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More Height Moratorium Madness in the OC

(image via Snopes.com)

Things continue to remain tense in some Orange County communities as neighbor fights neighbor over the size of their mcmansion. Sadly, no one is painting the word "abortion" on someone elses home just yet. Last night, Seal Beach's City Council narrowly approved a 2-story height restriction on new homes in the Old Town area of the city. Proponents of the height restriction feel it's necessary to preserve the character of the neighborhood, while opponents see it as another case of big government squashing their property rights. Not coincidentally, the ban will take effect on the same day that voters will go to the polls and decide the fate of Proposition 90, which has the potential to create a flurry of lawsuits against cities who try to limit things like height.

Proposition 90, which will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot, is intended to curb the power of government in eminent-domain cases. But one of its provisions could potentially make cities vulnerable to lawsuits from residents claiming their properties decreased in value as a result of zoning changes. A home-height cap could decrease the value of properties in Seal Beach, some homeowners say.

Earlier this year, San Clemente was embroiled in a height restriction battle of its own that resulted in an ordinance banning second-story construction in the Shorecliffs neighborhood. Some residents were opposed to new construction blocking their views of the ocean. That ban is being challenged in court and through a referendum to nullify the ordinance.
· Seal Beach bans 3 stories [OC Register]
· Prop. 90 weighs on Seal Beach vote to limit heights [OC Register]
· Your McMansion is Harming My View [Curbed LA]