Calling local McMansion restrictions a “McMansion diet”

Plenty of American communities have changed their zoning guidelines to limit the size of new McMansions, particularly teardowns in older neighborhoods. But, I’ve never seen this phrase before:

McMansion Diet? Continuation of Public Hearing to amend local law Chapter 197, Zoning, of the Rye City Code, Section §197-1, “Definitions and Usage”, to amend the definition of “STORY, HALF”, and Section §197-43.2, Subsection B, “Attics” to amend the Calculation of Attics in Gross Floor Area.

At its most basic level, the term implies the slimming down of McMansions. In teardown situations, a new home might not be that big compared to the average new home size in the United States of 2,500 square feet. But, if some of the neighborhood homes are 1,200 square feet and the new home is 2,300 square feet or the older and smaller homes are 1950s ranches and the new home is a Spanish with Tudor elements two story structure, the difference is more striking. The diet, which here looks like it relates to how attics should count toward square footage, will lead to smaller homes.

But, such a term also implies that McMansions need diets, that they are obese, that they may be the result of gluttony. These judgments are more involved with teardowns though the implication for McMansion in new sprawling neighborhoods is that they are unnecessarily large as well. And, some McMansion critics would argue, this diet should really be applied to an entire American consumption mindset that ranges from houses to fast food portions to SUVs.

I’ll be on the lookout for more links between McMansions and food diets and how this connection is presented.

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