The Infinite Ingenuity of Human Perversity

Fairfax County imposes height restrictions on new houses built in old subdivisions to prevent jarring disruptions in scale from one house to the next. So, what are the McMansion builders doing now? According to complaints filed with Fairfax Supervisor Gerald Hyland, “Home builders are artificially elevating lots, as much as nine feet at one house, by moving dirt from the basement, or bringing in fill, and piling it around the lot to disguise the first floor and meet the 35 feet building height limitation.”

The Connection newspapers have the story here.

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2 responses to “The Infinite Ingenuity of Human Perversity”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    Yep, and they use an average of all the roof lines instead of taking the actual maximum height.

    I don’t understand why anyone cares about the height, anyway. Waht about all those four storey twnhomes? Aren’t they over thrty- five feet? What’s more important is the relative footprint of the house with respect to the lot.

    However, the matter of moving that much dirt is clearly an issue that coud screw up other people’s drainage.

    This kind of behavior is perverse, like loud motorcycles or car stereos, or deliberately abusive driving. We don’t need In-your-face housing, but at the same time we can’t assume that any housing is in-your-face housing purely designed to detract from our own current standard of living. What we need is a revival of workable and meaningful nuisance law instead of relying on codes for everything. If I can convince a neutral third party that I’m suffering damage, then maybe I have a point, and maybe those causing real damage will think twice.

    When I built my house I had to have the site plan and grading approved and inspected, before and after the footings went in. What happened to the inspectors?


  2. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    see.. what you do.. is propose a 5-story boarding house for Hispanics…and then when the neighborhood forms a lynch mob.. you say that you’re kidding.. you only wanted a McMansion…

    the neighbors are then so relieved, that they offer to help.


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