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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP / East County | Thousand Oaks

Plan Seeks to Deter Oversized Homes

September 19, 2000|JENIFER RAGLAND

Hoping to curb the so-called "mansionization" of residential neighborhoods in the city, planning commissioners are recommending the City Council start requiring homes with seven or more bedrooms to have at least a four-car garage.

City planners have studied the idea since February, and took the proposed code change to the commission last week. Without the change, it's difficult for the advisory panel to deny requests to build oversized houses in tract neighborhoods, Commissioner Jim Bruno said.

Under existing rules, houses with more than five bedrooms must have a garage that can house three cars and those with four or fewer rooms are required to have two-car garages.

Extra large houses can be unsightly for neighbors and cause parking problems on residential streets, he said. The theory is that the extra garage requirement would serve as a deterrent for people to build so many bedrooms.

"This is like a de facto way of not allowing the 'mansionization' of neighborhoods," Bruno said.

As housing prices continue to soar in Thousand Oaks and land available for building becomes more limited, city officials believe they will encounter additional requests from residents to expand their homes rather than move. Still, requests to build a home with seven or more rooms are rare, according to a city staff report.

"We want to encourage people to upgrade their houses, but not where it becomes an eyesore of seven bedrooms," Bruno said.

The issue should go to the council in the next two months.

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