Tuesday Tidbit: Mitt Romney Clarifies Plans for La Jolla Hideaway

We hesitate to bring this matter up again since we received some rather ugly and disturbing hate mail the last time we discussed, but...

Last week former Massachusetts governor and current GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney took it on the real estate chin when it was reported here, there, and everywhere that he'd submitted plans to nearly quadruple the size of an architecturally insignificant beach front house he owns in the wealthy seaside enclave of La Jolla, CA from around 3,000 square feet to more than 11,000 square feet.

Mister and Missus Romney purchased the posh pad about three years ago for a whopping $12,000,000. Alas and despite the hefty purchase price, according to Mister Romney himself, the 3 bedroom and 5 bathroom beach house just isn't large enough to accommodate his five adult children, their spouses and 16 grandchildren. Hence his plans to expand the residence.

There's certainly nothing inherently wrong or unusual about a multi-millionaire like Mister Romney who embarks on a significant expansion and/or full-scale renovation of a luxury vacation residence. However, given the flailing economy and his White House aspirations some folks–people on both sides of the political aisle, mind you–felt Mister Romney's plan for an extensive and expensive expansion was ill-timed.

Yesterday, in an attempt to clear up and clarify the what's-what about his property plans in La Jolla, Mister Romney told Joe McQuaid, publisher of the Union Leader newspaper in New Hampshire that the gossip and reports were not entirely accurate.

According to Mister Romney, the plans and application for the expansion were filed two years ago, long before he tossed his hat in to the GOP presidential hopeful ring. Mister Romney's campaign previously stated that any construction to or expansion of the house would not begin until after the 2012 campaign. Furthermore, the application submitted calls not for a quadrupling of the living space but rather a doubling achieved by the addition of a second floor that would bring the interior living space to around 6,000 square feet. That's gigantic by most standards but hardly an unusual size for an ocean front home in the exceedingly affluent community of La Jolla. The remaining 5,000 or so square feet in the submitted application, as per Mister McQuaid's reports, are accounted for in "nonliving space" that includes the garage and a basement.

When asked by Mister McQuaid if he issued a press release that more succinctly and accurately lays out his actual plans for the property Mister Romney reportedly "shrugged his shoulders with a 'why bother?' look."

photos: Google Maps