Raleigh Weighs Proposal To Limit Home Size

With residents pushing for new rules to prevent tear-downs, a measure to temporarily restrict construction of new homes goes before the city council.

"A sweeping proposal, crafted at the City Council's request, would limit construction on most of the city's residential land.

The proposal for temporary restrictions, written by city staff, would require larger side and backyards and would reduce a building's allowed height. It would affect many who want to tack on a garage or build a home in a new neighborhood.

Mayor Charles Meeker and council members Russ Stephenson and Thomas Crowder have been pushing for measures to stop new homes from dwarfing older ones next door in established neighborhoods. They want the city to approve temporary measures to last until city planners return next year with permanent regulations.

Dozens of homeowners, builders and developers have e-mailed City Council members in opposition to the proposal. A hearing before the City Council and the Planning Commission is scheduled tonight. Then the commission will review it and make a recommendation to the council."

"Council member Philip Isley condemned the proposal as "the most far-sweeping policy decision that we've ever looked at on the City Council." He said it would "have the greatest negative impact on every resident in Raleigh that owns real property."

Even Meeker says the proposal being discussed tonight goes too far. Still, Meeker said, the concept is worth discussing.

The trend of tearing down older homes and replacing them with much bigger, taller homes is driving the proposal. Critics say it's ruining the character of the city's established areas."

Full Story: Rule would limit home expansions

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