards are making a difference and are increasingly showing up in other communities. There is a new home going up along the bypass in Kitty Hawk that would get at least 100 points under Nags Head system.

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