Friday, July 29, 2005

Read Ann Christoph Column on ““Mansions Matter”

See Ann Christoph “Village Matters” column at the Laguna Beach Independent July 29, 2005 entitled “Mansions Matter”. It is a must read.
See at at

Former Mayor Ann Christoph states: “Now we have … extremely large single-family houses being proposed and built in our city. This trend even has its own moniker—‘mansionization’.”

“In November 2002, the City Council adopted a series of mansionization recommendations. [However] there was no limit imposed on the total floor area of structures.” “we are still seeing applications for 9,000 square foot houses with nine-car garages being seriously considered by Design Review.”

Despite City Municipal Code section 25.05.040 “New development should be compatible with the existing development in the neighborhood and respect neighborhood character.”

“There is action the Council can take to address this issue:
1. Direct the Planning Commission to re-examine the issue of floor area limits, limits that can be tailored to the immediate neighborhood of the application.
2. Change the DesignReview submittal requirements to include a tabulation of the sizes of all of the houses within the 300 feet noticing area, and demonstrate that their proposal is within 10% of the average of the house sizes in the neighborhood.
3. Reiterate that the Design Review Board’s review is discretionary and that they have the prerogative to set stricter limits on size depending on site and neighborhood conditions.
4. Pass an urgency ordinance requiring an automatic appeal to Council for any house over 5,000 square feet or with more than a three car garage.”


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