'Monster' homes debate heats up
'Monster house' being built in River Heights sparks debate
More Winnipeggers are expressing concerns about new homes being built in established neighbourhoods that some say don't fit.
On Friday, Ed Price expressed his dismay with a new two-and-a-half storey house that is under construction next to his home on the 600 block of Patricia Avenue.
Price says the new home stands out like a sore thumb, especially considering it is next to a much smaller bungalow.
Meanwhile, a Winnipeg architect says she's concerned a city councillor wants to change zoning laws to control how houses look in established neighbourhoods.
Johanna Hurme of 5468796 Architecture says beauty cannot be legislated and a dynamic neighbourhood should have a variety of house designs, not just one.
"I think we have to allow for that variety to exist and that layering to happen, and that's going to enrich our city and urban picture as a whole," she told CBC News Friday.
The issue was sparked earlier in the week when some residents of Winnipeg's River Heights area expressed concern with a new house they feel is too big for the neighbourhood.
The three-storey building, which is under construction in the 300 block of Montrose Street, towers over other homes — many of which are older two-storey houses — on the block.
The large house does comply with the city's building regulations, but some neighbours have dubbed it a "monster house," saying it does not fit with the overall character of the area.
River Heights Coun. John Orlikow, who met with dozens of concerned residents on Wednesday, said he is calling for different zoning rules that would preserve the character of different neighbourhoods.
Hurme said zoning laws can make the height of homes a consideration, as well as whether a house infringes on its neighbours.
But she said it would be difficult for the City of Winnipeg to legislate esthetics, as beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
"There is a danger [of] leading into going with the lowest common denominator," Hurme said.
"It's very difficult to set out rules that allow for good design to flourish, but then protect the neighbours."