Petition for Fair Re-Zoning Rules for Westside Village

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On March 17, 2017, the Los Angeles City Council rewrote the Baseline Mansionization Ordinance, which regulates the size of single-family homes in Lower Council District 5. The new BMO scales back the square footage allowed for houses to 45% of the overall lot, down from 50%.

Prior to passing the new ordinance, Paul Koretz’s office held several town hall meetings with HOA’s in Lower Council District 5. Unfortunately, the Westside Village HOA was not invited to or included in any of those meetings. Many nearby HOAs petitioned the ordinance and were rezoned R1V2, including Mar Vista, Beverlywood, North Beverlywood, Crestview, East Venice, Kentwood, Inner Council District 5 (California Country Club Estates area of Cheviot Hills). Note that Westside Village is part of the Mar Vista Neighborhood Council, but MVCC did not advise our HOA of their plans to petition the ordinance.

Upon learning of this injustice, Brian Considine and Laura Galperson met with Faisal Alserri, Senior Planning Deputy and Joseph Galloway, Senior Field Deputy, both from Paul Koretz’s office. A few weeks later, Mr. Alserri and Mr. Galloway met the entire Westside Village HOA Board. We learned that several neighborhoods are in the process of petitioning the ordinance, including Cheviot Hills and Westwood South of Santa Monica Blvd.

And it’s not too late for Westside Village to be rezoned as R1V2.

Councilmember Paul Koretz, is open to giving us the same fair rule of R1V2 granted to these other neighborhoods if our HOA offers proof that we have a consensus vote.

The key difference between BMO and R1V2 is living area, which is important for the inhabitants of the house while hardly affecting the neighbors. Allowances are as follows:

  • BMO: Building allowances for home additions and new construction, the living area (also known as Floor Area Ratio or FAR) has been reduced to .45 of the property’s lot size, regardless of the size of a lot. Taking the property’s lot size and multiplying it by .45 can calculate the potential maximum SF area of the home.
  • The new R1V2 zoning allows the following lot size and residential floor area ratios:
  • Up to 6,000 SF  = .55
  • 6,001 to 7,000 SF = .53
  • 7,001 to 8,000 SF = .51
  • 8,001 to 9,000 SF = .49
  • 9,001 to 10,000 SF = .47
  • Over 10,000 SF = .45

The properties that will be most affected by the BMO are those properties with lots that are between 5,000 and 8,000sf.

Regardless of BMO or R1V2, a 400sf garage can be added 55 feet behind the house. However, most lots in Westside Village are sloped so that might not be an option. If you add a 400sf attached garage in front of the house, you must decrease the SF of the home by 200sf. So a 1890sf house would be 1690sf!

Why should you care?

THE BMO DRAMATICALLY LIMITS FUTURE HOME RENOVATIONS OR EXPANSIONS: 
The City has currently assigned Westside Village to the new BMO area. This reduces the living area, or the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) to .45 of the lot size. For example, a 4200 sq. ft. lot will be limited to less than 1890sq. ft. of living space, hardly enough for three bedrooms. Yet, on the same lot in Mar Vista, Beverlywood, North Beverlywood, Crestview, East Venice, Kentwood, Inner Council District 5 (California Country Club Estates area of Cheviot Hills), one could build a 2310sf house.

THIS CAN AFFECT YOUR HOME AND LAND VALUE
Land on which you cannot build is not worth much. And many of the homes in Westside Village are old and in dire need of remodeling / rebuilding.

So when you want to sell, take out a second mortgage, or leave something valuable to your children, the BMO will reduce the value of what is probably your most important asset.

IT'S UNFAIR—SURROUNDING AREAS GET BETTER RULES: 
Mar Vista, Beverlywood, North Beverlywood, Crestview, East Venice, Kentwood, Inner Council District 5 (California Country Club Estates area of Cheviot Hills) are getting the better R1V2 rules (up to 55% FAR). Why should our area be singled out for harsher rules?

IF NOT NOW, THIS COULD AFFECT YOU IN THE FUTURE: 
You might not think about expanding now, but the rules will be in place for 30 years or more. If at any time in the future you need more bedrooms for kids, take in your aging parents, or want a home office, the BMO will affect you.

DON'T WORRY - THIS WILL NOT LEAD TO MANSIONIZATION! 
We are all concerned about mansionization. Those days are over! Both the BMO and the R1V2 zoning requirements prevent huge ugly boxes — the rules for height, setbacks from neighbor properties, etc., are almost identical. The key difference is living area, which is important for the inhabitants of the house while hardly affecting the neighbors! 

In summary, we are asking our Councilmember Paul Koretz and his team of City Planners to reassign Westside Village into an R1V2 zoned area. This will allow a maximum 55% FAR for lots less than 6,000 sq. ft., and scale down in several steps, down to 45% FAR for lots 10,000 sq. ft (as noted above).

Thank you for signing this petition.

WHO ARE WE?

Laura and David Galperson, homeowners in Westside Village. We are not developers, and we do not have connections to developers. We just want fair and reasonable rules for the neighborhood we live in

 



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