Dear Neighborhood Integrity Initiative Supporter,
On May 12, Los Angeles City Hall will launch a plan that threatens to undermine the city's single-family-home neighborhoods.
The new plan would scrap existing city rules that protect neighborhoods from intrusive “granny flat” construction. The new plan would allow full-sized, 1,200 square foot rental houses to be built in the backyards of tens of thousands of homes in the Valley, Westside, Central, Eastside and hillside areas, and along L.A.'s several dozen “scenic “ boulevards and roadways.
Carlyle Hall, a veteran environmental attorney, has warned that City Hall officials have put their plan to rewrite the granny flat rules on a fast-track to avoid a showdown with opponents. Angry homeowners defeated a similar attempt in 2010 to water down the same rules that currently impose common-sense limits on granny flat projects.
The new plan to weaken the granny flat rules was devised without public input. It is set for hearing before the Planning Commission at 8:30 am Thursday, May 12 at the Board of Public Works, Room 350, City Hall, 200 N. Spring St.
Under existing rules, granny flats are prohibited in all Los Angeles hillsides areas (including the those in Elysian Park, Eagle Rock, Silver Lake, Highland Park and Montecito Heights), in horse-keeping zones such as Chatsworth, Sylmar and Shadow Hills and along designated “scenic highways.” (Click this link to see a “scenic highways” map that shows dozens of neighborhoods along roadways like Sunset, Ventura, Valley Circle, Foothill, Los Feliz, Eagle Rock and West Adams Boulevards, that are off-limits to granny flats under the existing rules City Hall now wants to change).
Existing rules also say granny flats cannot be prominently visible from the street or larger than 640 square feet.
But under the city’s latest plan the floodgates would be opened to the construction of granny flat projects. They could be built virtually anywhere in Los Angeles and be as large as 1,200 square feet — the size of typical tract home.
City Planning Director Vincent Bertoni has said “hundreds of 'second dwelling unit' projects” are already in the pipeline. If the rules are weakened, their numbers could really explode.
Mayor Garcetti is a fan of granny flats. He says they're needed to ease L.A.'s housing affordability crisis. In fact, L.A.'s proposed granny flat law has zero provisions requiring that these backyard homes, if rented, be affordably-priced.
The Coalition to Preserve L.A., the sponsor of the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, would LOVE for you to join us at a news conference to oppose this 11th hour sneak attack on L.A.'s single-family home neighborhoods and hillsides. We'll keep you updated about the time and place of this news conference.
Remember: Save the date! – May 12, L.A. City Hall. If you can’t attend the hearing or our news conference, be sure to let your councilmember know how you feel. Your neighborhood’s future is at stake.
Jill Stewart, Campaign Director
Coalition to Preserve L.A.