Excerpts from Politico:
There’s also a planned outdoor shower and a 3,600-square foot basement — a room with more floor space than the existing home’s entire living quarters.
Those are just some of the amenities planned for the massive renovation of the Romneys’ home in the tony La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, according to plans on file with the city.
A project this ambitious comes with another feature you don’t always find with the typical fixer-upper: its own lobbyist, hired by Romney to push the plan through the approval process.
Work on the project has not yet begun.
But it may not help Romney — whose wealth has caused him trouble connecting with average folks — to be seen building a split-level, four-vehicle garage that comes with a “car lift” to transport automobiles between floors, according to 2008 schematic plans for the renovation obtained by POLITICO that are on file with the city of San Diego.
The U.S. Secret Service, in a coordinated appeal with the Romney campaign, requested that POLITICO not publish the specific plans, complete with architectural drawings, submitted to a local agency in California as part of the approval process.
“For operational security, we’d request that you not publish the blueprints,” said Ed Donovan, spokesman for the Secret Service.
The schematic plans are only a precursor to more formal proposals to renovate the 76-year-old, 3,000-square-foot beach house. They include plans for the car elevator and more than 3,600 feet of underground living space. The plans detail that 1,500 cubic yards of earth be removed from the property to facilitate the construction of the large basement.
It is not unusual for homeowners to hire lobbyists to petition local California boards for large home renovation projects, San Diego officials said.
A Romney official said that Peterson provides legal services to the Romneys and that San Diego rules require that anyone who contacts city officials or their staff regarding such a project must register as a lobbyist. City laws also mandate that engineers and architects register as lobbyists if they’re acting in a similar capacity, the official said.