What's it like to have a polarizing political figure as a neighbor? What's it like when that polarizing political figure is planning a massive construction project on your block?
Some residents of San Diego's La Jolla community have firsthand experience -- they live next to presidential candidate Mitt Romney's vacation home. In 2008, the former Massachusetts governor purchased a $12 million, 3,000-square-foot home on La Jolla's Dunemere Drive. But in 2011, he decided it was simply too small; his five children and 18 grandchildren couldn't properly enjoy the two-bedroom house with only a two-car garage.
Romney released plans in August 2011 to raze the house and build an 11,000-square-foot home in its place. The new house will feature a 3,600-square-foot basement and a split-level four-car garage with a $55,000 car elevator.
How does your home's size compare to Mitt Romney's proposed mansion?
But Romney's presence in the upscale oceanside community has garnered some complaints from neighbors. Besides the expected gripes from those who disagree with the Republican's politics, some nonpartisan issues involve the new home's impact on nearby properties.
Neighbors Randy Clark and Tom Maddox told The New York Times that they refused to sign a document stating that they have no objections to the planned renovations, which would block part of their ocean view.
The Times also reports that residents are weary of how a big construction project can take place on what a resident describes as "a quaint little one-way street." Another Romney neighbor, Mark Quint, is quoted as fearing a "nightmare of construction." Then there's the Secret Service presence. Whenever the presumptive GOP presidential nominee is at his La Jolla house, the newspaper says, a "giant SUV" blocks all incoming traffic to the cul-de-sac where Romney's home is located.
The inconvenience of construction shouldn't be a problem for Romney, though: He owns several other homes where he can stay once construction begins in La Jolla later this year -- not to mention that exclusive Washington, D.C., residence that he's hoping to occupy in January 2013.
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