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Lowerdeck

No more McMansions in town of Fairfield?

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http://www.connpost.com/news/ci_6999172

Summation: town is considering limiting the sizes of houses depending on the size of the lots they are built on. Some are fighting in favor of property rights (i.e. building big houses on small lots). Some people want to keep similarity to their neighborhoods. Then a summary of the town's proposal.

My question is... just how ridiculous are houses being built in Fairfield to be warranting a law like this? I agree though with keeping house sizes modest for the lots and neighborhoods.

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Very ridiculous sized houses is the answer. I worked in Fairfield County for 3 years (2002 to 2005), and people would buy these nice little capes for a ton of money, demolish them and wedge some monstrosity in it's place. A few towns are like that down there, Weston, Westport, Easton. In fact, there's one area (not sure which town) that has a minimum size limit when you build. In other words, you can't build the house smaller than X size, let's say 3,000 sq/ft for example, though I'm not sure that's it. It could be 5,000 sq/ft. The problem in Fairfield is that the town is running out of land (as stated in the article). Easton and Weston could care less because it's all trees, plenty of land to go around, but Fairfield is already settled. I would find it hard to believe Westport would support this type of regulation, there would be a riot.

I'm also not sure how I feel about this. Property owners should, in general, have the right to do what they want on their own property, unless there is some historical value, or whatever. That being said, my own personal opinion is that any house over 3,000 sq/ft is a waste, but the people still have a right to build some bloated monster if they so choose. Well, that is, unless this law gets passed...

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don't most towns have zoning laws that generally restrict certain lot sizes to certain house sizes through things like requiring a certain setback from the property line? i'm pretty sure my hometown of branford had something like that because the guy who built on the lot next to me needed a variance to build his house closer to the street and to our property line (his lot was pretty rough with a huge hill near the street).

the reasons you can't do what you want with your property is to protect others. if a guy could build a 5 story house to the property line in a small suburb, i'd say the neighbors would be pretty annoyed.

many of the new houses in fairfield are absolutely enormous. i used to work in bridgeport for a cabinet-maker and we did a lot of custom, high end work for the people in the area. the homes are ridiculously large... much larger than anyone would ever need. i think every newer development was filled with enormous homes. that's not even limited to just the fairfield area... guilford, madison, branford, etc... all similar with huge new homes.

even in places like weston and easton, they should be careful because the open space is pretty valuable as open space. it's dangerous to think "we just have a bunch of trees, let's build on this land".

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don't most towns have zoning laws that generally restrict certain lot sizes to certain house sizes through things like requiring a certain setback from the property line?

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Yes, but the point that I'm trying to make is certain neighborhoods in these towns actually have a minimum requirement, not a maximum. They don't want the "new" house (new meaning the house going in the spot of the 3500 sq/ft house they just demolished) to devalue the rest of the neighborhood, i.e. the other 6,000 sq/fters...

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having actually been in some of those huge houses installing cabinets and other stuff, the only reason it seemed that people wanted houses that big is to get away from the kids. put them in one big room with a TV and lots of toys on one end of the house and then go to the other end and do your own thing. it's kind of sad in a way. i don't think i fully understand the point of having a minimum size for houses though. that just makes no sense to me.

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Having also been in some of those houses doing DSL install/repair, I came to a different conclusion. I thought that most of those people got the big houses because of a status thing. They wanted something bigger than their friend, they wanted to have as big a boat, a bigger yard, etc. People with that much wealth must truly be so bored that they just start to accumulate nonsense. And the big problem is some of those people can't actually afford all that stuff, many are up to their ears in debt. I'd bill people in the ghetto and they'd take it in stride, but heaven forbid I tell someone with a 2 million dollar house that I'm billing them $65 to replace a modem that is 4 years out of warranty and you'd think I ripped their intestines out with my needle-nose pliers. Maybe they just can't afford it, or maybe they are just miserly, but whatever the reason, they felt such entitlement to free service for whatever reason.

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