Archive for the ‘Baseline Hillside Ordinance’ Category

BMO/BHO Code Amendment at PLUM Committee Tuesday 11/29/16

November 22nd, 2016
The City Council’s Planning & Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee will consider the Baseline Mansionization/Baseline Hillside (BMO/BHO) Code Amendment at its scheduled meeting on Tuesday November 29, 2016. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. and will take place in the Edward R. Roybal Board of Public Works Hearing Room (Room 350) of Los Angeles City Hall, 200 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012.
An agenda for the PLUM meeting will become available in the next few days at the following link: https://www.lacity.org/your-government/elected-officials/city-council/city-council-committee-meetings#date=Nov 29 2016
The Council File (CF 14-0656) for the Code Amendment may be accessed here: https://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm?fa=ccfi.viewrecord&cfnumber=14-0656
At the meeting, interested parties will have the opportunity to speak and submit written information on the Code Amendment. Please note that multiple items will be on the agenda and the BMO/BHO item may not be taken up until well after the noticed start time.
The Council will also accept written comments on the Code Amendment. Written comments may be sent to Sharon.Dickinson@lacity.org; please reference Council File #14-0656 in your correspondence.
For questions, please contact Niall Huffman, Niall.Huffman@lacity.org (213) 978-3405.
Thank you for your continued interest in the BMO/BHO Code Amendment.

BMO/BHO Code Amendment: Staff Report to City Planning

July 7th, 2016

On July 14, 2016, the City Planning Commission will consider the proposed Baseline Mansionization Ordinance and Baseline Hillside Ordinance (BMO/BHO) Code amendment and make a recommendation to the City Council. This is in response to Council Motion CF 14-0656 requesting​ ​the Department address concerns regarding out-of-scale development in single-family​ ​neighborhoods.​ ​Once the Commission makes a formal recommendation, the Code amendment will be considered by the City Council. Changes may still be made before the City Council’s final decision.

The Department of City Planning has prepared a staff report with updated recommendations for the Commission’s consideration. The Department has also prepared a summary fact sheet of staff’s recommendations and a revised, expanded Questions & Answers document detailing the proposed ordinance and staff recommended ​modifications.​

For your convenience, these documents are attached to this email.​ You can also find them on the Department of City Planning’s dedicated Neighborhood Conservation website. An agenda of the Commission meeting will be posted shortly at planning.lacity.org under “Commissions & Hearings.”

​The Department appreciates the interest and involvement of the ​many individuals and organizations who have weighed in with their thoughts and comments on the proposed ordinance. We ask that any further comments be made directly to the City Planning Commission, either in person at the July 14 meeting or by email at CPC@lacity.org.

For questions, please contact Niall Huffman niall.huffman@lacity.org (213) 978-3405.

Link to documents here

BMO Draft Amendment Released

April 22nd, 2016

The preliminary draft amendment (BMO/BHO) to the LAMC to establish new regulations for all single-family zoned properties, including RA, RE, RS, and R1 Zones.

PROPOSED PROJECT: A proposed ordinance amending the Los Angeles Municipal Code to establish new regulations for all single-family zoned properties including the RA, RE, RS, and R1 Zones.  PURPOSE: The purpose of the hearing is to obtain testimony from affected and/or interested persons regarding this project. The hearing will be conducted by a Hearing Officer who will consider oral testimony and any written communication received regarding this proposed Code amendment, as well as the merits of the draft ordinance as it relates to existing land use regulations. After the hearing, a recommendation report will be prepared for consideration by the City Planning Commission at a later date.

Please submit comments to: Niall Huffman Neighbor (more…)

PlanCheckNC Meeting 1-9-16

January 10th, 2016

Screen shot 2016-01-11 at 9.33.05 AMPlanCheckNC’s meeting held on January 9 featured active (and “hot”) City Planning topic areas:  Baseline Mansionization Ordinance, Small Lot Subdivision Ordinance Amendment and the Unapproved Dwelling Unit Ordinance all in draft, comment and hearing stages.

