Zoning Wars: Taking On 'McMansionization'

The demolition of small homes and construction of mansions on the modest-sized lots is prompting a backlash in Southern California cities.
September 1, 2006, 6am PDT | davarnado
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Bigger is not always considered better in Los Angeles, especially when it involves newly-built jumbo-sized houses that dwarf adjacent and nearby properties. "LA City Councilman Tom LaBonge has asked the planning department to come up with citywide guidelines on how big is too big. I would hope we could rethink it to allow a person to build their American dream, their castle and have them in scale with the neighborhood." LaBonge wants an ordinance that would "apply to all teardowns and to vacant lots on hillsides, replacing the temporary solutions and current hodgepodge of neighborhood-specific restrictions."

Putting an end to 'McMansionization' of neighborhoods is supported by homeowners desiring "to preserve the character of their streets by keeping out towering villas that block sunlight, eliminate views, destroy mature trees and create sightlines that invade the privacy of bedrooms and backyards."

Backers of the bigger homes see them as "improvements over the smaller, old houses...that the McMansions are replacing."

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Published on Sunday, August 27, 2006 in The Los Angeles Times
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