The focus of Thursday’s hearing is updated recommendations and options from the City Planning Department, as instructed by the Planning Commissioners at a hearing earlier this fall. The Planning Department’s recommendations include:
- Allowing ADUs in Hillside areas by either allowing them in all Hillside areas that are not in a designated Hillside Construction Regulations Supplemental Use District (HCR-SUD) or by allowing them throughout the Hillside areas but only if one of the following three criteria are met:
- The lot is located within 1⁄4-mile of a public transportation stop;
- The lot fronts a paved vehicular roadway that is 24 feet wide from the subject property until it reaches the nearest publicly-maintained road; or
- One parking space is provided onsite for the ADU.
- Not providing a guaranteed minimum for ADUs, meaning that the Residential Floor Area (RFA) for any ADU plus all other structures on the subject property must collectively adhere to the RFA limit per the lot’s underlying zoning.
But many residents and homeowners groups in Hillside areas have urged the city to disallow ADUs in their neighborhoods with the new rules that are being crafted. These Hillside residents say that their streets are too narrow and parking too scarce to allow additional residential units in their neighborhoods.
Those who support ADUs in Hillside areas say that homeowners in those areas should have the same rights to add granny flats and other small living spaces to their lots as other homeowners around the city have. It has also been argued that as the city increases its density and develops more housing options, all portions of the city should densify not just the flatlands.
The HCR-SUD areas are relatively new and currently only cover three Hillside neighborhoods: Bel-Air, Laurel Canyon and the Bird Streets (north of Sunset Boulevard and east of the City of Beverly Hills). Additional Hillside areas could be designated HCR-SUDs through a City Planning process that can take a year or more to complete.
The CPC is expected to take testimony Thursday and vote on the recommendations made by City Planning staff. Presuming the Commissioners vote to recommend approval of new ADU rules, it will likely be still several months before the rules take effect, and that assumes that both the City Council and the mayor support the ADU rules as well.
The CPC's decision could greatly impact what has in less than 2 years become one of the most successful programs in Los Angeles to add lower-cost housing to a city that is woefully under-housed. Since the state-mandated ADU rules went into effect on Jan. 1, 2017, the city has received more than 7,700 permit applications for ADUs compared to 536 applications in 2015 and 2016 combined.
- Chris Parker
The current draft ordinance can be found here:
Current Draft Ordinance (pdf)
The City Planning Department staff report can be found here:
City Planning Department Staff Report (pdf)
And here’s the agenda for Thursday’s CPC meeting (the ADU case is item #8):
Agenda for Thursday’s CPC Meeting (pdf)