Please share this post.  Announce at your meetings. Send via e-Newsletters to your Neighborhood Councils and Stakeholders to encourage comments and attendance at the open house events and hearings.  A hearing date has been added in the San Fernando Valley for the Amendment to the Small Lot Subdivision Ordinance. Also:  Take the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates Service Report Card Online Survey at www.NCBALA.com

Baseline Mansionization — Deadline for comments is Monday, January 11.  If you have not submitted your comments please do so to

hagu.solomon-cary@lacity.org

paul.koretz@lacity.org

councilmember.wesson@lacity.org

your councilmember @lacity.org

More information, comments submitted at https://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm?fa=ccfi.viewrecord&cfnumber=14-0656

and on Facebook at: No More Mcmansions in Los Angeles

Unapproved Dwelling Unit Draft Ordinance – All Council Districts

Last Day to Comment is January 22, 2016

Public Hearing will be held on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 – 6-8 p.m. at Deaton Hall Auditorium. Staff: Matthew Glesne: matthew.glesne@lacity.org – 213-978-2666.

Amendment to Small Lot Ordinance – All Council Districts

CPC-2015-4499-CA / ENV-2015-4500-CE

Wednesday, Jan. 20 – Open House: 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.  Hearing: 7:00 p.m. at 11228 Santa Monica Blvd., LA 90025

Tuesday, Jan. 26 – Open House: 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Hearing: 7:00 p.m. at 1025 Elysian Park Drive, LA 90012

Wednesday, Feb. 17 – Open House: 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Hearing 7:00 p.m. at 6262 Van Nuys Blvd., First Floor Conference Room, Van Nuys 91401

Staff: Jane Choi, Senior City Planner – jane.choi@lacity.org – 213-978-1379

Link to these and other proposed ordinances at http://planning.lacity.org/ordinances/proposedordinances.htm

Take the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates Service Report Card Online Survey at www.NCBALA.com

 

Public Hearings: Baseline Mansionization/Baseline Hillside Code Amendment

November 29th, 2015

The Planning Department is aiming for Council adoption of the amendments sometime late next summer, following a comment period, environmental analysis, more public comment, a staff report, and hearings before the City Planning Commission and the Council’s Planning & Land Use Management (PLUM) committee.

The first step is a series of public outreach meetings held in different parts of the city.

The outreach meetings are coming up fast:

Wednesday, December 2 – Mid-City

Thursday, December 3 – Westside

Tuesday, December 15 – Downtown

Wednesday, December 16 – Van Nuys

Link to various documents regarding the Public Hearing Notice, BMO/BHO Draft Ordinance is below.  Check back for additions as we receive them.  Note:  We are placing information relative to this topic from the City, Neighborhood Councils and Community Groups.

Link to Various BMO/BHO Documents

PlanCheckNC Meeting Minutes for 3-9-14

April 11th, 2014

PlanCheckNC – Los Angeles

Minutes: Mar. 9, 2014

Chair: Cindy Cleghorn – CindyCleghorn@Mac.com

David Lara, Building & Safety Dept., Asst. Bureau Chief-Code Enforcement

40% are zoning issues (parking, fences, uses).

Frank Lara, principal sign investigator

Reactive, based on complaints received (may not be anonymous).
No longer have the PACE (proactive inspections) team, which would do public education and send notices in advance to target areas with many problems and visual blight.

Process: Issue order to comply with inspection fee ($256), 30 days to fix problem and compliance inspection in 45 days. If fail to comply, fee increases to $550 + interest. City can place lien for unpaid fee. If legitimate excuse, fee is excised.

Abandoned construction sites: Can only fence it off, will remain ugly until construction re-starts.

Community care facilities: Nuisance abatement is the governing law.
Doing an assessment of property is difficult, can’t determine who actually lives in building.
This is a problem with the <6 residents properties.
DBS can assess illegal construction and prosecute that.
DBS and City Attorney have had success with trained staff, but need funding to re-activate.

Pasadena does inspections at close of escrow to ensure code compliance.
LAHD enforces Building Code and Zoning for existing.
Building and Safety enforces during construction.
Lack of smoke detectors is problem (fires in illegal attic/garage conversions) – more inspectors are needed.
NCs should promote criminal and financial risks of illegal conversions for housing.
Home business uses: DBS will respond to complaints, Bureau of Street Services can enforce on public or private property.
Inspectors cannot report observed violation on another property if on a call for another property, unless it’s a safety hazard.

Dick Platkin, retired planner (RHPlatkin@Yahoo.com)
Teaches planning at USC, CityWatch writer, Beverly Wilshire HOA.

