Letter: Delusions of grandeur are not neighbourly in Richmond

Dear Editor,

Re: “Welcome to the neighbourhood; Nothing monster about this manor” News, March 27.

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In response to your front page article, I would like to share the following:

The house is indeed a manor, in a neighbourhood that was not manor-intended.

This new home is presented as a model of co-existence, as it is, according to owners not a monster home, in a cohesively planned neighbourhood that is now being transformed by mega homes.

On my street alone, in the last year, four of them now disrupt the landscape: a provincial French palace, two castles, and a Vegas hotel with abundant garden lighting to highlight the palm trees to prove it.

My opinion is that, although the “manor” discussed in the article does have tasteful features, such as lovely windows and doors and a nice “Cape Cod-inspired shingle style,” it still grossly imposes on the neighbourhood, as it stands out, dominating the cohesively planned, unpretentiously charming houses that surround it.

It is mentioned in the article that the neighbours were consulted, giving the reader the impression the owners want to make an effort to be neighbourly. It would have been nice to look at examples of houses nearby where the owners worked with the existing frames and tastefully renovated the houses without oppressing the landscape.

The builder says the homes need to be large to allow for storage space, compensating for the lack of basements.

In this age of environmental concern, shouldn’t we be trying to consume less, thus making storage space less necessary?

Do we need to live ideals of royalty by having large balconies overlooking the “peasants” with their smaller homes that live nearby?

Building the home smaller than what the owners were allowed does not hide the fact that the house is still a mega home, and the nice gestures of consulting with neighbours is but a minor action. 

Call it a manor or a monster, either way, it’s much larger and grand than most homes in the neighbourhood.

Thank for you for the opportunity of express my opinion.

Elaine Beltran-Sellitti

Westwind resident

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