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Council Curbs Spread of Super-Sized Homes
1900 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405
By Jorge Casuso
October 23, 2019 -- The Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday took a bite out of the super-sized "McMansions" many residents fear are encroaching on their streets.
The new development standards approved by the Council reduce the lot coverage and height of new structures, while increasing second story set-backs and reducing their outdoor spaces.
The standards -- -- which take effect January 1 -- apply to more than 6,000 parcels in the North of Montana, North of Wilshire, Sunset Park and Expo/Pico neighborhoods.
The standards exempt accessory dwelling units (ADU), or "granny flats," from parcel coverage.
The updated development standards balance "the desire to preserve the character that makes Santa Monica’s residential neighborhoods so attractive and the need for families to build based on changing needs,” said Mayor Gleam Davis.
Under the new standards -- which replace the temporary standards adopted by the Council in February 2018 -- new homes can only cover 45 percent of the lot, while additions to one and two-story homes can cover 55 percent.
The standards also set a maximum height of 28 feet with no wall height above 23 feet and determine second story setbacks based on parcel coverage instead of height.
Proponents of the new standards say super-sized homes are increasingly looming over the bungalows and frame houses that once lined the city's residential streets.
They include "eliminating enhanced parking requirements for major additions and allowing for flexibility around setbacks and stepbacks for home additions," City officials said.
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