ECHO PARK –– As construction of the 18-home Morton Village project enters the final stage, a new – albeit smaller – residential development is in the works for the same block of Morton Avenue.
An entity known as Rocking Horse Development LLC is planning to build a three-home, small-lot project on the site of a 106-year-old bungalow at 1625 Morton Avenue, according to online city records. Rocking Horse is seeking to carve up the the approximately 7,000-square-foot lot, which also contains a smaller home built in the 1920s, into three separate lots. The property sold last year October for about $612,000.
It’s not known if Rocking Horse Redevelopment plans to keep the bungalow, one of the oldest on a block with several homes built more than a century ago, as part of the project or demolish it.
The townhouses would be built under the city’s small-lot subdivision ordinance, which allows for more intense, single-family home development than typically allowed, primarily by reducing the spaces between each home and the boundaries of the lot. Supporters of small-lot developments say the projects are often smaller and less dense than what existing zoning would allow. But the same projects have also triggered concern and opposition in Silver Lake and other neighborhoods over increased density traffic congestion and loss of privacy.
Rob Anderson of Rocking Horse LLC appears to be part of Rocking Horse Redevelopment, which has built and remodeled homes in Silver Lake, Denver and Phoenix, according to its website.
Update @ 3:44 p.m.: Anderson of Rocking Horse said the bungalow will be demolished for the new homes, which will have three bedrooms (one of which could be used for a den or office) and two baths. The homes would take nine to 12 months to complete but said the start of construction will be determined after the necessary city approvals and permits are granted. Anderson said he agrees with those who say some small-lot developments don’t fit into their surroundings:
Some of these projects are out of place in the neighborhoods they’ve been built in. As a eight year resident of Echo Park (literally steps from 1625 Morton Ave) I’ve watched how a lot of these projects have come together. Some are just plain misfits. That aside, our project will integrate well with the surrounding properties.
They’re flanked by properties that are MORE dense than ours will be: downhill from us is an apartment complex with 17 units, uphill is a fourplex. We’re following the lead of those properties by having a similar frontage setback. We’re not asking for an variances or exceptions by way of height, density, or setback. We’re using the existing zoning and planning guidelines. This latter fact further further ensures that the project isn’t overly dense and will integrate well into the neighborhood.