LA Council Approves Limits On ‘McMansions’

LOS ANGELES (CBS.com) — The Los Angeles City Council Wednesday approved amendments to an ordinance that further limits the size of so-called “McMansions.”

In a 12-0 vote, the council approved an update to the city’s Baseline Mansionization Ordinance, applying to single-family homes on lots that are less than 7,500 square feet. Such properties are currently allowed to have floor areas that are 50 percent of the lot size, but under the amendment will be reduced to 45 percent.

“Every street has one now,” Westwood resident Steve Rogers said. “We have four of these boxes on our street right now. In one case, there are two. One on either side of a little Spanish 1,500 square-foot house.”

“It’s extreme, it’s not a small problem it’s a big, big thing.”

The council also unanimously approved an amendment that creates incentives for building detached garages or placing garages in the rear of a home by exempting them for the first 400 square feet from the size of the home, while garages that are attached at the side will have a 200-square-foot exemption.

It also approved the Baseline Hillside Ordinance, which puts limits on homes built on hillsides. The amendments still require the signature of Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Some property owners like the amendments, but don’t want to limit their options.

“We don’t want mansions in our neighborhoods, but I think that we wanted to have a little bit more leniency, but we’re OK with what happened,” Beverlywood resident Lauren Gans said.

“Tons and tons of requirements,” Gans added. “It’ll be interesting to see what happens when the people start submitting plans and how they’re going to get approved and how that’s going to work.”

Homes that are bigger than typically built in a neighborhood, or that dominate the footprint of the property they are located on, often referred to as McMansions, were limited in the original Baseline Mansionization Ordinance that passed in 2008. But the measure fell “far short of its mandate to create regulations that allow for sustainable neighborhoods and that protect the interest of all homeowners,” L.A. City Councilor Paul Koretz wrote in the motion creating the amendments.

Some people are worried, however.

“Realtors and developers think it’s bad for business,” Rogers said.

“We paid a lot of money for our property in L.A. and we need to make sure we protect our property rights and get the increased value that we’re entitled to based on making an investment in our home,” Gans said.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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