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Last Post 04/25/2011 7:20 PM by  Leland
McMansions outlawed in Los Angeles
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04/07/2011 6:48 PM

    The Mayor of LA announced today that McMansions were being outlawed because they take up to much of the lot, are boxy, ugly, and ruin the neighborhood.

    Let's say Mr. Smith has a 3800 sq ft. McMansion that burns down and he has $100,000.00 of code upgrade coverage.

    The city says he can only rebuild 2800 sq feet, because they no longer allow a big box that goes so close to the property line.

    Mr. Smith can get 3800 sq feet approved if he goes back with another design. The city will allow 3800 sq feet if he breaks up the profile of the house instead of one large cube and puts one floor partly tucked into the hill/below grade.

    These changes will cost $90,000.00 over what the original design would have cost.

    Is it covered or not?


    LA mayor signs law to limit McMansions in hillsides

    89.3 KPCC | Southern California Public Radio


    Los Angeles has a new law to limit the size of so-called McMansions in hillside communities. The new rules aim to preserve green space, vistas and sunlight by restricting the size of homes going up in LA hillside neighborhoods.

    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed the ordinance at City Hall Wednesday afternoon with residents from the Sherman Oaks and Nichols Canyon communities looking on.

    “There’s nothing more upsetting to those of us who have lived on hillsides than to see completely destroyed by a big box,” Villaraigosa says. “A box that doesn’t reflect the character of the neighborhood. A box that doesn’t reflect the dimensions of the lot.”

    The Baseline Hillside Ordinance establishes new regulations for single-family home construction on hillside lots. Backers say it’s designed to prevent large, looming, single-family developments that can undermine the character of existing neighborhoods.

    It uses a formula that takes into account parcel size, steepness of slopes and other factors.

    “There have been a lot of homes built property-line-to-property-line. It’s called mansionization,” says Ron Ziff of the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council, who supports the new limits.

    “We’re talking about preserving the hillsides and open spaces for our grandchildren,” Ziff adds. “I like to think of what Frank Lloyd Wright said. He said, ‘a house shouldn’t be on the land, it should be of the land.’”

    Officials passed a similar ordinance in 2008 for the city's flatlands.

    The hillside ordinance took more work because the steepness of some terrain made it harder to calculate allowable home sizes.

    The Associated Press contributed to this story.




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    04/25/2011 7:20 PM
    Just heard on the radio today about new "green" codes going into effect. Low-flow toilets & showerheads will now be required code upgrades in the cities that adopt the new "green" codes.

    Those two items probably won't increase construction costs much, but maybe if a toilet needs to be simply removed and reset the building inspector will now require instead that you replace it with a new one.

    We already have some increased demolition costs due to mandated recycling of building debris (concrete to the concrete recycling facility; wood goes to the wood recycling facility etc.). Under the green codes the debris must also be reduced by 50%:


    This section requires the project to achieve an overall waste reduction of at least 50% and this can be calculated by weight or volume. The choice of weight or volume must be used consistently for the entire project. Can be converted between weight and volume using standard conversion there's. If the local jurisdiction has not adopted a Royce reduction requirement, then Cal Green section 4.40 8.1 will apply. If the local jurisdiction has adopted a construction waste recycling requirement then project must meet the more stringent of the two requirements.

    There is also an exception for this section where there are no diversion or recycling facilities that are capable of compliance that exist reasonably close to the job site. The definition of quote reasonably close” depends on the location jobsite, the location of the various waste facilities, and the types of waste that those facilities process. The intent of this exception is to save overall energy through recycling, so if it would take more energy and resources to haul or process the waste than the overall savings may not be realized. In addition, the code is not intended to create undue financial burden on the project by forcing the contractor to spend extra money to recycle waste and add distant processors.
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