It was only a matter of time — the "monster home" phenomenon of 2000-2005 has generated its own backlash. And let there be no doubt, the size of American homes has grown tremendously. In 1973, the average home was 1,525 square feet and in 2006 it was 2,248 square feet, a 47% increase in size. Now more and more cities and counties are leveling new restriction on the buildings I've heard called "McMansions" and "starter castles," massively oversized homes that don't fit the neighborhood's character. Strategies for restriction vary — Boulder County in Colorado is considering requiring builders to pay extra for houses larger than 3,000 feet while Atlantic Beach in Florida has restricted homes to half the size of the square lot. The City Council of Salt Lake City took a different tack by limiting the height of new homes to 28 feet. Proponents contend the restrictions preserve open spaces and preserve the neighborhood's character. Critics say it is a restriction on property owners' rights. Either way, I have to admit my eyes bugged out a little when I read the median size of a new home in Boulder County was 6,000 square feet. Zow, that's big.