Density Bonus Ordinance (implements SB1818):
Best advocates for a fair program were Jane Usher (fired by Mayor Villaraigosa for taking strong stands) and Noel Weiss (attorney, active in tenant rights).
Incentives are easy variances with limited CEQA review and quick approval.

Problems:
Grants discretionary approvals without sufficient public notice and limit rights to appeal, as part of DIR process. State does provide criteria to reject (no financial need, detailed environmental impacts).
No connection to General Plan – it’s a top-down legislation.
Growth is targeted anywhere, not targeted to smart growth areas.
Circumvents CEQA but limiting environmental review while exceeding zoning.
No evidence that it actually increases affordable housing – many cheap apartments are demolished and replaced by condos and luxury apartments.

Suggestions to increase notification and radius for those allowed to appeal (only adjacent parcels).

Mansionization:
Cute bungalows are being replaced by huge mansions that run to the property lines.
General Plan protects “scale and character” but McMansions are continually approved.
Gail Goldberg also got fired as Planning Director for trying to protect neighborhoods.
Baseline Ordinance was gutted by bonuses that aren’t enforced and are too easily achieved, and create out-of-character houses. A base FAR of 0.5 can increase to 0.73 with no real, certified benefit to the neighborhood.

Problems:
Garages are exempt, so an extra 400 sf is allowed.
A “green” design is given a bonus, but city does not require this to be certified.
25% of the front is required to be recessed for articulation (minimal impact).
Recess 2nd story by 25% (stepback), but information is not readily available on the plans.
During demolition, little evidence that asbestos and lead paint is remediated per safety codes.
During demolition and construction, little evidence that separation of debris for recycling is done.

Solution is to limit base FAR to 0.42.

West Hollywood has 45-day moratorium and overlay district to protect neighborhoods. Cities have legal right to do legal actions like this.

L.A. does Residential Floor Area Districts (overlay zones) to reduce FARs. City should do citywide, instead of patchwork (done in Brentwood, Valley Village). New districts are rarely approved. Suggestion to get RFA districts inserted into Community Plans.

City should establish formal relationship with County Dept. of Public Health and SCAQMD for neighbor notification and enforce lead paint and asbestos removal.

Other issues:

Billboards: Why is any grandfathering of existing, illegal signs being considered? All altered signs are illegal.
State law says that if no determination on legality within 5 years of installation, city must be the party to determine that it’s illegal. Owner would not have to prove it’s legal.

Trees: Illegal to remove protected trees (only 5 are listed – black walnut, California oak, western Sycamore, diadora). Need permit to plant / remove any tree.

Re-Code LA zoning revisions: Big push to trade green design elements for higher densities.

Murals: City cannot regulate content.
May not have commercial / advertising, but some new murals have them.

Join the forum discussion on this post

Baseline Hillsie Ordinance Approved by City Council

March 8th, 2011

Greetings All:

This is to let you know that the Baseline Hillside Ordinance (CPC-2010-581-CA; Council File No. 10-1001) was heard by the City Council on Friday, March 4, 2010.  The Ordinance received 10 Yes votes and 0 No votes, and will go back to the City Council one more time for a “Second Reading” next Friday, March 18, 2011.  It will only need 8 votes to be officially adopted.

For more details, please refer to the online Council File at the following link:  http://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm?fa=ccfi.viewrecord&cfnumber=10-1001

What’s Next?

Please note that the number of days the Mayor has to act has been updated below.

According to Section 250 of the City Charter, the Mayor has 10 days to act on it – meaning he can act on it on the same day, or 10 days later.  Assuming the Mayor approves it, the City Clerk’s Office will then post the adopted Ordinance for a period of 10 days and a 30-day effective date will begin after that.  Simply put, the earliest an Ordinance can realistically go into effect  is 40 to 50 days after it is adopted by the City Council.

When we have an effective date, we will email the individuals on this interest list.
Projects in Early Design Stages, Submitted for Discretionary Actions, and/or in Plan Check

For those of individuals working on projects which are currently in the early design stages or is waiting for a discretionary action of some sort, please use the information above to gauge whether you will be able to submit for plan check prior to the effective date of the proposed Baseline Hillside Ordinance.  Just to clarify for all, any property zoned R1, RS, RE, or RA which is designated as Hillside Area pursuant to Section 12.03 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) will eventually be subject to the Baseline Hillside Ordinance if it is adopted by the City Council; please refer to ZIMAS (http://zimas.ci.la.ca.us/) under the “Planning and Zoning” tab to find your “Hillside Area (Zoning Code)” designation.

