LA City Council Votes to Limit Size of ‘McMansions’

The City Council voted 12-0 to curb the size of homes that can be built on small lots, as the ‘McMansion’ trend divides LA neighborhoods.

The City Council moved Wednesday to further limit the size of so-called “McMansions.”

In a 12-0 vote, the council asked the city attorney to draft up an amendment to the city’s Baseline Mansionization Ordinance. The new rules would impact single-family homes on lots that are less than 7,500 square feet, as homes on such properties are currently allowed to have floor areas that are 50 percent of the lot size, but under the amendment would be reduced to 45 percent.

“These larger properties provide no additional housing to our city but do price out our long-term residents,” Councilman David Ryu said. “We have lost hundreds of homes, displaced middle class families and changed the historic character of our neighborhoods. Additionally, out-of-scale development has pitted neighbor against neighbor, creating toxic community disputes.”

The amendment 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 would only have a 200-square-foot exemption.

The amendment would also put new limits on homes built on hillsides.

Homes that are bigger than typically built in a neighborhood or 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 ordinance “has fallen far short of its mandate to create regulations that allow for sustainable neighborhoods and that protect the interest of all homeowners,” Councilman Paul Koretz wrote in the motion creating the amendment.

Several dozen residents in the audience stood up when asked by Koretz how many present were in favor of the amendment.

“If you took a vote of the 600,000 single-family homes in Los Angeles, I would bet my life on the fact 80 percent or more would be for this,” Studio City Neighborhood Council member Barry Johnson told the council. “I’m glad that as a body you are finally giving the weight to these 600,000 single-family households versus a couple of hundred spec builders. And in my neighborhood the spec builders make just as much money now in building a slightly smaller house as they did before. So it’s what you can sell it for, it’s not the size.”

Once the amendment is drawn up by the city attorney’s office it will go to the Planning and Land Use Committee for approval before coming back to the City Council.

LAPD Devonshire PALS 32nd Annual Holiday Toy Drive

CD 12 is proud to support two toy drives for underserved youth in our community. Both LAPD Devonshire PALS and the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission are seeking gifts for children this holiday season. Toys should be new and unwrapped and appropriate for children ages 2-18. Suggested items for kids include: Legos, sports equipment, art supplies, remote control cars, and crafts. Suggested items for teens include: sports equipment, scarves, hats, purses, jewelry, socks, sweatshirts, tote bags, and gift cards.

Both organizations are also looking for community groups and businesses to help by organizing toy drives and collecting personal donations. A toy collection box can be provided upon request. If you are interested, please contact (818) 882-1212 or councilmember.[email protected].

Toys for either organization can be dropped off at our Community Service Center. Please indicate which organization you would like toys to go to at the time of drop off:

Council District 12
Community Service Center
9207 Oakdale Ave.
Chatsworth 

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Winter Shelters Are Now Open

This week, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority announced the opening of its 2016 Winter Shelter Program from now through March 1, 2017.

Those in need of emergency shelter are encouraged to go directly to one of the listed pick-up points for free transportation, rather than the site address, unless otherwise indicated. Most shelters open at 5 p.m. In the San Fernando Valley, transportation is available at the following locations for the Hope of the Valley shelter:

Hope of the Valley Sylmar Armory  
12860 Arroyo Drive, Sylmar, CA 91342
(818) 207-8776

Pick-up Point Pick-up Address Time
Sun Valley: Hope of the Valley Thrift Store (Van #1) 8165 San Fernando Road 6 p.m.
North Hollywood: Outside of McDonald’s (Van #1) 8045 Lankershim Blvd. 6:30 p.m.
Van Nuys: In Front of the Bus Bench (Van #2) 6212 Van Nuys Blvd. 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 8 p.m.

Walk-up guests are welcome. No shopping carts will be allowed in the shelter, but each guest may bring one small bag.

During the cold and wet weather season, the program provides homeless individuals with essential overnight shelter and meals. In addition to temporary emergency shelter, each program location provides access to supportive services and housing assistance. More than 1,400 beds will be available during the 2016-2017 Winter Shelter Program season across the LA area.

For more information, call the Winter Shelter Hotline at (800) 548-6047 or visit www.lahsa.org.

 

City Takes Steps to Protect Immigrant Residents

In a move to ensure the quality of life in the nation’s second largest city, and to protect LA’s highly diverse communities and residents, the City Council recently approved the creation of an Ad Hoc Committee on Immigrant Affairs.

In addition to the committee’s creation, the Council’s proposal urged the following:

  • Creating a new Immigrant Advocate position in the city;
  • Defining the term “sanctuary city” and how that might apply to LA;
  • Identifying and categorizing all federal grants, loans, and other funding that the City of Los Angeles currently receives;
  • Identifying all stale laws applicable to immigration and relevant to the City of Los Angeles that may come into conflict with potential changes in federal law; and
  • Identifying all federal laws applicable to immigration and relevant to the City of Los Angeles that are currently enacted and not being enforced.

The City Council will hear an update on these issues in January 2017.

SCAQMD Hearing Board Hearings on Sunshine Canyon Landfill

The Hearing Board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) will hold several public hearings to consider the issuance of an Order for Abatement addressing odors from the Sunshine Canyon Landfill in Sylmar.

Below is the hearing schedule:

  • Tuesday, December 6, 2016, at 11:00 am
  • Wednesday, December 7, 2016, at 1:00 pm
  • Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 9:00 am

SCAQMD Hearing Board Room
21865 Copley Drive
Diamond Bar, CA 91765

Information on the Hearing Board proceedings is located at: www.aqmd.gov/home/about/hearing-board.

The District webpage dedicated to the Sunshine Canyon Landfill Facility can be accessed at www.aqmd.gov/home/regulations/compliance/sunshine-canyon-landfill/order-for-abatement.

For more information, please contact the Public Advisor at (909)396-2432 or via email at [email protected].

More info: http://www.scl-cac.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/SunshineCanyonHearingBoardDecember2016.pdf

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