Creative Thinking When Zoning Fails

“Densification” “Infill”…modern words.  These words weren’t part of the vocabulary 25 years ago when we bought this little beach house…

Across the street was a heavily wooded lot with huckleberries, salal, shorepines, rhoadies…it looked like this…and birds lived here…”habitat.”

For 25 years we rolled up to our house knowing that one day we’d drive in and find something different there…and it finally happened.  The people to the north bought the lot and for a couple of years left it alone, but plans were afoot for a garage with an apartment above for their children and one day we drove up to see this…trees all cut down…

and Friday, after a two week absence…

The thing to keep in mind here is that all but one house on Ebb Street is one story, and this garage is taller than the one two story house.  And here is the old view from inside, and the new…

We, on the other hand, were not allowed to put on a small front porch so made do with a pergola…

But, hilariously, I put a photo on Instagram this weekend and have received suggestions to think of it as an Italian villa…Roger and my brother suggested a paintings by Sassetta and Giotto…

and Rachel thought maybe just an Italian villa…

…so now, we are amused.   Sort of.





  1. I share your pain/amusement….when we moved here 36 yrs ago, we were surrounded by old growth. Not so much anymore. I see the beauty of what’s left and try to ignore what’s gone. Not always easy.

  2. I’m with you on this! So much to deal with but it is hard to see habitat go while zoning allows that out of scale building when you weren’t allowed so much as a small front porch??? I have been trying to find a way to deal with the loss of more than 60 acres (growing daily) of trees from the adjoining properties on all sides of me now. Many of those were old growth oaks. I’d like the demons to be banished. Instead of the birds. Your beach place stills looks totally charmingly yours. That’s the real creative thinking!

    1. Oh Sue-Del…your situation is so much more awful than ours…but the idea is the same…it seems a selfish choice and you wonder why they didn’t just buy a bigger house…but…it could be so much worse. What will be around you…vines? Not houses surely…xo B

  3. Oh dear! I didn’t see the humor of that building until the last Italian villa photo.. jimmy cricket,if it did t look like one.😄

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