It's the second go-round for an anti-mansionization effort.
But big homes on small lots is not the only concern. A 17,000-square-foot residence under construction on a 12-acre lot on Mar Vista has had area residents and environmentalists in fits. The notion that a bonafide "mansion" should not be located on such a huge parcel is a bit hard to swallow, but there it is.
The idea of placing a strict limit on house sizes in the city has been bandied about. But what size is fair? Is 5,000 square feet enough house for anyone?
Even this limit would not have cut down the size of four homes on Ceanothus Drive that has been the subject of much outrage.
Is it fair at all for longtime residents to tell newcomers how much house they can have? Would they have liked it when they were moving into town?
Much has changed since the 1940s and 1950s — or even the 1960s — when many of the "newer" neighborhoods in Laguna were developed. (We won't even go into the cottage and bungalow streets, with undeniable charm but little living space.)
Escalating property values, which have benefited those in their homes, have brought in a new class of resident who, quite simply, can afford a mansion. Is it fair to tell them to look elsewhere than Laguna for the lifestyle they want?
As for the "bigness" of new homes, much of this is driven by changes in the economy and the way people work. Many people nowadays, especially professionals, work out of a home office. "Telecommuting" has replaced vehicular commuting as a way to get work done. And that's usually considered a good thing, not only for the environment but as a way for parents to be active in their children's lives while still pursuing a career.
As families and lifestyles change, so do the types of homes they live in.
As Laguna ponders how to balance the needs of newer, older and yet-to-be residents of the city, all these human factors need to be taken into account.
With the city's creative minds at work, surely a solution can be found that won't simply rely on a "one-size-fits-all" home.