January 28, 2020 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Anti-Mansionization Rules Likely To Deflate Brentwood Property Values

A sleek, square two-story house – what some would label “McMansion” or “box” – towers over an adjacent residence and takes up a large portion of the front lawn in a Westside neighborhood. These types of developments have prompted anti-mansionization rules across the city. Photo by Mariella Rudi.
A sleek, square two-story house – what some would label “McMansion” or “box” – towers over an adjacent
residence and takes up a large portion of the front lawn in a Westside neighborhood. These types of
developments have prompted anti-mansionization rules across the city. Photo by Mariella Rudi.

Real estate experts in Brentwood are reeling from a looming depreciated housing market if temporary limits on single-family home development become the new standard.

Advocates of Los Angeles’ Baseline Mansionization Ordinance (BMO), approved in 2008 in response to the trend often derided as “mansionization,” wanted to detract developers from building towering, imposing “boxes” among single-story traditional houses.

“The official phrase is ‘out of character for the neighborhood and out of scale for the lot size,’” said Rod Liber, member of the Brentwood Homeowners Association and Westside property owner.

They also argued these “McMansions” impinged on privacy, as homes are sometimes built uncomfortably close to an adjacent property.

But an opponent of the BMO, Brentwood real estate agent Mary Lu Tuthill, said she has all ready seen the ordinance lessen property values everywhere, including in Brentwood.

“One of the major factors in the evaluation of a home is the square footage,” Tuthill said. “Since the BMO limits that, it limits the price that a developer can expect to get. It also limits the price someone will pay for a lot or a ‘tear down,’ because the lot size dictates the size of home that can be built there. It is especially significant on smaller lots.”

The BMO contained exemptions, or what some would call loopholes, that allowed for extra square footage – add-ons like environmentally friendly “green” features, proportional stories, or front facade articulations.

These loopholes prompted City Councilman Paul Koretz to create a temporary fix  – to 15 single-family neighborhoods that saw a higher concentration of construction activity until the City Council could pass a heavier amendment.

Two weeks ago, after almost a year and a half, the city finally released a draft of the revised BMO, and the public consideration process is kicking into high gear.

But with new rules came even more restrictions.

Homes in Westwood, Kentwood, and Mar Vista/East Venice, for example, are no longer eligible for 20 percent bonuses, or an extra 800 sq. ft. 

Before the ICOs, you could build a 4,600 sq. ft. house on a 7,400 sq. ft. lot. Under the new restrictions, you would only be able to build a 3,700 sq. ft. house, which is almost 1,000 sq. ft. smaller.

But as Liber points out, Brentwood was never part of this groundswell movement, or the ICOs. He has qualms about the new square footage amendments and imagines Brentwood would take a more moderate approach on the restrictions and bonuses.

“The first thing I’m going to do is find out if people in Brentwood really want it, or is it 50-50,” he said, using an online survey to poll members of the BHA. 

“If you’ve all ready owned your home and you plan to stay there, it’s not a problem,” he said. “But if you have an older home and you want to sell it, that might be a time where you go, ‘I’m more interested in keeping the home value up.’”

With Brentwood sitting on the periphery of these exemptions, heads of Brentwood neighborhood councils and homeowners associations are just starting to consider if they should advocate for these newly developed home-size limits.

Real estate experts and developers agree that the BMO has its perks and its faults, but the square footage limits now includes counting the garage space, which reduces a home size by 400 sq. ft. 

Elyse Arbour, an 18-year Brentwood real estate agent with Rodeo Realty, doesn’t see the garage inclusion as fair since a housing appraisal will only end up counting “living space.” So it’s the developers who are buying up smaller homes and offering less money to make a profit, she said.

“The what I like to call ‘young, cute couples’ come to these old homes, and they do inspections and they run,” Arbour said. “Consequently, the developers come in and offer cash, a quick close, and a five-day inspection. Developers are not emotionally attached to the properties.”

