Friday, March 18, 2011

Baseline Hillside Ordinance Adopted by City Council

Greetings All:

This is an email to let you know that the Baseline Hillside Ordinance (CPC-2010-581-CA; Council File No. 10-1001) was adopted by the City Council on Friday, March 18, 2010.  The Ordinance received 13 Yes votes and 0 No votes

For a copy of the adopted Ordinance and other online documents and information, please refer to the online Council File at the following link:

We are currently working a handout for the new hillside regulations that will include diagrams to illustrate some of the language, some of which can already be seen in the Staff Reports prepared for the Ordinance (use the links provided below).  We hope to have that ready in the near future.

Where Will This Apply?

Any property zoned R1, RS, RE(9, 11, 15, 20, & 40), or RA which is designated as Hillside Area pursuant to Section 12.03 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) will be subject to the Baseline Hillside Ordinance when it becomes effective.  Please use our Zoning & Information Map Access System, or ZIMAS (, to find your "Zone" and "Hillside Area (Zoning Code)" designation; please look  under the "Planning and Zoning" tab on the left side of your web browser.

What's Next?

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.

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 (; 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.

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 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 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

ü Please consider the environment before printing this email.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for providing such useful information. I really appreciate your professional approach.