Los Angeles City Council Finalizes the Baseline Mansionization Ordinance

Los Angeles City Council Finalizes the Baseline Mansionization Ordinance

On March 1st, the City Council voted unanimously to adopt an update to the existing Baseline Mansionization Ordinance (BMO) and Baseline Hillside Ordinance (BHO). This vote, in effect, establishes new development standards for single-family zoned properties citywide. The changes, as recommended by the City Planning Commission, incorporate additional protections to further limit large-scale homes and related construction impacts. Leading up to Council adoption of the ordinance, the Department of City Planning held public hearings with the community over the course of a six-month period to garner input. Since the adoption of the 2008 BMO and 2011 BHO, the City Council has approved several Interim Control Ordinances (ICOs) to temporarily limit the construction of over-sized homes in certain single-family neighborhoods. With the new amendment in place, the integrity and character of single-family homes citywide will be better preserved.

Some of the adopted changes to the BMO and BHO regulations include the following:

  • Establishment of new development standards for single-family zones, including the usage of angled encroachment plane and side wall articulation requirements to reduce the visual impact of building mass;
  • Modification to the definition of Residential Floor calculations to further reduce the impact of out-of-scale homes;
  • Elimination of nearly all exemptions, which created the big, boxy homes;
  • Counting of grading under a house to prevent what was previously an unlimited amount of hillside grading and
  • Reduction of Floor Area Ratio for single-family homes in R1 zones.

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