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L.A. Ordinance to Limit Mansionization PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jennifer Morales   
Friday, 18 January 2008

The Los Angeles Planning & Land Use Committee has given their tentative approval to a citywide ordinance intended to limit people from building houses disproportionate to the lot size, more commonly referred to as mansionization.  If approved by the City Council, the ordinance will be the first of its kind for Los Angeles and will have a strong impact on the preservation of historic residences, as well as helping to retain the character of some of Los Angeles' older neighborhoods.


The proposed ordinance pits homeowners who believe they should have the right to build whatever they want on their lot against homeowners who fear the loss of privacy and want to preserve the existing character their neighborhoods.  The law could be months away from formal adoption as the council explores concerns from some members that such an ordinance could have a negative impact on property values and city revenue.

Councilman Tom LaBonge proposed the ordinance and believes rampant mansionization will have a larger financial impact than protecting the architectural character of Los Angeles' neighborhoods.  The proposed law has the potential to affect as many as 340,000 lots in the Los Angeles flatlands.  

Still, not everyone agrees that the fledgling ordinance does enough to stop mansionization.  A group calling itself Angelenos Against Mansionization is collecting signatures on a petition against the ordinance in a push for tighter regulations.  

"Planning Department staffers also said the law shouldn't have a significant effect on revenue because more than 70 percent of the new homes built in recent years would have been allowed under the ordinance."

"And that's one of the major complaints about the proposed ordinance: It doesn't really stop mansionization."

"'The proposed ordinance is better than nothing, but it's inadequate," said Shelley Wagers, who lives in Beverly Grove, where homeowners would still be able to double the size of a home and overshadow their neighbors."

"Under the proposal, she said, a property owner still could tear down a 2,100-square-foot home on a 6,000-square-foot lot and build a 4,100-square-foot home."

"'That is not consistent with the character and scale of our neighborhood," Wagers said."

Source:  LA Daily News, Hurdle rising for small-lot manions
By Kerry Cavanaugh, 8 January 2008

Source:  Los Angeles Times, L.A. may limit size of big homes
By Steve Hymon and Duke Helfand, 11 December 2007

Source:  Preserve LA, LA City PLanning on Mansionization
2 December 2006

Last Updated ( Monday, 21 January 2008 )

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