Don’t Like Your Neighbors’ House? Sue Them.

In a July 12, 2014 op-ed in The New York Times, Allison Arieff describes a conflict over neighbourhood character taking place in a historic district of Oakwood in Raleigh, North Carolina. After receiving a building permit and commencing construction on modernist home in the community, neighbours were successfully able to get the city to rescind the building permit after a series of protracted appeals. The neighbours claim the modern home is does not conform with the historic character of the community. A legal fight in the state’s Superior Court continues to determine whether the home, which is nearly 85 percent complete, will be demolished. The article describes challenges for planners in navigating complicated relationships with residents and their view of neighbourhood character, as well as touches on concepts of unique senses of place attachment.
The article is available at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/13/opinion/sunday/is-an-ugly-house-grounds-to-sue.html.

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