Effort to Stop 'Monster' Houses Hits Roadblock

The Manhattan Beach City Council, still searching for a means to curb so-called monster houses, decided this week not to survey residents and property owners about limiting square footage because the process would be too complicated and time-consuming.

Instead, the council tentatively limited the floor area of a house to 70% of the lot size on most single-family lots, excluding the beach area. The current ratio is 90%.

In addition, 400 square feet would be allowed for garages on lots of 4,800 square feet or less, and 600 square feet on larger lots.

The council has yet to discuss other proposed controls on the bulk of buildings, including setbacks and yard requirements.

The council abandoned the survey idea after consultant Michael Dyett said a credible survey would require interviews with 400 scientifically selected people and could take two months to complete.

The council will hold another meeting on zoning code revision from 2 to 6 p.m. June 16.

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