Sun, Feb

Alert: McMansion Limits for Yet Another Neighborhood

LA LAND USE-The City of Los Angeles is poised to approve its second neighborhood-specific set of restrictions on the size of single-family homes, this time to limit "McMansions" in the Beverly Grove area.


The City Council will vote Tuesday on an ordinance that would put a Residential Floor Area (RFA) District over approximately 700 homes in a 5-street Mid City neighborhood between San Vicente Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue north of Wilshire Boulevard. This would be the second RFA District approved in the city following the February 2012 approval of a RFA District in Studio City.

If enacted, the Beverly Grove RFA would limit the maximum residential floor area ratio (FAR) contained in all buildings and accessory buildings to 42 percent, with various bonuses that could bring the FAR up to 50%. For example, a home on a 6,000-square-foot lot would be limited to 3,000 square feet, with bonuses. The Beverly Grove RFA sets both a lower base FAR and a lower maximum allowable FAR than is currently allowed citywide.

Several local homeowner groups have pushed for the RFA District, saying that recently built homes are out of character with the 90-year-old neighborhood. "These Beverly Grove McMansions are out-of-character, out-of-scale, and deprive neighboring houses of privacy, air and sunlight," wrote the Beverly Wilshire Homes Association in its support letter for the ordinance.

But not everyone in Beverly Grove supports the RFA District. At the City Council's Planning & Land Use (PLUM) Committee last month, opponents submitted petitions signed by 359 people identified as property owners in the neighborhood who oppose the RFA. Despite the opposition, the PLUM committee voted unanimously to recommend approval of the RFA District to the full City Council.

Councilman Paul Koretz, who represents the area, requested that the PLUM Committee recommend an urgency clause for the Beverly Grove RFA, which the committee did citing an urgent need for the new regulations. That urgency clause has pushed the Beverly Grove RFA District on a fast track toward approval. If the City Council votes Tuesday to approve the ordinance, it could take effect in about 5-8 weeks later depending upon how quickly Mayor Eric Garcetti signs it.

By contrast, the Baseline Hillside Ordinance (which set development limits on the city's Hillside neighborhoods) was approved by the PLUM Committee in August 2010 without an urgency clause. It wasn't enacted for 8 months.


● The City Council is scheduled to vote on the Beverly Grove RFA on Tuesday during its regularly scheduled meeting, which starts at 10 a.m. at City Hall.

City Council file

PLUM Report

359 petitions submitted opposing the RFA District

Beverly-Wilshire Homes Association support

Beverly Grove Alliance support

Studio City Residential Floor Area District Ordinance


(Chris Parker is a land use consultant and the publisher of  LandUseLA.com






Vol 11 Issue 83

Pub: Oct 15, 2013