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Thread: National McMansion Backlash

  1. #1
    Lakewooder Lakewooder's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    Lakewood - Junius Heights

    National McMansion Backlash

    The swelling McMansion backlash
    Local governments and ordinary citizens are saying 'no' to so-called Hummer houses and starter castles. Tactics include energy-consumption restrictions, petitions and outright building moratoriums.

    By Christopher Solomon

    Sidebar: 5 ways to fight back
    For many homeowners, less is so much more
    6 ways to maximize room
    Release the zoning hounds: The McMansion backlash has begun.

    Reeling from the towering megahouses that have been cropping up in neighborhoods nationwide, communities aren't just standing by and letting them flourish unchallenged anymore.

    From Atlanta to Austin, Texas, and beyond, more governments have started imposing stricter building limits and even temporarily halted new construction while they try to get a handle on the explosion of these 4,000- to-10,000-square-foot homes, sometimes sneeringly called "garage mahals," "Hummer houses" or "starter castles."

    "It's happening in lots of places," John Nolon, counsel to the Land Use Law Center at Pace Law School in New York, said of the backlash.

    Super-size me
    A drive around many American neighborhoods confirms it: Today’s homes are big. No, not big -- huge. The average American home swelled from 983 square feet in 1950 to 2,349 square feet in 2004 -- a 140% increase in size. And everything about them is bigger, from their three- and four-car garages to the professional-grade stoves and refrigerators. In 2004, 43% of new homes had 9-foot ceilings, up from less than 15% in the 1980s.

    Outsized houses, and criticism of them, isn’t new -- it’s happened since the Gilded Age, said Robert Lang, a professor and the director of the Metropolitan Institute, a research institute tied to Virginia Tech. The modern mega-house trend "is about a 20-year trend," said Lang, “but it’s more obvious now; people are putting more money into housing than they have been in the past."

    Wrangling over the size of homes and their impact was once confined to areas where lots of money pooled -- places like Aspen, Colo., and Fairfield County, Conn. Indeed, Pitkin County, home to Aspen, is now considering a 15,000-square-foot cap on homes -- a limit discussed since a Saudi prince built a 55,000-square-foot manse there in the early 1990s.

    But now mega-homes have started to appear in established city neighborhoods and suburbs nationwide. These places share one characteristic: "It's confined to growth areas with some affluence in general," said Pace's Nolon. "You see it in areas like Santa Fe and Los Angeles and San Francisco and some parts of Atlanta -- you probably don’t see it in Detroit."

    The White House next door
    What's behind the shift? People with money are looking back to close-in communities in or near big cities. Older, close-in communities often have more character. They also have a shorter commute.

    "They love the neighborhood; the house needs improvement," Lang says of the newcomers. Much of this post-war housing -- "the housing stock that was the good life of 1955, which was defined by good job and meatloaf," said Lang -- is now tired and rather small by today's standards. Many of the homes are simply bought for the lot, razed and replaced. Naperville, Ill., a city of 130,000 people with a historic downtown that sits about 25 miles west of downtown Chicago, has seen 325 "tear-downs" since 2001.

    Communities that have been dealing with an influx of large homes include Lakewood, Colo.; Arlington, Va.; Cresskill, N.J.; Oak Park, a suburb of Dallas; Austin, Texas; and Atlanta. "There are 40,000 local governments in the United States, and they make the call on this," said Nolon. "It's all kind of a grand experiment at the local level."

    Many of those homes appear without much problem, said Lang. But it's the "man bites dog" examples that get people scared -- and showing up at city hall. In DeKalb County, Georgia, which includes part of Atlanta, "When it really hit the fan was in one particular community, when a developer built a replica of the White House," recalled Vernon Jones, the county's chief executive.

    Austin's fight
    Austin typifies the McMansion craze -- and the backlash that's followed. Several of the city's neighborhoods like Tarrytown and Travis Heights have seen an influx of large homes, said Kathie Tovo, president of the Bouldin Creek Neighborhood Association, who lives in a "funky, fun" area just south of downtown that also has seen some change. Just down the street from their modest home, Tovo and her architect husband bought a house as an investment. After they finished remodeling it, the home next door got knocked down and replaced by a 4,000-square-foot building housing two condominiums. "What had been not a tiny, but a modest-size and -scale cottage, has been replaced by something hugely bigger than what's the scale along that street," Tovo said. "The entire yard is now lined by this massive house," she says of her house.

    Tovo and others, including many elected officials, worry that the homes are not only out of character with many neighborhoods, but that they put stress on older infrastructure and too quickly raise property values and thus tax rates. This forces out longtime residents, including a more ethnically and economically diverse mix of people. "Some people have made the argument that this is infill," Tovo said. "But it really isn't; you don't end up with more people, you just end up with the same number of people in bigger houses."

    Hollering 'time out'
    Many communities are trying different things to get a handle on the rapid changes and keep their character:

    In January, the mayor of Atlanta imposed a brief moratorium on housing permits in five upscale Atlanta communities in the northeast part of the city. That has since expired, but the city is looking at rewriting some zoning codes to limit what gets built.
    In Marin County, Calif.,which was forced to start dealing with the issue earlier than other places due to San Francisco-area wealth, a 1997 "big-and-tall ordinance" requires design review for any home that’s more than 4,000 square feet or over 30 feet high, said Brian Crawford, deputy director of planning services for the Marin County Community Development Agency. Why 4,000 square feet? "In 1997, 4,000 square feet was considered a large home." Now, Crawford said, "It's not unusual for us to get 6,000- to 8000-square-foot-home proposals. We had one recently that was 14,000 square feet."
    Earlier this year, the county bolstered its regulations to add an array of design considerations; planners can now consider the median home size of the surrounding neighborhood when deciding whether to approve a home, he said.
    After two years of study, Georgia's DeKalb County, which has seen McMansions appearing in older neighborhoods, put a new strategy on the books earlier this year: A neighborhood that doesn't want the megahouses can gather the signatures of 60% of its residents, then petition the county's board of commission for a zoning overlay. "You have to do it on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis," said Jones, the county's chief executive. "It gives the politicians, the elected officials a grasp of what the people really want in that area." (Read about how you can fight for your neighborhood here.)
    In February, Austin put in place interim rules that limit the maximum size of a new single-family home on any lot that previously had a house. For now, a builder can build up to the greatest of the following: 2,500 square feet; 20% larger than the home that was removed; or a 0.4-to-1 floor-to-area ratio for the lot. There also are limits on major additions to homes. Meanwhile, a task force is studying the issue.
    Austin residents seem torn about the regulations. Tovo has gotten calls from upset residents who see all this as a threat to their ability to sell their existing homes and land for top dollar.
    A McUpside to McMansions?
    That concern speaks to what some people argue are the upsides of large houses -- within reason:

    Bigger homes can bring a lot more tax money to a small town that doesn't have much of a commercial tax base. "If it's an old, old neighborhood, any new development coming in can be good," said Jones. Even a mega-house is better than a crack house, he said.
    People who have lived in an area a long time and bought their house cheap stand to make a lot of money as property values increase, said Lang. "If you don't think you can pay the taxes, sell the house, then downscale the living space and live somewhere else in a nice place," he said. He is not particularly sympathetic to the argument that people should be able to live in a neighborhood forever. "Who said everything's frozen for all time?" He added, "Some seniors live in an area where there's housing abandonment. I'll bet they'd like to trade."
    Making big houses go green
    One strategy some governments have pursued in trying to discourage larger houses, or at least shrink their impact, is to make them pay their way, energy-wise:

    Shrink the energy footprint. In Marin County, Calif., where planners are now making sustainability a hallmark of the county plan, newer rules require that any project of 3,500 square feet or more, whether a new home or a remodel, meet the energy budget of a 3,500 square-foot home. In short, the bigger the house, the more efficient (relatively speaking) it has to be, said Alec Hoffmann, the county's green building program coordinator.
    Think green. Also in Marin County, projects that must undergo design review, or get a variance -- that is, any home over 4,000 square feet -- must fill out a green-building checklist and meet a certain number of points.
    Go big -- and pay. In Pitkin County, Colo., home of Aspen, if a new home is more than 5,000 square feet, the builder must either provide onsite renewable energy (via something like solar panels) or pay a $5,000 fee to the Colorado Office of Resource Efficiency, which will use the money for renewable energy projects elsewhere. If the house is 10,000 square feet more, the fee goes up to $10,000 if no onsite renewable energy is provided. And if a home exceeds its property's allocated energy budget as determined by local codes -- due to a large spa, a heated driveway, etc. -- the homeowner must "buy" energy from the Renewable Energy Mitigation Program, up to $100,000.
    More supersized indigestion to come?
    Are big houses -- and big controversy -- the future?

    Some evidence suggests that for an increasing number of home buyers, bigger isn't better. Many baby boomers are now empty-nesters who need less space. The average American home size, which zoomed starting in the 1980s, gained just 25 square feet between 2001 and 2004, said Steve Melman, director of economic services for the National Association of Home Builders. (Read more about the small-house trend here.)

    Yet, said Melman, there's plenty of people who apparently still want houses of 4,000 square feet and larger. Drawing an analogy, he said, "I think a lot of people still want that -- they still want the SUVs even though the price of gasoline went up." (The U.S. Census' survey of Construction reported that 0.5% of new homes constructed in 2004 and 2005 were 6,000 square feet or larger -- that might not seem like much, but that's still 10,000 homes.)

    Yet the backlash, too, is just getting started, say observers. "You're going to see a lot more of this," said Lang -- especially in places like southern California and Florida that have all but run out of virgin land to build on, and where builders are eyeing older suburbs. "By 2020, this could be some nasty stuff; something could probably make its way to the Supreme Court."

  2. #2
    High-Rise Member AndyIvey's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    Lakewood Heights
    I am sure I have said it enough here, but outside of thinking our signature requirements are too low, I have been a proponent of overlay districts. I grew up in what I consider the original mcmansion neighborhood of Preston Hollow. Twenty years later, I am hearing the same arguments in my new neighborhood in East Dallas. As I begin to realize that my 1920’s bungalow will meet the same fate as my childhood home, I also realize that the sale of this home will bring my wife and I the same economic boost the sale of my childhood home brought to my parents. I cannot stress enough the fact that a house is a home as well as an investment. As we fail to maintain this balance, we end up with misguided legislation and hurt feelings. The reality is that taxes will continue to rise as homes appreciate, construction is loud and messy, and only a conservation or historic district can control style. Like it or not, a home is a valid investment and sometimes people are forced to “flee” rising property taxes. The purpose of my post is that I think there is a silent majority that is going to begin to consider these efforts an assault of property rights. When they do, I would not want to be on the receiving end of the backlash.

  3. #3
    Lakewooder Lakewooder's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    Lakewood - Junius Heights
    I can certainly understand that, as the owner of rental properties, it's tempting to 'cash out' to the developers...but also as a landlord, I'm thinking, well, do I really need to put a new roof on that house if it's only going to be torn down? Also as a loyal Lakewooder, I'm thinking what will they do, build something I'll regret?

    So in these transitions you are going to have a lot of deferred and non-maintenance...

    I've noticed some of the newer homes going in around Lakewood Heights and Vickery Place are actually trying to emulate the Craftsman/Prairie Style -- they'd really cut down on their opposition if they continue doing that...I've never met anyone who is totally against new construction. They'd just like it to be a bit in scale, be the same setback, garage not on the front and at least try to fit in architecturally.

    Another problem for we longtime Lakewood and East Dallasites is that we've had a very unique blend of people of all incomes/stripes that has contributed immensely to our lives...we are now losing that with Range Rovers, Mercedes, Porsches and Hummers pullling out on Skillman from formerly modest, not-showy neighborhoods!

  4. #4
    All Purpose Moderator warlock55's Avatar
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    Downtown Dallas
    Quote Originally Posted by AndyIvey
    The purpose of my post is that I think there is a silent majority that is going to begin to consider these efforts an assault of property rights. When they do, I would not want to be on the receiving end of the backlash.
    If there's too much of a backlash, all the "takings" proponents in the country are going to drop their hammer on the movement. Then it'll really be a battle.
    Consumers are not [the same as] citizens, and when a system pretends that they are, peculiar and even perverse things happen to decision making and democracy... - Benjamin Barber

  5. #5
    High-Rise Member kenc's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Oak Lawn
    These houses are out of place for several reasons.

    The obvious is they are so out of scale for the neighborhoods.

    As the homeowners have pointed out on this, and other threads; rising taxes will force you to sell your house because you can't afford to live there anymore.

    And last, these huge houses are energy hounds! Think how much electicity it takes to cool these places in the summer.

  6. #6
    Member WhiteRockFan's Avatar
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    Jun 2006



    I agree with you and put a similar response in another post regarding East Dallas. I have to tell you though that most of the new, large homes are not energy hounds. A friend of mine lives in a house about 18 months old and 2400 sq. ft. His last electirc bill was $159 and he keeps the thermostat set at 78. I have a 1900 sq. ft home and keep my thermostat set the same. My electric bill last month was $274!
    The new homes have the benefit of the latest building wraps, radiant barriers, insulation, etc. While I have put new windows in my home, there is no way to get my whole house as efficient as his without doing almost a total tear-down. I wish there was an easier way to make my 1963 "contemporary" home more energy efficient but with no attic space and a brick/stone veneer exterior, it's just not possible.

  7. #7
    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    Seattle, WA
    New tactic in war on 'McMansions'
    09:33 AM CDT on Thursday, October 19, 2006
    By KRISTEN HOLLAND / The Dallas Morning News

    A grass-roots effort bubbling up in Highland Park provides a new wrinkle to the "not in my back yard" syndrome.

    To prevent new, larger homes from moving in next door, a growing number of homeowners are purchasing adjacent lots and combining them with their own, creating double lots. They can then tear down the newly bought house – or raze both homes and build a new one in the middle of the site.

    Either way, they're preventing an oversized home from being built by maintaining most of the combined lot as open, green space.

    Helping the effort is an ordinance Highland Park officials approved last year that limits the size of homes and additions people can build on a double lot. An abundance of deep-pocketed residents doesn't hurt, either.

    In the last year, three of the four Highland Park homeowners who created a double lot cited a desire to control neighboring development as part of the reason behind their investments.

    Since 2000, Highland Park has approved a dozen requests to combine two lots – one more than was approved in the 1980s and '90s combined. The homeowners' reasons vary and aren't all related to preventing construction of larger homes next door.

    Some were seeking privacy. Others wanted more space.

    At a time when the cost of land is at a record high, combining lots is an unorthodox, homeowner-driven solution to a problem nationwide: How to preserve neighborhoods without infringing on individual property rights.

    It's why Dallas started Neighborhood Stabilization Overlays – a tool designed to protect established blocks from teardowns and large, lot-hugging houses. And other communities are pursuing historic or conservation district designations. But in Highland Park, preservationists say, residents have found a creative way to address the problem themselves.

    "It epitomizes the fear in people feeling they need to take it into their own hands," said Adrian Fine, director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's northeast field office in Boston. "Otherwise they'll be confronted with this situation of having an oversize house lurking over them."

    Mr. Fine said he doesn't know of another area battling teardowns where many of the residents have the financial resources to buy a neighboring lot.

    "There are some examples of this type of thing, of neighbors going in together to protect themselves," he said. "Most conditions don't allow for that, unfortunately."

    With the average market value of a Highland Park home close to $1.5 million, buying a neighboring lot is a pricey proposition. The average taxable value for a home is about $1.1 million.

    Grateful owners

    Connie Carreker is grateful she and her husband, Denny, could purchase the lot immediately behind their south Highland Park home last year. The additional house, which was built in the 1970s and fronted St. Johns Drive, will be razed once they secure demolition permits. The couple is expanding their home – originally designed by John Allen Boyle, the architect behind the Mansion on Turtle Creek – to maintain its historic charm.

    "This whole place was built in 1923, and this lot was part of our home," Mrs. Carreker said, referring to the newly added land. "We're going to try to restore it to what we think it might have been in 1923."

    The size of the couple's project, however, faces limits.

    Last year, the Highland Park Town Council approved an ordinance that limits the size of homes people can build on a double lot. It also restricts the size and location of additions and such accessory structures as outdoor living areas or tennis courts. Homeowners can't combine more than two lots or re-divide a double lot.

    James Fisher, Highland Park's director of public works and town secretary, said the regulations came out of discussions among Town Council members who were concerned that an owner would combine two lots and want to build a home that covers all the allotted space on each parcel.

    As approved, homeowners can cover no more than 30 percent of most lots, including those that haven't been combined. Estate owners with multiple acres are limited to 20 percent coverage.

    Gregg and Molly Engles just received approval to combine their lots on Rheims Place. They plan to raze both homes and build one that will cover 14 percent of the combined lot.

    "We're going to save all the trees but one, which was hit by lightning," Mr. Engles told council members. "We're actually going to build our garage under the house, so we'll have underground parking."

    Nothing new

    Dwayne Jones, executive director of Preservation Dallas, said people have been combining lots for a long time but not necessarily for this purpose. "The McMansion issue is causing folks to reconsider a lot of alternatives that otherwise wouldn't have been thought about," Mr. Jones said. "It's just putting it today in a different context for a different purpose."

    That was the case for Highland Park residents John Davis and Steve Rogers, who feared that someone would replace the 3,000-square-foot house nestled between their homes with a behemoth.

    So, when the owner died, the two friends got together and did the only thing they could – pooled their resources and bought the house. They later divided the property down the middle and created two larger lots – one for each. Crews demolished the home this month.

    Mr. Davis said the house had structural problems and hadn't been updated since it was built in the early '70s. Most homes in the 4400 block of Belclaire Avenue were built in the 1930s, so it didn't fit in well, either.

    "It was pretty apparent to both of us what was going to happen," Mr. Davis said. "A builder was going to come in and bulldoze it, and we were going to have a McMansion. We would much rather have the lawn and be able to add onto our own houses, if we so choose."

    Idea has its critics

    Not everyone is singing the praises of double lots.

    Lee Roever, president of the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society, said the community's tax base drops every time someone replaces a million-dollar home with a pool and cabana. "Selfishly, it's the greatest idea in the world," he said. "From the city's perspective, I'm not sure it's a good idea. How is this a good idea except for the two people or one person who's buying the house and getting a bigger yard?"

    Sarah Clark and Mark Iola decided it was a good idea. The couple wanted to remain in Highland Park but sought more room. They also wanted a grassy area for their son to play in.

    So, the couple – who weren't subject to the new ordinance because they combined their lots in 2000 – bought the property east of their home on Potomac Avenue and combined the lots. They razed the additional home.

    The result was a 3,600-square-foot addition with three bedrooms and a movie theater, fronted by an outdoor living area that's hidden behind a gate and brick fence. "We built a pavilion out front with an outdoor fireplace," Mrs. Clark said. "It doesn't make it look like it's overpowering the neighborhood."


  8. #8
    Administrator tamtagon's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
    Atlanta - Dallas
    I really like the spirit of the folks combining lots.... it's, like, a real Texas response to unwelcomed neighborhood change. I also like the way it will probably raise the average value of a Highland Park residence. As Turtle Creek and LoMac evolve with into a dense neighborhood of million dollar highrise homes, an impressive swath of real estate from Preston Hollow to Victory Park will include a thorough offering of really expensive dwellings - something for everyone who can spend a million+ dollars for a place to live.

  9. #9
    Supertall Skyscraper Member psukhu's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
    Frisco, TX
    This will lower density and raise property values. However, the property tax base will shrink in the short term.

  10. #10
    Skyscraper Member LakeHighlands's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
    Lake Highlands
    Well, not every place is against McMansions, add-ons, and teardowns. Lake Highlands welcomes such activity.

    Cheers, Not Jeers For Add-ons, Teardowns
    New home construction, additions seen as community investment

    By Bruce Felps/Lake Highlands People
    Friday, September 29, 2006

    Community members in Lake Highlands see beauty in the same types of construction that residents in other communities see as points of contention.

    Tearing down older structures to build new and second floor additions are increasingly popular options for area homeowners, while such construction jobs in Lakewood, for example, spark neighborhoods wars.

    Julie Peek, a member of the Lake Highlands Junior Women’s League, said she and her husband built an upstairs addition over the garage to accommodate their growing family.

    “We moved to White Rock Elementary [School] area found a really charming house, but it wasn’t big enough,” she said. “We added over the garage with two bedrooms and a full bath, and converted the master [bedroom] downstairs into a playroom, so we could keep all the toys together.”

    The Peeks added about 750 square feet to their home. Julie pointed out at least two other houses on her street to which the owners have made similar additions in square footage. She said she and her neighbors view the space added by families as a connection to the community.

    “It’s exciting to see other people find a house, add on, and stay a longtime,” she said. “People are excited about the revitalization in Lake Highlands, the energy and enthusiasm.”

    Kara Chumbley and her husband, who live in the Highland Meadows neighborhood, took a similar route to enlarging their house. The couple wanted to stay in the community because they have roots in Lake Highlands.

    “My husband and I added a second floor to out house about four years ago,” she said in an email. “We added 800 square feet with a game room. A bedroom and a bathroom. We were both from this area and wanted to stay here, so rather that move, we decided to change the house to fit our needs.”

    Donna Halstead, head of the Dallas Citizens Council, said the energy and revitalization stem in part from a repatriation of onetime Lake Highlands residents.

    “It’s amazing how many young people who grew up in Lake Highlands are returning to Lake Highlands to raise their families,” she said. “I think people in Lake Highlands recognize that [the construction is] an indicator of strength in the community, and when people make that type of investment in the community, it’s an indicator that it’s a good place to live.”

    W.B. “Bill” Vandivort, a community activist and member of the Lake Highlands Area Improvement Association, said the roots the younger families establish in the area and the investments they make in their homes improve the stability in the neighborhoods and create a better quality of life.

    Peek agreed, saying the community eventually would grow stronger from those bonds.

    “That’s the faith people have in Lake Highlands, that it’s going to get better,” she said. “The retail and the developments will happen; you just have to be patient.”

    Halstead, who is Peek mother, said the relatively young ages of various Lake Highlands neighborhoods, compared to areas of Lakewood, Old East Dallas, or Swiss Avenue, where historic districts or conservation districts protect older structures, lend themselves to residential redevelopment.

    “Lake Highlands began to develop in the late ‘50s,” she said. “Much of the growth south of Walnut Hill [Lane] took place from the ‘50s to late ‘60s, and farther north in Royal Highlands it took place in the ’70s, so you don’t have the historically significant structures to worry about in Lake Highlands.”

    Vandivort offered another reason: “Other parts of town don’t appreciate it because they don’t live here,” he said. “Lake Highlands is just different. When we see people coming to fill out potholes, we say, ‘Don’t do it. That’s our traffic control. It keeps people from speeding.’”
    "One of Dallas' strongest communities, Lake Highlands boasts a true sense of neighborhood spirit. Local stores reflect passionate support for Lake Highlands schools with school posters and signs. True to its name, the area features handsome traditional homes up and down rolling hills and charming, winding roads." --Lake Highlands People

  11. #11
    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    Seattle, WA
    Quote Originally Posted by LakeHighlands
    “My husband and I added a second floor to out house about four years ago,” she said in an email. “We added 800 square feet with a game room. A bedroom and a bathroom. We were both from this area and wanted to stay here, so rather that move, we decided to change the house to fit our needs.”
    You know you're living well when you can add a 2nd floor to your outhouse.
    Last edited by dfwcre8tive; 03 February 2007 at 11:58 AM.

  12. #12
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    Aug 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by njjeppson
    You know you're living well when you can add a 2nd floor to your outhouse.
    Oi!!!! Boy what is wrong with you? That is the last person you want to make enemies with!!! Geesh!!!

  13. #13
    Lakewooder Lakewooder's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    Lakewood - Junius Heights

  14. #14
    Skyscraper Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lakewooder View Post
    yep... a lot of this spec house builders have gone under with the downturn. I agree that the new construction emulating the prairie/craftsman style are a welcome addition. But I'm not sure if the margins for the contractors are that great unless the houses are zero lot. Same with portion sizes in restaurants these days. I'm starting to sound like an Occupy Dallasite.

  15. #15
    Lakewooder Lakewooder's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    Lakewood - Junius Heights
    There are still a few going up around Lakewood Heights and vicinity. I think they are somewhat more restrained than what was going up before. I can see a market for them but like most people I would hope they try to fit in a bit better - to me that only makes marketing sense as the architecture is one thing that already attracts people to the neighborhood. Some of the houses in Lakewood Heights demolished really were in bad shape and some were little houses built in the back of lots built in The Great Depression in anticipation of building a larger home on the front of the lot later - which didn't happen. However, it would have been nice if that neighborhood had gotten time to put in some restrictions. They were caught by surprise and then the balance shifted so much that they couldn't do anything.

    In Cochran Heights (off Henderson) since an NSO was passed there has been no new construction. The NSO is really not that restrictive but it was meant to stop three-story townhouse-looking homes taking up most of the certainly achieved that goal.. The good news is that only one Dilbeck 'storybook' home went down in those years.

  16. #16
    The way it go Rangers100's Avatar
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