"That is why the preservation of neighborhood character is goal number one, policy number one and action number one proposed for review by the Planning Commission and recommendation for adoption by the City Council," said Commissioner Norm Grossman after Monday's two-hour, public workshop.
There is no specific recommendation on square-footage in the proposals, crafted in about a year of meetings that included 30 workshops. Supporters of a maximum-size limit consider the proposed update flawed by the lack of specificity.
Village Laguna members are disappointed that no absolute limit of 5,000 square feet has been included in the recommendation, according to a letter received this month by commissioners.
"Community members who are participating in the Planning Commission workshops have suggested variations on this idea, but so far no such provision has been included in the draft," Village Laguna President Anne Caenn said.
A meeting hosted by Village Laguna in June for representatives of neighborhood associations showed a broad concern about oversized houses, Caenn said. If a limit was set, people with large families who want a more spacious home would know from the get-go that Laguna was not the place to house-hunt, according to Caenn.
"I think people feel comfortable knowing the rules," Caenn said. "If Laguna had a consistent limit, people could decide whether a 15,000 square-foot home or living in Laguna was more important. We all have to make choices."
However, the general plan is not the place for specific building guidelines, planners said.
"For example, the 36-foot height limit that initially defined Village Laguna's purpose is nowhere in the general plan and never has been, but it is ensconced solidly in city ordinances," Grossman said.