Liber said Brentwood now has to fight for what it wants and doesn’t want in the BMO. And the people who are living in the houses and neighborhoods, not developers, have to retain their authority.

“I’d fight the too-drastic a reduction in the square footage,” Liber said. “I’d fight the exclusion of the bonus for the front articulation. And I’d want them to add something in about no subterranean garage. I also think there probably needs to be a stated limit on basements.”

Related Posts

Three More Retailers Announced for Culver Steps Development

January 27, 2020

January 27, 2020

Beauty, coffee, ice cream retailers coming By Sam Catanzaro Three additional commercial tenants have been announced for The Culver Steps,...

Sweetgreens is opening a new location: Westside Local Show – January, 27, 2020

January 27, 2020

January 27, 2020

All your local news, events and happenings in under 5 minutes. * Sweetgreens is opening a new location. * Roma...

Edify TV: Ferris Wheel Lights up for Kobe Bryant

January 27, 2020

January 27, 2020

The Pacific Park Ferris wheel on Santa Monica Pier turned purple and gold to honor Kobe Bryant, who passed away Sunday in a helicopter crash...

An Inside Look at New Culver City Restaurant, Piccalilli LA!

January 25, 2020

January 25, 2020

This restaurant opened up in the former Piology space, right across from the newly opened Amazon Studios and just a...

Local landmark transforming into hotel? Westside Local Show – January, 23, 2020

January 23, 2020

January 23, 2020

Westside Local Show – January, 23, 2020 – All your local news, events and happenings in under 5 minutes. * Local...

DUI Checkpoint on Westside This Weekend

January 23, 2020

January 23, 2020

DUI and license checkpoint Thursday, Friday and Saturday night By Chad Winthrop A Los Angeles Police Department DUI checkpoint is...

Chinese Social Media Giant Opens Expanded Culver City Headquarters

January 23, 2020

January 23, 2020

120,000 square-foot Bristol Parkway space has a new tenant By Sam Catanzaro One of the fastest-growing apps in the world...

Missing Culver City Middle School Teacher Located

January 22, 2020

January 22, 2020

By Staff Writer Culver City education officials have announced that a middle school teacher has been found safe after she...

Culver City 2020 Homeless Count This Week

January 20, 2020

January 20, 2020

The Culver City 2020 Homelessness Count is coming up this week, with nearly 100 volunteers signed up for this annual event. While the...

Missing middle school teacher in Culver City: Westside Local Show – January, 20, 2020

January 20, 2020

January 20, 2020

All your local news, events and happenings in under 5 minutes. * Missing middle school teacher in Culver City.* Free museum...

Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the Westside

January 19, 2020

January 19, 2020

Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be observed Monday with numerous events planned throughout Los Angeles honoring Martin Luther King...

Man Fatally Shot by Police in Culver City Wieleded ‘Bicycle Part’, Not Gun LAPD Says

January 19, 2020

January 19, 2020

Police release more information on fatal shooting following calls for more transparency By Sam Catanzaro Law enforcement officials have announced...

SB 50 Revival Sought, With Big Changes

January 17, 2020

January 17, 2020

By Tom Elias, Westside Today Columnist Every time Scott Wiener amends his SB 50 plan to force much higher housing...

Culver City developments with no parking? Westside Local Show – January, 17, 2020

January 17, 2020

January 17, 2020

All your local news, events and happenings in under 5 minutes. * Culver City developments with no parking?* Blind Barber disco...

Micro-Apartments for Culver City?

January 16, 2020

January 16, 2020

Culver City City Council takes steps to allow micro-units to fulfill housing needs By Sam Catanzaro High demand for housing...

Comments
  • These hideous bunkers take ages to build so noisy construction literally goes on for years. The buiders also flood the neighborhood with their pickups and food trucks. When they’re eventually finished, these kitsch, fake ‘homes’ make the neighborhood look horrible, block views, block animal trails and often house more people than the average hotel, leading to parking and noise woes. So the point being – they don’t deflate the property values at all, this is bs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *