Blog: McMansions

Burt Ross

It is once again time for me to confess: I am not particularly fond of dogs that are so tiny I cannot sit down without the fear of crushing them, thereby sending them prematurely to doggie heaven; I don’t care for fountains, since whenever a man my age hears running water, a man my age runs to the nearest restroom; and I am not a fan of humongous McMansions, which remind me of mausoleums where I might end up if I don’t take care of myself.

There are a great many things I do not like. The list could probably take over the entire edition of this newspaper. I am from New Jersey and, therefore, I have a God-given right to not like almost everything. But I don’t think government needs to prohibit something just because I don’t like it.

As most of you know by now, our government is thinking about reducing the size of what can be built on our property. A man now in my 70s, I have always taken comfort in hearing that size was not everything, but apparently the size of our homes is a current preoccupation.

If my mail and the internet are any indication, this matter is quite controversial, and there are legitimate concerns being expressed on both sides. Unfortunately, when people feel heated about a subject, they turn to the internet with a vengeance, and often facts go by the wayside.

One of my best friends who has lived in Malibu most of her life, just learned on the internet that she is a Realtor. It was not only news to me, but also news to her.

If somebody were to ask my opinion on this subject, and most assuredly nobody has, I would say that so long as a property owner conforms to setbacks, which should increase with the size of a home, and makes sure his home does not block the view of his neighbors’, and screens his home so his neighbors do not have to look at a Versailles copycat, then a large home is not necessarily something the city should prohibit.

My final thought on the subject is this: Most of us in Malibu are healing in one way or another from a very disruptive and emotional experience and, if possible, the more that consideration of extremely divisive issues can be postponed a while, the better it will be.