Property Rights vs. Pickled-Puckered Neighbors

Cowboy Boots



The California post reminded me of our own celebrity  property problems here in Nashville. 


A sticky situation has developed with a country music star who has  a lot of money to spend.  Seems he wants to build a bigger- than- life McMansion on top of a hill  that’s the equivalent to a seven story building. 


You heard that right.  And to top it all off, his name is Rich, John Rich.  I guess that’s appropriate for a guy who wants to build a contemporary, 11,200 –square-foot, minimalist, modern manse which will be 73 feet from basement to roof.  Villa Rich, it’s been dubbed.



He wants a fantastic view of Nashville which the hilltop will definitely  give him.  What’s more, he’s managed to get past zoning laws by building only three stories. Seems the law on that particular street is not exactly clear on how tall each story can be.


What are the new neighbors thinking?


 I’d hate to say on this blog.  They’re not happy about it. 


Rich made it big with the hit song, “Save a Horse” but maybe this real urban cowboy  ought to write another one to go with  it called “Save a House.” That’s really putting it mildly. 


One neighbor , who has a more traditional Tutor, is upset because he claims the sun will be setting every day at noon over his property  since the massive abstract structure will be  blocking  out  most of the light.


So how do I see it?  Property rights vs. pickled- puckered neighbors who are just jealous anyway? 


I believe whole heartedly in property rights, of course.  But I do see an exception in this case.  I think a house that looks totally different from  just about anything in town which towers 60 feet above ground is, well, a little over the top. 


My guess is Rich knows he can’t get such a monstrosity built anyway, so he’s probably figuring on a compromise at 40 feet above sea level.  Still, that’s pushing it. 


Getting along with the neighbors always pays off handsomely.  I’m not saying you have to volunteer to baby-sit their children and pets,  but it’s best to live amongst them within good will reason. 


But here’s another factor.  Resell value.  What would a thing like that sell for in the future?  Will there be another buyer who not only can afford it, but would like to live in that particular neighborhood?  It’s not Belle Meade, although it’s within a few blocks of new midtown condo complexes.  That’s certainly something to think about when you’re spending millions.