Silver Lake packs them in thanks to small-lot development*

Renderings for Silver Terrace/Land Advisors

A pair of lots of Hyperion Avenue up from Sunset Boulevard could become Silver Lake’s newest housing development with a dozen homes.  The lots – one vacant, the other occupied by a six-unit apartment building – in the 900 block of Hyperion are currently up for sale and can accommodate 12 single-family homes under the city’s small-lot ordinance, which allows property owners to carve up lots into small individual pieces.  Nearby property owners on Maltman Avenue used the small-lot ordinance to turn a 17-unit  bungalow court into separate homes that were sold off. But, for the most part, the small lot ordinance has been used to build new homes and demolish existing structures.

Proposed plans for Silver Terrace, as the Hyperion Avenue property is called, show a dozen, three-bedroom, three story homes. It’s up to the buyer to decide if they want to follow through with this concept, according to Land Advisors, the broker  for the Hyperion property.

Land Advisors did not reveal an asking price for the pair of lots, which combined total about 14,000 square feet, or say what prices the 12 potential homes could fetch.  However, Land Advisors notes that four homes in the nearby Edgecliff Terrace small-lot project have been sold since they went on the market in January at prices between $745,000 to $795,000.

Small-lot builders have also found success on the north end of Silver Lake, where the homes at Auburn 7, priced between $790,000 to $825,000, sold out after being built in 2009 by MASS Architecture Design.  On Rowena Avenue, Heyday Partnership is currently building another six-home, small-lot project in Silver Lake  called Buzz Court.

* Correction: An earlier version of this post said that Auburn 7 was developed by the Heyday Partnership. That’s wrong.  MASS Architecture Design developed the Auburn 7 project.


  1. So long as they build sufficient parking!

  2. Who would want to live elbow to elbow in a tiny home for $800,000? It’s just plain weird.

  3. Anyone who feels this type of “cookie cutter”, Condos in sheeps clothing use of the Small Lot Sub Ordinance is wrong, should read carefully, VTT-70653-SL, on the Planning Depts case summary website. It was denied based on NOT following the Small Lot Sub Guidelines. So far only the Maltman Conversion has fully served the intent of the Ordinance.


  4. Bottom line, there is a housing shortage. I personally prefer the Small Lot ordinance to giant condo buildings… that’s just me though. Like everyone else, I’d love to keep the eastside how it is/was, but I don’t think that’s a realistic goal.

    • How exactly do we go about repealing this “small lot” ordinance? If the ordinance didn’t exist, how many “condos” could legally be proposed in that same space? Any idea?

  5. Auburn 7 was not built by the Heyday Partnership (www.heyday-la.com) but rather by MASS Architecture Design Build (www.mass-arch.com)

  6. I live across the street from the lot at 900 Sanborn. It is where I rented my parking space for ages- until I found a another space a few houses down 🙂 . The property was foreclosed on and sold last summer. The new owners are a husband and wife. The development has already started. There has been nothing posted about the building project, no permit notices, and the residents have had no chance to voice an opinion about what and 11 unit structure will do to this already over crowed neighborhood.

    The original property, now demolished, was a triplex with 6 parking spaces. Where is parking going to come from for 11 units? Even if there is an underground solution provided, what about the guests of those 11 units?

    In this section of Silverlake and on Sanborn at Hoover in particularly, we have a real parking debacle. Permit only street parking surrounds our little slice of heaven. Now this could have actually been a good thing. The city makes money on permits and the residents have parking. Well, according the Garcetti’s office, there are only 6 blocks in any area that can have permit parking. It just so happens that the 6 locks that have the permit parking are 6 blocks with homes that have driveways and garages, mostly occupied by homeowners, rather that the 6 block stacked side by side with apartments and rentals built at a time when apartments were not required to have resident parking. So here’s what happens: the streets with homes are empty and the streets with rentals are not just over crowded with folks that live there, they are also crowded with the folks that cannot afford the permit or those that refuse to pay for the permit, the permit residents party guests, students from LACC, and who knows who else. There are on occasion, people sleeping in their cars that have not been lucky enough to get a parking space even blocks from where they live. I have neighbors that bring their bike with them to commute from their apartment to their car because they have to park so far away.

