Small-lot development rules up for review


Today, Aug. 8,  is the last day the public can comment on the most recent round of proposed changes to the city laws and guidelines that apply to the construction of small-lot homes, which are those townhouses that have been popping up all across the Eastside and other parts of the city.  While supporters say the developments have provided much needed housing, opponents say developers and property owners have taken advantage of the law to build projects that are far too large and out of character with existing neighborhoods. The proposed changes, which were prompted by complaints about over-development, would impose more restrictions on these projects.

Some of the changes, for example, would increase the minimum width of a lot to 18 feet from 16 and also require more space between the developments and neighboring single-family homes.  The builders would also be required to follow design guidelines; right now the builders have more leeway to deal with them. Here’s a rundown of some of the major changes:


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  1. Change is need to the current by-laws. Take a peek at the development at 1435 Waterloo St in Silver Lake if you want to see what the current rules grant developers.

  2. How about less rules… the rent is too damn high as is.

    • yes exactly!

    • Even Mayor Eric Garcetti, who was the big promoter of these things when he was on the Council, says they will do nothing to bring down prices.

      There area LOT more variables and details to prices and economics than simply supply and demand. In fact, one of the big influences on the price around here is the huge load of speculators buying up a lot of the properties — we have the Wild West of speculators out there. Also, the SLS ordinance itself has skyrocketed the price of the land by five-fold — and that does not help to keep down prices — the SLS ordinance itself is one of the very significant things pushing prices up, not down.

      • If you’re going to make bold claims like supply and demand are irrelevant to the local housing market, could you please cite your sources?

        • And where did I say it was irrelevant?

          And why do you think economics boils down to a quick, shallow sound bite — go learn about it, you won’t get it in a single paragraph. You need to go far beyond the first week of Economics 101.

          • Everyone understands that there are many variables at play when it comes to the housing market. I’ve never argued otherwise.

            But you seem to be implying that some of these other variables (speculation for example) overshadow the most fundemental variable we know of (supply and demand.) I’d just like to see some evidence to support your claims re: LA’s current housing market.

            I’ve sent you this link from the Legislative Analysts Office many times: http://www.lao.ca.gov/reports/2015/finance/housing-costs/housing-costs.aspx

            Like the saying goes, “in god we trust, everyone else bring data”. Convince me.

  3. This is such bullshit. Have city planners learned nothing from 50 years of giving into NIMBYs? They are never satisfied and will always want more. They are a parasite to the city and you’re enabling that parasite to spread by creating even stricter regulations. Fuck I’m mad because I’m almost certain this will pass. It’s going to drive up housing prices on new small lot subs and cost us even more units.

  4. stricter rules and discourage developers from working in LA.
    keep LA neighborhood oriented.
    make air bnb illegal and use those thousands of units for local resident housing.
    developers are all sociopaths whos only interest is ripping off their investors for a quick buck.
    i know its hard for the paid developers who troll on here to understand.

    • Fun fact: virtually every new building in Los Angeles over the last two or three generations was built by a “sociopath developer”. The harder you make it for small, local entrepreneurs to build in this city, the more you’re just tilting the scales in favor of outside interests with deep pockets and zero concern for your neighborhood.

    • It’s a pretty ridiculous Trump-level conspiracy theory to claim developers are paying people to comment on this site. Really? These greedy money grubbing Scrooges are paying people to write comments to counteract their opponents whose opinion they couldn’t care less about?

    • I’m all for regulating airbnb and making them pay taxes, but this is one of the dumbest thoughts I’ve seen on this issue. Even banning airbnb altogether would do close to nothing in addressing LA’s housing crisis. LA needs more housing, and it needs it now.

      Want to be productive and actually contribute to the dialog? Stop whining about ‘neighborhood character’ and other red herrings and start getting developers to include more affordable housing.

  5. Um , isn’t it too late ?

  6. Let’s just make sure to hear from every nimby that hates how expensive LA is getting and simultaneously hates these big buildings ruining the character of our city. I’m going to grab some popcorn BRB.

  7. I live in the neighborhood of the pictured development.
    Rent in the neighborhood continues to climb(It has almost doubled in the past 5 years).
    It sticks out like a sore thumb.
    Parking has become a nightmare.

    Oh and they are about to do the same on another lot on the very same block.

    Developers spin as you will.

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