The citywide ordinances brought substantial and much-needed changes.
On March 1, the Los Angeles City Council voted to adopt far-reaching amendments to the citywide mansionization ordinances.
On March 8, the Council voted to adopt ordinances that also provide access to a menu of “variation zones” for about 20 neighborhoods where mansionization has been most prevalent.
The ordinances were signed by Mayor Eric Garrett and took effect March 17:
Floor area ratio. This ratio compares the size of the house to the size of its lot and is the central element in determining home size. The floor area ratio was reduced for all single-family zones in the City of Los Angeles.
Exemptions. Previously, certain spaces were excluded from “floor area.” Exemptions such as those for attached garages and covered porches/patios/balconies added hundreds of square feet of uncounted floor space. Most of this space now counts as floor area, so the floor area ratio better reflects actual home size.
Bonuses. Previously, the use of certain design features and building materials earned bonus square footage that increased house size by 20 percent. These bonuses were eliminated entirely in most single-family neighborhoods and sharply reduced in others.
Grading and hauling. Previously, excessive allowances for grading posed a threat to the integrity of hillsides, and trucking out huge amounts of soil put a strain on roads in hillside neighborhoods. These allowances have now been sharply curtailed.
In addition to the protection provided by the citywide mansionization ordinances, related ordinances creating a menu of variation zones gave stakeholders valuable tools to tailor regulations to the needs of their neighborhoods.