','subtitle>',$line); echo $line; $line = "\n"; } else if (strstr($line, '','updated>',$line); } else if (strstr($line, '','published>',$line); } else if (strstr($line, ' Impractical Proposals <br> Santa Monica: Planning: The McMansion - Threat or Menace


Planning: The McMansion - Threat or Menace

Planners Move to Close Window on US 'McMansions' in the Guardian is about city and county governments finally getting wise, a decade or so late, to the possibility that building houses of 10,000 square feet for two people might not be such a wise thing for maintaining scale, husbanding resources, and keeping communities connected other than by three-hour freeway commutes (although, when you think about it, the same logic applies to single-family homes of any size). The development may mean more trouble for those invested in the struggling housing market, but for the rest of us it's welcome news.
In Boulder County, Colorado, which has recently adopted measures to cap the size of new homes, houses have grown from an average of 3,900 square feet in 1990 to 6,300 square feet last year.

Last month in Los Angeles, the city's planning commission passed a motion to restrict the size of new homes. If the city council adopts the measure it could affect 300,000 properties in the city. Similar measures have been adopted in Minneapolis and in Florida.

"I think people are suspicious of development in the US right now," says John Chase, architecture critic and urban designer for the city of West Hollywood. "People have an unconscious cultural association with a place. Mansion-building takes away from a person's sense of the identity of a place."
Now if we can just pass the Stop Building Cheap, Crappy Condos Act, we'll really be getting somewhere.

The rest of the story: The Guardian.

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