Friday, May 9, 2008

Los Angeles Introduces Anti-McMansion Ordinance

McMansion - Over-Sized Home - in Los Angeles The Los Angeles City Council this week approved a measure that will limit the size of remodeled homes in the city's flatlands to about 3,000 to 4,000 sq ft in most cases. The legislation was sorely needed to retain neighborhood character -- and to prevent egregious cases of over-building, where behemoths of 6,000 sq ft or more were towering over neighboring houses of less than one-third their size. The average home in Los Angeles is now 1,700 sq ft.

The new law restricts owners to building a new improvement no larger than half the size of the lot's square footage, plus a 400 sq ft garage. Many of the city's 304,000 flatland houses have lots in the 5,000 - 6,000 sq ft range. Councilman Tom LaBonge is pushing for similar legislation in the city's 100,000+ hillside homes.

Building groups and the Beverly Hills/Greater Los Angeles Association of Realtors immediately decried the legislation and warned that the ordinance would drive down property values in the city. Council members were not persuaded: the measured passed 12-0.

Jamie Adner