CUMBERLAND – Up until a few months ago, a pair of homes along Diamond Hill Road, one at 2640 and one at 2660, would barely have drawn a glance, a low-lying home to the right resting further away from the road.
The home at the right, 2660 Diamond Hill, would end up being demolished, and a new home, this one much larger and wider than the structure it replaced, would soon begin to rise.
The mansion, which has generated all kinds of conversation about how it could possibly be allowed, and plenty of suggestions that someone must know the right person in government, partially crosses behind 2640 Diamond Hill, erasing the narrow gap previously visible from the road when the previous version of 2660 Diamond Hill Road was here.
A town official says that all is not as it appears in this situation.
The home at 2640 Diamond Hill Road is located on a tenth of an acre, according to Cumberland’s real estate database, and the home itself is built on the very back of that property, according to Town Planner Glenn Modica. The new mansion being built at 2660 Diamond Hill Road is located on an entire acre of land, according to the database, and that property goes behind the property at 2640 Diamond Hill.
Modica told The Breeze that the homeowner at 2660 Diamond Hill did everything within the rules of the zoning ordinance when he demolished and then rebuilt on a larger footprint, including for height, setbacks, and lot coverage.
The smaller home at 2640 Diamond Hill is considered a pre-existing non-conforming house built in 1951, and is much like many homes built close to their property lines at the time.
“It wouldn’t meet current zoning right now,” said Modica. “There are tons of houses like that built in the 1950s.”
The “poor guy” next door is simply too close to the property line, said Modica, through no fault of his own.
Asked how many other neighboring properties might be in a similar situation, Modica said it’s difficult to say. The only time one would notice it is likely in a situation such as this where a larger replacement home is built closer to its neighboring home, he said.
It's kind of funny looking at the picture. The overly massive house is built right on the street and behind a house it dwarfs. At first glance you would think the owner is an oil tycoon, but on second glance you see they are living in a trailer because they are in over there head and can't now afford a hotel or condo while the oversized house is being built.
If it is true that "Mansion on Diamond Hill Road fits within code, says official", then please fix the code. The family who owns the home on the left has been victimized. Clearly, the smaller home is now worth less, and probably by a lot. I'd be looking to be made whole, and move out. This is just terrible.
Keepin' up with the Macaris?
But if I could afford to build that...it would be more aesthetically placed.
I PRAY THAT THE HOUSE YO THE LEFT STAYS UP ANOTHER CENTURY OR TWO! THAT WOULD DEFINITELY BE A WIN FOR THE COMMUNITY!
Lot of people with no skin in the game commenting on this situation. Perhaps the new owner should buy the smaller house, demolish it and build a billboard that says “quit you bi#*hin”.
This mansion is an example of how unbalanced and inappropriate a home building project can be. Feeling so sorry for the neighbors.
We’ve driven past this many times and always wondered if maybe the home in front was going to be demolished once the new build was finished. Shocked to read it isn’t related to the build. Interesting that the new home owners don’t mind having a house basically in their front yard.
Legal or not it is a mess ,oversized , out of place, takes away the rural character of the area. Only my opinion !
I agree. If you can afford that much of a house, why wouldn't you buy the appropriate land and location to go with it. Looks dumb.
That house back decks look right into my house. I'm so upset about it. It was such a nice private back yard. Now I have to keep my blinds down. I'm happy they can afford such a huge home, but should be built somewhere else.
It is so true, out of place. That is what is so not right is that the town does not keep to the aesthetic control/value of the neighborhood, as in building LIKE houses in the existing area. So many towns now maintain such control of new buildings by limiting this type of venture, to keep with the landscape. Looks like a grand restaurant and dance hall. I give it 3 yrs, and it will go bust either in foreclosure or resale. I feel so bad for the neighbor, as no fence or hedge can offer privacy.
Don"t be jealous because you can"t have one like that
Who could be jealous of that house. I own one by the beach, really not that, it's just so ugly, too large for this neighborhood. The poor guy that lives right next to it, we feel bad for them. Just doesn't fit here.
Always gotta be someone who throws in the “don’t be jealous” comment. The guy does not sound jealous at all. You on the other hand don’t seem to know what your talking about. I’ve been in the construction/property management business for 20+ yrs. he is 100% correct in that comment. To spend that amount of money, to build a home like that, especially when construction materials are up 45% since pre-Covid is simply a terrible financial decision. The day that house receives its C.O it will start its decline in appraised value. Those homeowners will NEVER see a return on investment and all they are doing is ruining the value of the surrounding houses by making them less appealing to potential buyers. If I was going to purchase that home I may consider it, IF it was on 5 acres with no neighbor in sight. Who the heck wants to spend that kinda money and look out your front window at the backyard of someone else. It’s just a poor design, poor financial decision, and if I were to guess, the owners actually could only afford to build that house on a “cheap” piece of land ( not saying it’s cheap, but for that house it is.) Either way everyone involved; owners, architect, bank ( if their is one), on down to real estate agent, all made terrible decisions. This is just an extreme case of bad financial planning/decision making. And Mr. “Don’t be jealous”, sounds like you have no clue what your talking about, otherwise you wouldn’t have said what you did. My guess is your not living in a mansion, hope you are, but based on the comment, you have no knowledge as to how real estate and finance work.
I bet he thought he would build this house and everyone would be in awe of him and his ability to afford that. Instead, he’s the laughingstock of this town and everyone is appalled at what he built and feels awful for the neighbor next door who is subject to this monstrosity.
Yikes! Would not want his energy or tax bill, lol!
Welcome to the discussion.
Comments that will be deleted include:
What we at The Breeze would truly like to see are comments that add history and context to a story or that use criticism constructively.