Pursuant to Section 12.26 A.3 of the LAMC, any project which is accepted by the Department of Building and Safety for plan check with a complete set of plans and for which the fees have been paid prior to the effective date of an Ordinance will be considered to be a Vested Development Plan; meaning that the applicable regulations in place prior to this change will continue to apply.  However, there are some limitations to this provision that you should be aware of, but the more relevant ones are that you have 18 months after the fee is paid, and that you cannot make changes to those plans which increase or decrease the height, floor area, or occupant load of the proposed structure by more than 5%.  Feel free to reference our online Municipal Code for more details (http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll?f=templates&fn=default.htm&vid=amlegal:lamc_ca); go to Chapter 1, Article 2, Section 12.26, Subsection A, Subdivision 3.

The only way to “vest” a typical single-family development project under the current Code is through the Vested Development Plan provision summarized above.  Applications for, or approval of discretionary actions (i.e. Zoning Administration Determinations, Adjustments, Variances, etc.) prior to the effective date does not confer vesting rights to a project.  If you are not able to submit for plan check to the Department of Building & Safety prior to the effective date of the Baseline Hillside Ordinance, it is recommended that you consider the proposed hillside provision when making design choices or determining a course of action.

Useful Links
April 22, 2010 City Planning Commission Staff Report: http://planning.lacity.org/StaffRpt/InitialRpts/CPC-2010-581.pdf
May 27, 2010 City Planning Commission Staff Report: http://planning.lacity.org/Code_Studies/BaselineHillsideOrd/CPC-2010-581-CA052710SRpt.pdf
City Planning Commission Determination Letter: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2010/10-1001_rpt_plan_6-8-10.pdf
City Attorney Report (contains the LATEST VERSION of the Ordinance): http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2010/10-1001_RPT_ATTY_02-11-11.pdf
Online Council File:  http://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm?fa=ccfi.viewrecord&cfnumber=10-1001

Feel free to share this information to anyone you feel might be interested.

If you received this email via forwarded message from someone other than myself, and you want to obtain updates directly from the Department, please email erick.lopez@lacity.org and ask to be added to the interest list.  Please type “Add Me To Hillside Notification List” in the subject line and provide your group/organization/company affiliations and contact information (please include at least your ZIP Code).

Facebook™ Users: Look for the Baseline Hillside Ordinance page; add the page and receive updates in your news feed.  You can also view our events calendar and participate in discussion boards.

As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact myself or Jennifer Driver at jennifer.driver@lacity.org or at (818) 374-9916.
__________________________________________
Erick Lopez, City Planner
City of Los Angeles – Department of City Planning
Office of Zoning Administration – Code Studies
200 N. Spring St., Room 701
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 978-1323
(213) 978-0597 – fax
erick.lopez@lacity.org

Baseline Hillside Ordinance continued to 7-27-10 at PLUM

July 20th, 2010

Greetings All:

The Baseline Hillside Ordinance (CPC-2010-581-CA; Council File No. 10-1001) has been continued to the Tuesday, July 27, 2010 Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee Meeting. The agendas are typically released on the Friday before the meeting (in this case 7/23/10) via the online City Council Calendar (http://lacity.org/YourGovernment/CityCouncil/CouncilCalendar/index.htm).

Please refer to the official agenda for a time and location, but PLUM Meetings typically start at 2:30 PM and are held at:

Board of Public Works Edward R. Roybal Hearing Room
200 N. Spring St., Room 350
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(Google Maps)

We currently don’t know how many other times there will be and what item number this project will be given; please take the official agenda into consideration when determining your arrival time. We also don’t know if the PLUM Committee will be taking additional testimony beyond what was already given at this afternoon’s meeting, but if they do it is most likely to be no more than 1 to 2 minutes per person. [Advice: Always be prepared to give your most important points quickly and at the beginning of your time.]

A special thanks goes out to all who took time out of their day to attend this afternoon and participate in the discussion.

