Supersize It –
Houses in Boulder County are Getting Larger

According to a recent Boulder Daily Camera article “the average size of new homes permitted in the county has nearly doubled, from 3,627 square feet in 2002 to 6,290 square feet last year. ” In Boulder county we are seeing large homes being built mainly in the suburban plains, the mountains and infill in the City of Boulder. Many residents are complaining about the large homes. The complaints center around two main themes; the McMansions consume too many resources and the large homes are ruining the character of the neighborhood.

Boulder is a very ecological aware community. A segment of the population is always trying to save energy, recycle etc. They feel that huge homes waste energy and the commissioners should not condone the waste. The people who build the large homes say that they are the ones who pay the costs of having a large home so they are penalized enough. So far the private property rights have prevailed. During 2005 – 2006 40% of new homes were between 5,000 and 10,000 square feet. In fact the average size of a new home built between 2000 and 2006 in Boulder County was just over 5,000 square feet. Compare that to just over 2,000 square feet in the 1970’s.

One area that is a prime example for neighborhood change is the Newlands in North Boulder. During the past ten years many of the small traditional bungalows have been replaced by very large homes that in many cases fill most of the land on the lot. The Boulder County Land Use Department states that the average magnitude increase in the size of new homes over the ones they replace in all of Boulder County is 2.6. That translates into a new home that is 3,041 square feet larger than the old house!

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