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Don’t super-size that house

Perspective: Restrictions on McMansions are good public policy

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Lawmakers in several Southern California communities have proposed or approved limits on house sizes to ensure that remodeled homes remain in character with their surroundings and don't impose an excessive amount of house on a standard-sized lot. While such restrictions shouldn't prevent homeowners from remodeling and enlarging their homes, reasonable limitations are appropriate, necessary and good public policy. Savvy homeowners easily recognize a so-called "McMansion" when they see one: These super-sized houses are all house and no land. They consume every inch of the lot on which they've been built, and they invariably appear to loom over neighboring residences. They're usually multistoried, have little or no front yard, backyard or side yards, and seem designed to block their neighbor's sunlight and invade their privacy, both of which are already curtailed by the natural proximity of urban properties. Property rights advocates argue that homeowners should have a virtually unlim...