Useful Links
April 22, 2010 City Planning Commission Staff Report: http://planning.lacity.org/StaffRpt/InitialRpts/CPC-2010-581.pdf
May 27, 2010 City Planning Commission Staff Report: http://planning.lacity.org/Code_Studies/BaselineHillsideOrd/CPC-2010-581-CA052710SRpt.pdf
City Planning Commission Determination Letter: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2010/10-1001_rpt_plan_6-8-10.pdf
Online Council File: http://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm?fa=ccfi.viewrecord&cfnumber=10-1001

Feel free to forward this information to anyone you feel might be interested.

If you received this email via forwarded message from someone other than myself, and you want to obtain updates directly from the Department, please email erick.lopez@lacity.org and ask to be added to the interest list. Please type “Add Me To Hillside Notification List” in the subject line and provide your group/organization/company affiliations and contact information (please include at least your ZIP Code).

Facebook™ Users: Look for the Baseline Hillside Ordinance page; add the page and receive updates in your news feed. You can also view our events calendar and participate in discussion boards.

As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact myself or Jennifer Driver at jennifer.driver@lacity.org or at (818) 374-5034.

__________________________________________
Erick Lopez
City Planner
Department of City Planning
Community Planning Bureau – West Coastal Division
200 N. Spring St., Room 621
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 978-1243
(213) 978-1226 – fax
erick.lopez@lacity.org

Baseline Hillside Ordinance & Baseline Mansionization Ordinance Sunset Update

June 24th, 2010

Greetings All:

You haven’t heard from us in a while, so we wanted to make sure you are all brought up to up to speed. We have also included answers to our most frequently asked questions.

City Planning Commission Action
The City Planning Commission Determination Letter on it’s May 27, 2010 recommendation for the Baseline Hillside Ordinance (CPC-2010-581-CA) was sent to the City Clerk’s Office on June 8, 2010 for their processing and was assigned Council File Number of 10-1001. They have created the equivalent of an electronic case file. If you go to the following link, you can subscribe to receive direct email from the City Clerk whenever the “file” is updated (look for the envelope at the top of the webpage): http://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm?fa=ccfi.viewrecord&cfnumber=10-1001

You can download the Planning Department documents listed below by following the links:
April 22, 2010 City Planning Commission Staff Report: http://planning.lacity.org/StaffRpt/InitialRpts/CPC-2010-581.pdf
May 27, 2010 City Planning Commission Staff Report: http://planning.lacity.org/Code_Studies/BaselineHillsideOrd/CPC-2010-581-CA052710SRpt.pdf
City Planning Commission Determination Letter: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2010/10-1001_rpt_plan_6-8-10.pdf

What’s Next?
We are still waiting to find out when the Baseline Hillside Ordinance will be heard by the Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee. PLUM is a Subcommittee of the City Council that reviews all planning related matters. The Department of City Planning does not have any control over the timing/scheduling of PLUM agendas. From what we have heard, they are likely to hear this proposal sometime in mid- to late-July. When we are given a specific date, we will send an email to the interest list.

There are still at least 4 steps left to go before the Ordinance is officially adopted, which have been summarized below:
A PLUM Committee recommendation to the full City Council;
The preparation of the official Baseline Hillside Ordinance (a legal description of the changes to the Code that would incorporate the proposed hillside provisions) by the City Attorney’s Office, among other City Charter mandated steps taken by their Office;
The adoption of the proposed Ordinance by the City Council; and
The signature of the Mayor.
Once these steps have been taken, the City Clerk’s Office will post the adopted Ordinance for a period of 10 days and a 30-day effective date will begin after that.

It is important to note that the City Council goes into a recess period in August and is not likely to act on this Ordinance in that month. It is not likely that the Council will act on this item in the month of July, since the City Attorney’s Office needs time to prepare the documents mandated by the City Charter. This means that we are possibly looking at sometime in September as the earliest date for an official City Council action.

Projects in Early Design Stages or Submitted for Discretionary Actions
For those of individuals working on projects which are currently in the early design stages or is waiting for a discretionary action of some sort, please use the information above to gauge whether you will be able to submit for plan check prior to the effective date of the proposed Baseline Hillside Ordinance. Just to clarify for all, any property zoned R1, RS, RE, or RA which is designated as Hillside Area pursuant to Section 12.03 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) will eventually be subject to the Baseline Hillside Ordinance if it is adopted by the City Council; please refer to ZIMAS (http://zimas.ci.la.ca.us/) under the “Planning and Zoning” tab to find your “Hillside Area (Zoning Code)” designation.

