Residents Group to Present Argument for ‘McMansion’ Moratorium

The newly-created Belmont Citizens for Responsible Zoning is hosting a meeting for Precinct 7 Town Meeting Members in the Flett Room at the Belmont Public Library tonight, Thursday, Feb. 5, from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m where it will present its case for  a moratorium on construction of oversized single-family dwellings in a large section of the precinct.

Last month, the residents group submitted to the Town Clerk’s Office a citizen’s petition seeking to place a one-year suspension of oversized single-family dwellings in a portion of Belmont’s Single Residence C Zoning District. The amendment to the zoning bylaws has been accepted and will be presented to the annual Town Meeting in May. The petition will need to achieve a two-thirds margin of acceptance to be approved.

The area – known by long-time residents as Shaw Estate – includes single-families within the bounties of School, Washington and Grove streets and Grosvenor, Dalton and Bacon Roads.

See the group’s flyer here.

The group believe oversized replacement homes – popularly known as McMansions – change the character of neighborhoods by excluding middle-income families from buying single-family homes as assessments and values of surrounding homes increase, crowd out sunlight and natural habitats while taking advantage of zoning that is not as strict as existing rules for renovations and additions.


The group will also lead a discussion on recruiting candidates to fill vacancies in the precinct’s Town Meeting delegation.

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  1. Ron says

    This is a ridiculous proposal. The group behind this is not representative of the neighborhood, rather a small number of people with an agenda. The moratorium is a knee jerk reaction to appease a small group who is Misrepresenting the truth. The fact is that any home or addition built has to follow the rules set by the town bylaws. There is no difference between an addition or new construction as far as the zoning laws. A moratorium will hurt anyone that may be selling a home that may be a candidate to be torn down. The existing housing stock in that part of town was built in the 1950’s and is not significant architecturally or particularly well built. If a majority wants to change the zoning law, then do so. A moratorium is not needed.

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