    Sorry to rant, but jiminey crickets! What in blazes are we going to do if they keep packing folks in like sardines with nowhere to park?

    • If you already know parking problems exist, why even move to problem parking areas to begin with if you have a car?

      I am for more than ample parking on new projects. But I am in a small group when it comes to this, when going to City Hearings and meetings for new projects my company is working on. But this is like complaining when being under a flight path that the planes are too loud.

  7. Stephenie, you actually are talking of the place being built across the street from this site. This story is deficient in that it never gave the address of what it was talking about!

    The site this story is talking about now has an apartment building on it, and they are combining it with the lot next door. This project was proposed four years ago. The 12 units they are talking of actually were what that project was — but the zoning allowed for only 10 units maximum. The zoning has since been reduced on that side of the street, and I’m not sure they are allowed even 10 units anymore, might only be allow 6 units.

    They were seeking a conditional use permit (variance) four years ago to allow for the extra units — and now it sounds like the seller is misrepresenting that 12 units is allowed. Actually, a conditional use permit expires two years affect issue if it is not used! That means they are not allowed to build 12 units there — unless they apply for a variance again!

    Last time around, our Neighborhood Council was way too willing to bend over backward and do all it could to provide the developer with permission to build 12 units rather than the maximum of 10, and also reduce the amount of setbacks required by law to provide for this, and to change some of the parking requirements to allow tandem parking, which otherwise would not be allowed. But in the end, even with all that accommodation, the developer was so uncooperative and nasty that the Neighborhood Council finally just sent the application to the city without any recommendation — mind you, they did not oppose it, just gave no recommendation.

    I’m not sure what came of it then, but the economy then crashed, and the development never went ahead.

    It was a HORRIBLE proposal, three-story tall trailers is all it was, the width of a trailer! And jammed in there, violating required setbacks, and tandem parking that never would have worked, would only send cars to park on the streets.

    These things do not belong in a neighborhood with normal sized housing — if they are to be allowed, they belong somewhere in their own zone, as trailer parks are relegated.

    At this point, the neighbors can now know and have a chance to weigh in this time. It is now time to mobilize and speak out against the over-development. As Stephanie notes, this street has a MAJOR, MAJOR problem with parking already. Not only can nothing more be added, but something has to be done about the parking situation. The street is quite narrow, and because of that, for half the length of it, parking is allowed only on one side of the street.

  8. Small lot projects have nothing to do with packing them in more than what is already allowed. When this project was entitled much greater density than proposed was already allowed on the site. Small lot projects have just proven more financially feasible than the apartment or condominium development alternatives…

  9. Small lot ordinance has to be repealed.

    • The small lot ordinance will not be repealed. It’s one of the ways LA is able to comply with SB 375. And its really not the end of the world. It’s essentially just legalizing the construction of townhomes, a housing typology that those of us from the east coast cities, San Francisco, Chicago, or any European city are quite used to.

      To me, it makes a lot of sense. Some of us don’t have a practical use for a yard, and don’t want to deal with the maintenance. At the same time, the thought of purchasing a condo and being beholden to HOA fees isn’t all that appealing either.

      These small-lot homes are the perfect middle ground. Condo-like lifestyle, but with a fee-simple property, and no HOA fees. I hope some of these are eventually built downtown to give DTLA residents alternatives to loft living.

      • I don’t see what being “quite used to” these in SF/Chicago, etc has to do with anything. They’re a lousy model for housing that messes with the distinct pleasures of L.A. living, both in an aesthetic and in a daily manner. I have nothing against SF or Chicago or…wherever, but it’d make no sense to turn those cities into single family house places. If that was proposed and the answer to critics was “well, in L.A. they’re quite used to it,” do you think that would be sufficient? Of course not. Not all things are suitable to all places. These dreadful townhouses are a blight here.

  10. Troy, would you rather have a much larger and imposing condo/apartment building or a smaller well designed project designed within the small lot ordinance. Your choice. Personally I vote small lot ordinance. It’s a big step forward for the city.

  11. The small lot ordinance does not change the zoning of a lot or allow more units to be built. It just allows units on a single lot to be sold as single-family homes, rather than condos (they have to be physically separated, if only by a couple of inches).

    Obviously some people *do* want to live elbow-to-elbow for $800k, because all of these developments have sold out quickly.

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