The Los Angeles City Council last week voted to update rules that regulate the size of single-family homes on lots smaller than 7,500 square feet following concerns that current measures are not strict enough, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.
Under the update to the city’s Baseline Mansionization Ordinance, which was passed in 2008, floor areas for new homes in that category will be reduced to 45% of the size of the lot from 50% currently. The goal is to prevent larger homes from overwhelming plots.
City councilors also approved new limits for homes constructed on the side of hills and amendments that encourage building detached or rear garages that were previously contained in mandatory measures, according to Curbed.
The vote follows a two-year ban put on residents and builders in March 2015 regarding replacing or adding onto existing homes to create larger properties. The Neighborhood Conservation Interim Control Ordinance applied to single-family homes in 15 neighborhoods and came in response to what advocates considered an uptick in residential projects that were out of scale with their surroundings.
Los Angeles residents can take heart in the fact that single-family homes, nationwide, at least, are getting smaller. While much of that trend can be attributed to builders scaling down their offerings in the hopes of attracting younger, first-time buyers looking for affordable properties, even the upper end of the market is seeing footprints contract.
The number of U.S. home starts priced at or above $1 million fell 41.6% to 1,762 in 2015, according to a National Association of Home Builders’ analysis of data from the Census Bureau Survey of Construction. This category has been on the decline since its peak in 2005. Cost isn’t a sure indicator of size, but the two are correlated.
Los Angeles voters will tackle a separate density-focused measure this week. The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, also known as Measure S, aims to suppress a recent flurry of high-density, mixed-use projects with a two-year moratorium on projects that require zoning changes or other amendments in order to proceed.
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