Keeping You Informed

L.A.'s Updated Building Codes

On March 1, 2017, Los Angeles moved a step closer toward solidifying the Neighborhood Conservation Initiative and amending the Baseline Mansionization Ordinance/ Baseline Hillside Ordinance.

So, if the ordinance is being amended, how does this affect us locally in the East Venice and Mar Vista areas?

This equates to tightening on the size, setbacks, and curbside massing of homes. We’ve attached the city documents for the ordinance for the impacted Westside areas. It will lay out details on how they City implemented an “Encroachment Plane” to have buildings step back from the front curb view, plus an “articulation” element to have the building step in on the sides of the parcel to create an larger setback for portions of the home. You can also click on the links to the maps showing the East Venice and Mar Vista areas that are being called R1V2 zones (definitions and classifications of what that means are in the ordinance document).

The “V2” and other “V’s” control how the shape and volume of the house can be built as well as the Floor Area Ratio (FAR).  In addition, it controls how much of a house can cover the footprint of any given lot. Because of this amended ordinance, there will be no more homes built on a large scale. For example, larger garages located in the back of the property that are over 400 square feet will count against living space calculations; however, if the garage is in the front of the home, then the City will start counting living space calculations over a 200 square foot garage—this means the incentive is to build garages in the back.

The new ordinance is more restrictive than the ICO, yet not as bad as some may have thought it could be. It does make “already built” large homes more rare since the new rules won’t allow them to be built that large. Local residents can feel good that the integrity of the neighborhoods are being preserved and those who still want to build can yet have to work within the parameters of the new BMO/BHO. For more information you can contact the LA City Office of Historic Resources or the City Planning Department.