|One home allows light and|
privacy for neighbors;
the other doesn't.
It's similar to how United Neighborhoods for Reform is building consensus for change through its demolition/development resolution, now making the rounds and gathering endorsements at neighborhood association meetings all over Portland.
Interestingly, many of the Los Angeles developers of the oversize homes were using a loophole designed to encourage "green" building features to build big even though studies, such as one by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, have found that living smaller is more environmental. You can drive a Prius all you want, but if your house is huge, never mind. (And if that house replaced another modest-size one built of quality materials decades ago, it's said that carbon debt can never be recouped.)
There are those, even in Portland, who might say the city has no right to tell property owners what to do with their land. However, reams of city code already tell landowners what they can or can't do, but none of it protects unique affordable housing and previous investors in the neighborhood, i.e., the people already living there and who probably worked hard to improve their properties and neighborhoods only to see them exploited by those who build, cash in, and run, leaving problems behind. As one of the neighborhood leaders in L.A. said, "You drop one of these giant houses in, and it just changes the entire character of the neighborhood."