Pursuant to Section 12.26 A.3 of the LAMC, any project which is accepted by the Department of Building and Safety for plan check with a complete set of plans and for which the fees have been paid prior to the effective date of an Ordinance will be considered to be a Vested Development Plan; meaning that the applicable regulations in place prior to this change will continue to apply. However, there are some limitations to this provision that you should be aware of, but the more relevant ones are that you have 18 months after the fee is paid, and that you cannot make changes to those plans which increase or decrease the height, floor area, or occupant load of the proposed structure by more than 5%. Feel free to reference our online Municipal Code for more details (http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll?f=templates&fn=default.htm&vid=amlegal:lamc_ca); go to Chapter 1, Article 2, Section 12.26, Subsection A, Subdivision 3.

The only way to “vest” a typical single-family development project under the current Code is through the Vested Development Plan provision summarized above. Applications for, or approval of discretionary actions (i.e. Zoning Administration Determinations, Adjustments, Variances, etc.) prior to the effective date does not confer vesting rights to a project. If you are not able to submit for plan check to the Department of Building & Safety prior to the effective date of the Baseline Hillside Ordinance, it is recommended that you consider the proposed hillside provision when making design choices or determining a course of action.

Baseline Mansionization Ordinance Sunset Extension
The June 29, 2010 sunset date for the Baseline Mansionization Ordinance (the “flats” Ordinance – does not apply to Hillside Area or Coastal Zone) was extended for a period of 90 days by the City Council on June 22, 2010. The new sunset date is September 27, 2010, which should give us enough time to get to the City Council if the August Recess scenario plays out; the Resolution left open the possibility of further extensions should they need more time.

The following link will take you directly to the City Council Resolution: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2010/10-1058_CA_06-22-10.pdf

Feel free to forward this information to anyone you feel might be interested.

If you received this email via forwarded message from someone other than myself, and you want to obtain updates directly from the Department, please email erick.lopez@lacity.org and ask to be added to the interest list. Please type “Add Me To Hillside Notification List” in the subject line and provide your group/organization/company affiliations and contact information (please include at least your ZIP Code).

Facebook™ Users: Look for the Baseline Hillside Ordinance page; add the page and receive updates in your news feed. You can also view our events calendar and participate in discussion boards.

As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact myself or Jennifer Driver at jennifer.driver@lacity.org or at (818) 374-5034.

Thank you for your time and attention.
__________________________________________
Erick Lopez
City Planner
Department of City Planning
Community Planning Bureau – West Coastal Division
200 N. Spring St., Room 621
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 978-1243
(213) 978-1226 – fax
erick.lopez@lacity.org

Baseline Hillside Ordinance & Baseline Mansionization Ordinance Sunset Update

June 24th, 2010

Greetings All:

You haven’t heard from us in a while, so we wanted to make sure you are all brought up to up to speed. We have also included answers to our most frequently asked questions.

City Planning Commission Action
The City Planning Commission Determination Letter on it’s May 27, 2010 recommendation for the Baseline Hillside Ordinance (CPC-2010-581-CA) was sent to the City Clerk’s Office on June 8, 2010 for their processing and was assigned Council File Number of 10-1001. They have created the equivalent of an electronic case file. If you go to the following link, you can subscribe to receive direct email from the City Clerk whenever the “file” is updated (look for the envelope at the top of the webpage): http://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm?fa=ccfi.viewrecord&cfnumber=10-1001

You can download the Planning Department documents listed below by following the links:
April 22, 2010 City Planning Commission Staff Report: http://planning.lacity.org/StaffRpt/InitialRpts/CPC-2010-581.pdf
May 27, 2010 City Planning Commission Staff Report: http://planning.lacity.org/Code_Studies/BaselineHillsideOrd/CPC-2010-581-CA052710SRpt.pdf
City Planning Commission Determination Letter: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2010/10-1001_rpt_plan_6-8-10.pdf

What’s Next?
We are still waiting to find out when the Baseline Hillside Ordinance will be heard by the Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee. PLUM is a Subcommittee of the City Council that reviews all planning related matters. The Department of City Planning does not have any control over the timing/scheduling of PLUM agendas. From what we have heard, they are likely to hear this proposal sometime in mid- to late-July. When we are given a specific date, we will send an email to the interest list.

