'Monster' home debate heats up in Calgary's Briar Hill

The northwest neighbourhood of Briar Hill is one of many in Calgary undergoing big changes as large houses replace bungalows. Some people in the community say it's not a change for the better.

Big new houses can be challenging for neighbours, but drive up property values

Briar Hill in Calgary's northwest is one of many neighbourhoods undergoing big changes as large houses, otherwise known as "monster" homes, replace bungalows.

And some people in the community say it's not a change for the better.

A 6,500-square-foot home is under construction next to where Helen Beach lives, and another big house is planned to go up behind her.

"It's just ostentatious and overkill," she said.

The people building the home next door did make some concessions on the design, but Beach says it will ruin her privacy and expects there will be issues with the amount of light pouring out her neighbour's windows at night.

"So I used to have a little piece of paradise with the forest in the backyard, and now the neighbours say, 'Well, you look into a concrete wall.'" she said.

Realtor Lucas Ramage says it is a conversation that has been going on all over the city. 

He admits a big new house can be challenging for a neighbour, but has benefits.

"It's sort of this double-edged sword, you get the benefit of these big beautiful new homes coming into communities and we can, in some respects, be grateful that that's what's driving the value of the areas," he said. 

Ramage also says those big expensive houses could be problematic for the owners down the road because they can be very hard to resell.


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