Reforming the Small Lot Ordinance

City Hall


Today in Council, my colleague Councilmember Mike Bonin and I introduced a motion to address multiple issues in regard to small lot subdivisions in the City of Los Angeles. At issue: needed reform for infill development requirements in residential neighborhoods.

My constituents across the district are all too familiar with this ordinance since it was implemented in 2005, as this new housing model has been widely used throughout the district.

This motion calls for the City’s Planning Department, along with the assistance of the City Attorney, to report back on proposed updates to the Small Lot Ordinance and Design Guidelines.

I have heard loud and clear from my constituents that the guidelines need to be updated and given teeth to be enforceable. Preservation of neighborhood character is key, and I’ve asked that the Planning Department provide ways to encourage preserving existing structures on multi-family lots that have room for additional infill. Furthermore, I have asked for a report on creating a unique set of guidelines for projects of 20 units or more to ensure quality urban design and sufficient project open space.

We recognize the City’s need to create more housing but we can not do it at the expense of our neighborhood’s character. I will keep you posted on the next steps in the coming months.

Warm regards,

Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell