Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Status of Things

From the N&O ...

Raleigh City Council to weigh control of teardown replacements

RALEIGH - Some say a proposal aimed at reining in teardowns could be the death knell for the city's housing market. Others say it's a good temporary fix to preserving the character of established neighborhoods.

The proposal before the City Council next month would require Planning Commission approval for home additions or new construction that is 25 percent bigger than the original structure.

"We have an issue here that needs to be dealt with in a fair way," said council member Thomas Crowder, who says the proposal -- with some fixes to simplify it -- has merit. ...

From the Independent:

Taming Raleigh's teardown trend
Raleigh city leaders, neighborhood activists and builders are considering two options to address teardowns and infill development. The number of teardowns in Raleigh has exceeded 600 since 2002.

The old council majority wouldn't touch it. The new majority, elected in October, is wrestling with it, and it's causing the first fissure in their ranks. The issue is the rash of teardowns in Raleigh, mostly in older, inside-the-Beltline neighborhoods, and whether new McMansions should be allowed to proliferate alongside—and perhaps muscle out—the ranches and bungalows of yesteryear. ...

These two articles will give you some idea of the public policy side of this debate. The address of your city councilors can be found at the end of this blog. I encourage anyone whose neighborhood is impacted by this trend to contact the city before the Jan. 8 meeting, and encourage your neighbors to be involved as well.

If not, this will become the prevailing wind in your neighborhood:
"The reasons these tax values are up is due to the teardown lot values," [Wes] Minton said. "A half acre lot is worth $500,000, $600,000, $700,000 ... If this proposal gets approved, your lot is no longer worth that."

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