"To inform neighbors in the Clark Park area and beyond concerning proposed zoning and ordinance changes that would permit dramatically increased home sizes in our neighborhoods. We will urge City Officials to maintain current ordinances and add requirements that new construction blend with existing homes. We will organize and advocate for a vision that protects the interests of current homeowners and preserves the unique character and rare combination of factors that over the decades have attracted new generations of residents eager to make this area their home."
We are concerned that any increase allowing large house size will encourage demolition of existing homes that are then replaces by bigger, and bigger houses that dwarf those that remain. And it could also mean less open space, fewer trees and gardens, more flooding, and an emphasis on building with "garage facades" as we see in C-U suburban areas. Property values are also at risk as developers buy up exist properties to build McMansions.
No Giant Houses believes that mansionization is out of synch with the city’s legally adopted policies, principles, goals, and guidelines that promote livable neighborhoods and environmentally sound practices, and that the City and its officials should fully embrace the stated purposes of its zoning ordinances:
- To promote and protect public health, comfort and the welfare of the people
- To provide adequate light, air and ventilation to occupants of structures
- To conserve and protect neighborhood stability and protect property values
- To protect against fire, explosion and other hazards in the interest of public health
- To promote visual aesthetics through landscaping, design and overall character
- To recognize areas of unique character and features that contribute to its sense of place
- To allow a variety of housing choices and promote affordable housing opportunities
- To encourage development and construction that promote security
- To limit height, and density that are out of scale with surroundings to protect visual harmony
- To minimize hazards resulting from storm runoff and flood waters
In late 2017, a proposal to change the restrictions on properties in Champaign in SF1 (single family) zoning districts was forwarded to the Champaign City Council for adoption into the Municipal Code. This proposal resulted in considerable concern among Champaign residents. Many attended the Council’s public hearing about this proposal and spoke of their concerns. The Council sent the proposal back to Planning and Development staff for further consideration.
The originally submitted proposal allowed new or remodeled houses in the Clark Park area and citywide to be 43% larger than is currently allowed on lots narrower than 60 feet. This means that on a typical 50' x 132' lot, you could build a 3,300 square foot house instead of the current 2,300 square foot limit. The City Council rejected that proposal amidst significant public outcry, but are now considering allowing even larger houses.
The purpose of the Champaign Zoning Ordinance is to protect all citizens. No Giant Houses believes that changing rules that benefit the desires of specific individuals or groups does not provide protection of adjoining and neighboring properties.
Our elected representatives do respond to contact from their constituents. Make your voice heard by contacting them and urge them to maintain current zoning ordinances.
EXPANSION ALLOWED UNDER CURRENT ZONING LAWS
No changes in zoning ordinances are required to allow construction shown in the case studies below.
We are not a community of unrelieved tight
spaces between houses or Garage Mahals!
(as depicted in the images below)
No Giant Houses is a group of neighbors concerned about future development of homes on small lots in the Clark park area and citywide. We have seen extraordinarily large houses replace the homes that formerly occupied sites in our neighborhood, and we have seen garages replace the homes that once existed. Smaller yards, fewer trees, buildings that overwhelm their neighbors and limit views… all contribute to the unease we feel about the future of our neighborhood, a place where we can walk through a park-like setting and enjoy our surroundings. A place where children and neighbors are celebrated above cars and home theaters.
Current zoning regulations allow three story houses of up to 2,300 square feet, i.e., a three to four bedroom house with family room and a detached two car garage. In recent months, the City of Champaign has considered proposals allowing construction of up to 3,300 square feet single family dwellings on the small (50’ X 132’) lots that comprise our neighborhoods.
We are opposed to such large structures that emphasize space inside the house at the expense of the neighborhood around it. We will continue to fight for zoning ordinances that reflect our values and long term view of the community.
Mike Reed; Donna Reed; Joanne Broadbent; Andrew Pelz; Mike McMillen; Sharon Harkness; Kathy Hatch; Traci Quigg-Thomas; Mary Shultz; Heather Vazquez; Jim Anderson; Alan Broadbent; Mariella Lansford; Greg Hatch; Mark Jones; Glenda Henderson; Vicki Schumacher; Jim Halle; Bernadette Easley; Sheena Beaverson; Cindy Wachter; Lucio Vazquez