Local News

Standing Room Only for Hearing Over Proposal to Curb McMansions

Posted November 21, 2007 12:35 a.m. EST
Updated November 21, 2007 6:08 a.m. EST

— A controversial plan that could limit the size of a home in Raleigh drew a packed crowd Tuesday night.

Driving the proposal is concern over so-called "McMansions," which homeowners of older residences say detract from the character of their neighborhoods.

But folks against zoning regulations under consideration by the City Council came out in droves for Tuesday's public hearing. They argue that tight restrictions would cause home values to drop and limit property rights.

“The measure is too restrictive. It puts the entire city under a one-size-fits-all solution,” opponent Kristen Monahan said.

“Your actions may very well cause the value in people's homes to disappear,” Wake County Commissioner Paul Coble said.

“Come up with something that meets the needs for the community as well as the rights of property,” homeowner Allen Burris said.

The proposal would increase required setbacks from property lines from 5 feet to 10 feet on either side of the house and from 20 to 30 feet in the back yard and reduce the maximum height of homes from 40 feet to 32 feet.

Almost 600 homes have been knocked down in Raleigh in the last five years to make way for larger residences, with most of the activity concentrated inside the Beltline north of Wade Avenue and west of Wake Forest Road, according to a city report released in September.

Those sites are known as "scrapes."

There is also another proposal that would put more restrictions on a new home that replaces an older home. Raleigh's city planners said that would not be debated until next month.