Because not enough people are wishing ill upon him, developer Wendell Wood has clear cut a big chunk of Carter’s Mountain, where he’s building a 15,554 square foot mansion, Dave McNair writes for The Hook. Including unfinished space and outdoor living space, the whole thing comes to 30,000 feet—and the huge swath of trees that he’s taken out for 360° views means that the enormous structure is visible from all around. You can’t miss it while driving down 29 South, where it sits atop the mountain, interrupting the ridge line. (See The Hook’s photos.) Despite repeated efforts to get the Board of Supervisors to prohibit mountaintop construction—largely at the behest of wealthy local conservative Fred Scott (as in Stadium)—the ordinance has never passed, so such construction is entirely legal, if reprehensible.
I am halfway through the process of building my own house perched on a mountain—although it’s less than 5% of the size of Woods, and kept off of the main ridge—and I’ve become very familiar with the steps that are necessary to keep a mountainside house from becoming an eyesore. Woods isn’t just not taking those steps, but he appears to be actively doing anything that he can to make his site visible far and wide. If that’s the case, all he’s got to do is paint it a garish color, which no doubt is forthcoming. Building a house in this manner is a bit like renting a billboard to suggest to children that they try heroin—while perfectly legal, anybody who would do such a thing is a jackass.