Out of Control Policy Blog

You can work hard to keep up with the Joneses

Or you can work on your elected officials to prevent the Joneses from building a house that's bigger than yours:

    This week the Los Angeles City Council approved the first "anti-mansionization" ordinance in one small section of the country's second-largest city. More L.A. enclaves are lined up to follow suit.

    "Mansionization has become one of the most pressing issues in my district," says Wendy Gruel, the city councilwoman who sponsored the legislation, which goes into effect immediately upon formal approval this week. The measure will limit homes built on lots of 8,000 sq. ft. or less to 2,400 sq. ft. - or 40 percent of the lot size, whichever is greater. The move affects just one community of her district (known as Sunland-Tujunga). Neighboring towns of Pasadena, Glendale, and Burbank have visited the issue, some coming up with similar ordinances, and Ms. Gruel says other areas of the San Fernando Valley are clamoring for their own laws as well.

    "It's a quality of life issue that goes to the heart of many of the values that Americans cherish," says Gruel.

Really? I kind of thought that line about a man's home being his castle was more in line with American values.

This is also another example of politicos' inconsistent take on sprawl. They say they hate it, but then they pass sprawl enabling ordinances like this.

Here's Siim Soot, research professor at the Urban Transportation Center, University of Illinois at Chicago:

    "I am pleased by the trend by some builders and home buyers to build bigger homes on smaller lots because it restricts the overall expansion of urban areas into wild and still-green areas ..."

Whole article here.

More on petty neighborhood tyranny here.

Ted Balaker is Producer


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