March 11, 2007

Another Resident's Opinion on McMansions

The lettter below is from a neighbor in support of McMansions.

The initial reaction of many people to tear-downs/rebuilds in our L-Streets neighborhood is negative. Fears of declining home values and increase property taxes seem to be the most common negative concerns. However, not all residents of our area feel this way. I for one feel that this negative reaction is shortsighted and selfish. Yes, we all love our neighborhood for its quaintness and charm. However, change is inevitable and things do get old. The fact is, there are many homes in the L-Streets that have fallen into disrepair, are vacant, or are not maintained by their owners. That may be hard for some people to accept, but it is a fact. I wish all of the residents in the L-Streets took pride in their homes, but unfortunately many do not. These homes hurt the aesthetic value of the neighborhood – they make the area look run-down and attract a certain element that none of us want. As a result, values of homes in our area have not kept up with the overall housing market in Dallas. I would much rather have these unkempt homes torn down and replaced by a new home as opposed to allowing these trends to continue.

New home construction stimulates economic development. Increasing home values attract higher incomes and more retail expansion. This means more stores, more restaurants, and more amenities that will improve the quality of life for our area. It’s very simple – just follow the money. It’s called progress.

As for property taxes, I would prefer to pay my taxes in a growing, thriving, improving neighborhood versus one that is declining in value. Local governments will continue to raise property taxes as much as allowed by law whether rebuilds occur or not.

In closing, I love the L-Streets for its location, its people, and its charm. However, I also believe it can be made even better by replacing certain homes with newer ones and attracting new business to the area. In the end, it will increase the value of properly maintained, updated homes and make the neighborhood a nicer, safer place to live.