The Design Advocate is an outreach tool to keep the 3200+ architect & design members of AIA Los Angeles updated about pending matters at City Hall, which may impact the built environment & their profession.
This is an email to let you know that the Baseline Hillside Ordinance (Ord. No. 181,624; CPC-2010-581-CA; Council File No. 10-1001) was signed by Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa on Friday, March 25, 2011 and was received and posted by the City Clerk on March 30, 2011. The Ordinance is scheduled to go into effect on Monday, May 9, 2011.
Just to clarify for all, any property zoned R1, RS, RE, 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. Please refer to our Zoning Information and Map Access System, or ZIMAS (http://zimas.lacity.org/) to check your "Zoning" and "Hillside Area (Zoning Code)" designation under the "Planning and Zoning" tab.
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 determine whether you will be able to submit for plan check prior to the May 9, 2011 (which is a Monday, so the actual deadline is Friday, May 6, 2011).
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 (Monday, May 9, 2011) 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 (http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll?f=templates&fn=default.htm&vid=amlegal:lamc_ca); 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.
Baseline Hillside Ordinance Comprehensive Guide
We are currently working on a user-friendly guide to the Baseline Hillside Ordinance hillside regulations, and hope to have that completed in the near future. It will contain some clarification language as well as figures and diagrams to illustrate some of the new provisions, some of which you may have already seen in the Staff Reports prepared for this Ordinance.
Feel free to forward this information to anyone you feel might be interested.
At this point we would like to thank you all for your interest and participation in this process. We know that it can be very demanding of your personal time, but we appreciate all that you have done. While not all of the ideas presented made the final draft, the input was critical to the feasibility of the new hillside regulations. The level of public outreach and involvement for this Ordinance made sure that this was truly a law developed by the hillside community, and our role was to guide all stakeholders to a fair and balanced set of regulations.
As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact myself or Jennifer Driver at email@example.com or at (818) 374-9916.