LA City Council Issues Temporary Restrictions On 'Mansionization' Of Homes

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If approved by the full council, property owners in those areas -- including five neighborhoods where historical overlay zones are being proposed -- would be barred from demolishing their homes or making certain types of alterations.

Residents who spoke in support of the so-called "interim control ordinances" complained that their neighbors are building homes that tower over adjacent residences or take up large portions of their lots.

They argued that the home building trend, often derided as "mansionization," hurts the existing character of a neighborhood and impinges on privacy as homes are sometimes built uncomfortably close to an adjacent property.

One resident complained that her neighbor's "dream house is our nightmare," and said there are more "nightmares growing around the city." Others protested the restrictions, saying they were not given enough notice of plans to bar them from altering their homes.

The proposed control ordinances would be in place for a maximum of two years as the city considers the proposed historical zone applications or develops permanent ordinances to curb mansionization.

Ordinances restricting demolition and some exterior alterations in proposed historical zones would go into effect in the Sunset Square, Carthay Square, Holmby, Oxford Square and the Berkshire Craftsman district of El Sereno.

Another 15 neighborhoods are in areas where anti-mansionization rules still being developed. Those areas include Valley Village in the San Fernando Valley, South Hollywood, La Brea Hancock, The Oaks in Los Feliz, Miracle Mile, Larchmont Heights, the Fairfax area and Bel Air.

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