Is large lot development changing the tone of San Carlos?

If you drive by the corner of Carmelita and Alameda de las Pulgas these days in San Carlos, the unusual site might shock you. The charming little bungalow covered by shrubs and greenery has been demolished, leaving a large, empty lot – .45 acres worth – and a little bit of an empty feeling… What will the picturesque, tree-lined Carmelita Avenue between Alameda and Cordilleras look like once two large-lot teardowns are completed? It’s not that we don’t love new construction and bettering our communities – we do!  Home improvements and new homes only bolster our property values and maintain our already competitive residential market. But it can be sad to see the changes when a street such as this one seemed so complete the way it was.

We’re like many of you, we take certain walking and running routes to enjoy the ambiance this street and it parallel partner, Alma Street, possess.  Each home is nicely manicured, a gold medal street when it comes to the Pride of Ownership Category.

And while we know that these large homes being developed on this street will possess the same beauty and design, it begs the question of whether this is the start of a complete transformation of some of our enchanting and quaint San Carlos streets.

But this phenomenon isn’t unique to San Carlos. It is a growing trend sweeping the nation. In fact, the Wall Street Journal just months ago did a story highlighting how sizable homes on average lots are a product of higher land prices, encouraging many to build up rather than buy new.

It also stated that the median size of newly built, detached homes has spiked almost 30 percent since 1992 to 2,445-square feet, while the median size lots for those homes decreased by 12 percent since 1992 to 8,774 square feet, roughly one-fifth of an acre.

So, maybe it’s a sign of the times. This city is so great that instead of moving out, people are changing their homes to remain here. We just hope that good planning and execution allow the area to absorb the monster homes while not dwarfing its neighbors.