Back in 2008, Pandora cofounder Tim Westergren and his wife, Smita Singh (who is herself
high up a former higher-up at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation), purchased a plot of land in West Marin's rural Inverness Park with plans to build a vacation home where they would one day retire. Now their proposal to build a two-story, six-bedroom, 10-bath, 5,494-square-foot home is drawing ire from neighbors who live in more modest-size homes with perhaps only one or two bathrooms. According to the Chronicle, decks will link the main house to a pool house, a meditation hut, and a caretaker unit, for a total square footage of 8,297. Residents of the unincorporated community, which is close to Point Reyes Station, cite concerns over water use and fear that Westergren's and Singh's plans are a sign of McMansions to come.
While we wouldn't exactly call the spare wood and glass structure rendered above a McMansion—which would make its companion a McMeditation Hut—we do wonder about the 10 bathrooms. According to the Marin Journal, the high toilet count is inspiring rumors that the vacation home—whose plans were filed by a conspiracy-theory-stoking LLC named Hidden Dragon—is some sort of Trojan horse for a boutique hotel. The couple, meanwhile, told neighbors in an email that they need all the bedrooms and bathrooms so that their extended families can stay. "We can imagine having family and friends as guests, and perhaps annually hosting both our extended families for several weeks or more," Westergren emailed in September.
A local organization of property owners and preservationists called the Inverness Association is nonetheless unhappy with the property's scale. Critics say the "functional" amount of bedrooms is 17, and put the bathroom count at 14. The Inverness Association has apparently analyzed the proposed septic system and concluded that it is sized to serve 11 bedrooms in the main residence and six in a second unit.
The plans are currently under review by the county, and a public hearing is slated for January, which should give neighbors plenty of time to perfect their septic-system projections.