Wednesday, January 13, 2010

City crackdown on teardowns?

Plans for super-sized homes in older neighborhoods could face tougher scrutiny under new city guidelines being unveiled Thursday.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department proposes changing zoning rules to require more space on either side of a tall house in established neighborhoods.

The city included this photo as an example of how infill development "needs to consider the context of adjacent structures." (It's the "Extreme Makeover" house built in Windsor Park in east Charlotte in 2008.)

For years, residents have raised concerns about massive houses going up and changing the character of older neighborhoods made up primarily of smaller homes. In 2004, such quality of life and zoning issues were raised during a meeting of 22 neighborhoods.

The city provided the following illustration to show how the proposed teardown rule could work.

The drawing shows how at in an existing older neighborhood, the side yard would have to increase by 5 feet for every foot increase in height over 40 feet.

Click here to view all the proposed changes.

Check out tomorrow's Observer for the full story.

- Karen Sullivan, Doug Miller


Tase Malvern said...

Wha? 40 feet tall is a 4-story house. How is a rule that doesn't kick in until THAT height going to change anything?

Fred Rice said...

A welcomed effort, particularly by those of us who live in and love "older neighborhoods." The re-subdividing of older residential lots contributes to overloads of aged utilities, older narrow streets without sidewalks, etc., and generally damages or destroys old-growth trees.

Developers, builders, and realtors take their short-term profits and leave property owners and the City of Charlotte to pay for the true long-term costs that will surely follow.

The "interested parties" are not only the developers, builders, and realtors, but rather the larger population that lives within a neighborhood and within a community, which challenges us to work for the greater good, not just a quick profit.

The question should not be "How much can we build," but rather "How good can we build?"