There is always friction between those who want things to remain the same and those who want something new. In the case of teardowns, this friction became a roaring fire in many towns at the point when the seller’s market was the most overheated. In the rush to buy in that perfect neighborhood and build the biggest and best possible mansion, things like common sense and local rules were forgotten.
The controversy was caused by towns that did not enact or enforce building ordinances and greedy builders who rushed to tear down and put up homes without concern for the impact on the surrounding houses. Neighborhoods were stripped of their diversity and of the quiet enjoyment that is supposed to come with homeownership.