Older Raleigh neighborhoods fight over home rebuilding

January 21, 2008 6:27:34 PM PST
A group in Raleigh is fighting for the right to build so called 'McMansions'.

The city council is talking about putting restrictions on massive floor plans. However, the group Renew Raleigh is arguing that larger, new homes revitalize older neighborhoods.

The group has been sounding off at Fallon Park off Oxford Road in Raleigh.

For the Raleigh families gathered in the park, it is about rights. The right they feel, to build and expand the homes they own just minutes from downtown Raleigh.

"We don't feel like we should have to go out into the suburbs in order to build a modern family home," Raleigh homeowner, Alison Garcia said.

Trouble is a modern home can easily take up more than 3,000 square feet and in older neighborhoods, the bigger homes stand out.

The Raleigh City Council has proposed restrictions on the tear downs of older homes and Renew Raleigh is speaking out.

"Everybody should be able to build what's right for them. And that's what it's all about, property rights, and doing what's right for you," Garcia said.

Although, homeowners like Susan Eder disagree, saying the working class is being driven out. The disagreement is pitting neighbor against neighbor.

"We tear down affordable housing and we put up these gigantic homes nobody can afford," Eder said. "And if you go around the neighborhood you'll see how many are on sale still. They're $1.2 million dollar houses and it's a lot of money."

The council is considering several measures aimed at cutting back on neighborhood makeovers. A move people like Eder agree with.

"I really liked it when this was a neighborhood that had a mix of teachers, policemen, doctors, lawyers, teachers," she said. "And that's my concern. I don't want to see a neighborhood full of million dollar homes."


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