Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Hearings Scheduled for Neighborhood Conservation Initiative and New Neighborhood R1 Zoning Options

Map of the Larchmont Heights area, which is one of three local neighborhoods considering possible new R1 zoning designations created by the Neighborhood Conservation Initiative.

Over the last few months, the City has been meeting with neighborhoods currently covered by Interim Control Ordinances to discuss an array of proposed new zoning options for single-family neighborhoods. The new zoning options – dubbed the Neighborhood Conservation Initiative – are aimed at controlling the size and massing of new homes so they don’t completely overshadow older, existing homes.

The new R1 zone designations (R1-A, R1-B, R1-C, R1-D and R1-E) would would work in coordination with new rules being outlined in the city’s revamped Baseline Mansionization Ordinance.  There would also be a new “RG” – Rear Detached Garage District – option, that could be applied to regulate garage placement in RA, RE, RS and R1 zones.  Current ICO neighborhoods would have the option to be governed by the BMO, or to choose from the new zone options, with the ability to customize the chosen designation a bit further. The new rules would take effect after the current ICOs expire in March, 2017.

public hearing has been scheduled for the initiative, on August 25, to seek public comment on the latest draft of the proposal.

According to the city’s information summary on the proposed new zones, the Planning Department’s goal in creating the new zones was to create “more tailored zoning solutions” that would better fit the needs of specific neighborhoods, as an alternative to the one-size-fits-all BMO.  The drafting of the new R1 options was part of the city’s larger Re:CodeLA effort to completely re-vamp the city’s zoning codes.

In creating the new options, says the information summary, “visual surveys were…conducted at the different neighborhoods in order to better understand the Neighborhood Conservation issues of looming, building massing and size, grading, loss of open space and loss of character…to get a sense of what aspects each neighborhood hopes to preserve or strive for.”

Over the last few months, a first draft of the proposed new zones were discussed with several current ICO neighborhoods, including Larchmont Heights, La Brea-Hancock and South Hollywood. Neighbors in those areas had the chance to provide feedback and comments.

“The key points we heard included creating “smaller,” “moderate,” and “larger” home options, depending on neighborhood preference, through “user-friendly” floor area ratio (FAR) ranges, and allowing for multiple building envelope options for different FAR ranges,” says the summary sheet.

In response to that initial feedback, the city has since made some further changes in the proposed Initiative.

“A noticeable change is the organization and naming convention of the proposed new zones. The first draft organized zones by floor area ratio (FAR), only providing certain building envelopes for specific FAR ranges…The second draft of proposed new zones allows for more flexibility in building envelope type for a wider range of FARs.

“We also heard garage placement is important in maintaining neighborhood character, so we developed the “Rear Detached Garage District” designation with the suffix “RG” as a new regulation to prescribe the location of garages in single-family residential zones.”

If you’d like to learn more about the proposed new single-family zoning options, or to provide feedback to the city, please plan to attend the upcoming hearing:

Thursday, August 25
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Los Angeles City Hall
200 N. Spring Street, Room 1070 (Public entrance is on Main Street)

For more information about the Neighborhood Conservation Initiative, see:

Neighborhood Conservation website: and click “Updates.”
Planning Department website: and click “Ordinances” and then “Proposed Ordinances.”

For inquiries on the overall code amendment, contact Shannon Ryan, 213.978.3304. Written comments can also be submitted to Ryan at [email protected]. (please reference the case number in the header and “Code Amendment” or “Zone Change” (e.g.,CPC-2016,2110-CA; Code Amendment or CPC-2016-2112-ZC; Zone Change). In order to be considered in the report to the City Planning Commission, comments should be received by September 12, 2016. Comments received after September 12 should be addressed to the City Planning Commission instead.

Larchmont Heights_Notice
Click to see full size flier.

Also, note that a separate hearing has been scheduled for the specific R1 options being considered for the Larchmont Heights, La Brea-Hancock and South Hollywood neighborhoods:

Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Open House at 5:30 p.m.
Presentation at 6:00 p.m.
Public Hearing at 6:30 p.m.
Claude Pepper Senior Center
1762 S. La Cienega Blvd., 90035

Click on the flier image at right for full details of the neighborhood-specific meeting, and the current options being explored for those the neighborhoods in question. For inquiries or comments on the zone changes specific to Larchmont Heights, South Hollywood and La Brea-Hancock, contact city planner Christine Saponara at 213.978.1363


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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and is the co-owner/publisher of the Buzz.

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