While no one has emerged as a winner from the embarassing dysfunction and manufactured drama that currently defines our nation’s capitol, leave it to greasy haired granddad, would-be Big Bird murderer, and foe of dog lovers Mitt Romney to have a victorious, bang-up kind of week. 

After much delay, the former GOP presidential candidate renowned for his everyman appeal and progressive stance on climate change, has finally been granted full permission by the California Coastal Commission to raze his beachfront cabin in the tony beachfront enclave of La Jolla, Calif., and replace it with an even more unassuming structure.

As I reported previously, Romney’s dramatic upsizing project has managed to stir up strong feelings in the mellow and monied seaside community just north of San Diego. The existing 3,009-square-foot beach retreat (built in the 1930s but not deemed as historic) that he purchased in 2008 for $12 million will be replaced by an elephantine structure that, at a little over 11,000 square feet, can provide more space for his sizeable gaggle of grandchildren to run amok.

Worried about the impact that such a large structure would have on the beachfront, Anthony Ciana, a former neighbor and local architect, filed an appeal after the redevelopment project was initially approved. In the end, however, the CCC sided with Romney and his wife, Anne, cookbook authoress and owner of dancing horses, claiming that “the vast majority of the square footage” of the proposed mega-mansion with an elevator-equipped garage “will be contained in the basement and first floor.”

The CCC also found that the Romney palace, which according to the Los Angeles Times, will be situated on a lot located above one of the “choicest beaches” in La Jolla, “will not have adverse impacts on public views to and along the beach, as the existing ocean views are down the street and not over the subject property.”

Says Greg Cox, one of the commissioners who green lit the project: “This will be very compatible with development in this neighborhood. It’s not going to be intrusive. Right now, it seems like these people have played by the rules that are in place and the proper thing to do is to approve this project today.”

Matthew Peterson, the San Diego attorney who the Romneys hired to help push the project past the permitting stages, told the press: “I just met with Mitt and Ann down at the house. They are extremely excited and pleased and can’t wait to build a new home for their family. My clients are looking forward to building a house where they can have fun with their kids and grandkids. They are very, very happy this is done. It’s been a long process.”

Peterson notes that the project is slated to break ground in about six months; after the existing home is demolished, the new manse would be completed in about 14 to 16 months.

Via [Los Angeles Times], [Forbes]

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Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Romney's neighbor-irking redevelopment project in La Jolla is a go
Despite local opposition, Mitt Romney is given the green light to raze his existing beachfront home in La Jolla, Calif. and replace it with a ginormous mansion.