On Monday, April 4, 2011, at 5:30PM, the MVC’s Land Use Planning Committee will hold a discussion on the subject of Large Houses, which is a euphemism for what we call McMansions or Trophy Homes. The discussion is open to the public at their Offices in the Stone Building, located at 33 New York Avenue in Oak Bluffs.
1. What are the concerns about large houses?
a. Visual impact and disruption of community character?
b. Loss of habitat?
c. Consumption of energy?
d. Impact of construction process on abutters?
e. Encouragement of teardowns and loss of affordable homes?
f. Other concerns?
2. How serious is the problem today and the threat for the future? Does it merit further action by towns and/or the MVC?
3. To what extent can concerns be dealt with through increased review at the town level? Do the towns need additional powers through the DCPC (District of Critical Planning Concern) process?
4. What types and magnitudes of projects have a significant enough regional impact to justify MVC review?
5. What is the best way to define a large house? Should this vary by town or area?
a. An absolute threshold, such as an Island-wide or town-wide threshold of total floor space or building volume?
b. A relative threshold, such as one that exceeds the average size of houses in its neighborhood?
c. A threshold based on performance criteria, such as exceeding a threshold of visibility (e.g. an angle of view as seen from a public way) or habitat clearance?