Local opposition to McMansions in suburban Seattle was prevalent long before arsonists burned down three luxury homes this week. But those opposed to so-called "rural cluster development" housing worry the criminal acts may work against their goals.
"It didn't take a note from arsonists to send a message to Snohomish County officials that people are unhappy with rural cluster developments."
"Those subdivisions -- which allow builders to cluster additional homes on large rural lots in exchange for leaving open space -- drew complaints soon after they began mushrooming two years ago."
"Residents have complained that the denser subdivisions, often of luxury homes, plopped in the middle of nowhere are out of character with their once-rural landscapes."
"The banner purportedly written by Earth Liberation Front activists who left the Street of Dreams in ashes Monday seemed to refer specifically to the county policy: 'McMansions + RCD's R not GREEN.'"
"But that attention isn't welcomed by residents who have worked within the system to try to persuade the county to change its policies, which are now under review."