Letters: Building bigger houses


Re “Tear-downs on rise amid housing boom,” Jan. 4

This story about neighbors dismayed by people who buy a home, tear it down and build a much larger one sounds familiar. New people are moving into the neighborhood and they’re different; this time, they’re rich and have a different lifestyle. They live in mansions.

Builders wouldn’t put up houses in desirable neighborhoods if there weren’t people who wanted to buy them. Instead of trying to pass laws to prevent change and keep out those who are different, we should all welcome them to the neighborhood and say, “Hi.”

Sharon Gehl


San Diego

Mansionization renders any neighborhood less intimate and more monolithic. By making gardens a minimal rather than prominent feature of a neighborhood, mansionization reduces people’s relationship to nature and wipes out wildlife formerly present in older gardens. Huge homes also reduce the area available for rainwater percolation.

The overall effect in a neighborhood taken over by out-of-scale homes is sterilization rather than vitality. City policies would assure better long-term value if they favored garden space over excessive square footage.

Sidney Higgins

Silver Lake



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