There are still at least 4 steps left to go before the Ordinance is officially adopted, which have been summarized below:
A PLUM Committee recommendation to the full City Council;
The preparation of the official Baseline Hillside Ordinance (a legal description of the changes to the Code that would incorporate the proposed hillside provisions) by the City Attorney’s Office, among other City Charter mandated steps taken by their Office;
The adoption of the proposed Ordinance by the City Council; and
The signature of the Mayor.
Once these steps have been taken, the City Clerk’s Office will post the adopted Ordinance for a period of 10 days and a 30-day effective date will begin after that.

It is important to note that the City Council goes into a recess period in August and is not likely to act on this Ordinance in that month. It is not likely that the Council will act on this item in the month of July, since the City Attorney’s Office needs time to prepare the documents mandated by the City Charter. This means that we are possibly looking at sometime in September as the earliest date for an official City Council action.

Projects in Early Design Stages or Submitted for Discretionary Actions
For those of individuals working on projects which are currently in the early design stages or is waiting for a discretionary action of some sort, please use the information above to gauge whether you will be able to submit for plan check prior to the effective date of the proposed Baseline Hillside Ordinance. Just to clarify for all, any property zoned R1, RS, RE, or RA which is designated as Hillside Area pursuant to Section 12.03 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) will eventually be subject to the Baseline Hillside Ordinance if it is adopted by the City Council; please refer to ZIMAS (http://zimas.ci.la.ca.us/) under the “Planning and Zoning” tab to find your “Hillside Area (Zoning Code)” designation.

Pursuant to Section 12.26 A.3 of the LAMC, any project which is accepted by the Department of Building and Safety for plan check with a complete set of plans and for which the fees have been paid prior to the effective date of an Ordinance will be considered to be a Vested Development Plan; meaning that the applicable regulations in place prior to this change will continue to apply. However, there are some limitations to this provision that you should be aware of, but the more relevant ones are that you have 18 months after the fee is paid, and that you cannot make changes to those plans which increase or decrease the height, floor area, or occupant load of the proposed structure by more than 5%. Feel free to reference our online Municipal Code for more details (http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll?f=templates&fn=default.htm&vid=amlegal:lamc_ca); go to Chapter 1, Article 2, Section 12.26, Subsection A, Subdivision 3.

The only way to “vest” a typical single-family development project under the current Code is through the Vested Development Plan provision summarized above. Applications for, or approval of discretionary actions (i.e. Zoning Administration Determinations, Adjustments, Variances, etc.) prior to the effective date does not confer vesting rights to a project. If you are not able to submit for plan check to the Department of Building & Safety prior to the effective date of the Baseline Hillside Ordinance, it is recommended that you consider the proposed hillside provision when making design choices or determining a course of action.

Baseline Mansionization Ordinance Sunset Extension
The June 29, 2010 sunset date for the Baseline Mansionization Ordinance (the “flats” Ordinance – does not apply to Hillside Area or Coastal Zone) was extended for a period of 90 days by the City Council on June 22, 2010. The new sunset date is September 27, 2010, which should give us enough time to get to the City Council if the August Recess scenario plays out; the Resolution left open the possibility of further extensions should they need more time.

The following link will take you directly to the City Council Resolution: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2010/10-1058_CA_06-22-10.pdf

Feel free to forward this information to anyone you feel might be interested.

If you received this email via forwarded message from someone other than myself, and you want to obtain updates directly from the Department, please email erick.lopez@lacity.org and ask to be added to the interest list. Please type “Add Me To Hillside Notification List” in the subject line and provide your group/organization/company affiliations and contact information (please include at least your ZIP Code).

Facebook™ Users: Look for the Baseline Hillside Ordinance page; add the page and receive updates in your news feed. You can also view our events calendar and participate in discussion boards.

As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact myself or Jennifer Driver at jennifer.driver@lacity.org or at (818) 374-5034.

Thank you for your time and attention.
__________________________________________
Erick Lopez
City Planner
Department of City Planning
Community Planning Bureau – West Coastal Division
200 N. Spring St., Room 621
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 978-1243
(213) 978-1226 – fax
erick.lopez@lacity.org