Mansionization: Lexington's Experience

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Teardowns
City of Lexington

Published in: Business, Real Estate
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Mansionization: Lexington's Experience

  1. 1. Mansionization Lexington's Experience
  2. 2. Mansionization  In 1987, TM inserted a requirement for increased setbacks for houses greater than 2,500 SF – Setbacks set in 1953, when new houses ~ 1,200 – 1,800 SF – By 1987, new homes were ~ 3,000 – 4,000 SF – In 2008, new homes exceeded 7,000 SF – 2010 average for Northeast 2,613 SF (Census Bureau)  1992, Town staff starts tracking teardowns  1994, PB develops, but pulls “Jumbo House” Bylaw  1997, PB publishes New, Larger Houses in Existing Neighborhoods  2002, PB’s “House Impact Review” Bylaw defeated
  3. 3. Single-Family Development 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 Net New Teardowns
  4. 4. Conflict & Resentment  Character (Scale & Aesthetics)  Diminished Economic Diversity  Loss of affordable housing  Anti-development
  5. 5. Potential Positive Effects  Increased property values  Encourages and increases viability of further development  Increases consumer purchasing power at local businesses  Invisible to MGL 40B denominator
  6. 6. Unclear Effects  Reduction of suburban sprawl elsewhere in the region  Increased/decreased incentive to invest in existing housing stock  Costs/changes to local services  Population increased/decreased  Increased/decreased diversity
  7. 7. Conclusion  Fiscally beneficial  Driven by high property values  Related to our proximity to build out – This magnifies character issues, because it’s happening in developed areas  Town Meeting has been ambivalent, but  Stirs up enough interest to keep it on a slow boil – Focus now turning to Residential FARs

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