Big push for small- lot projects meets re­sis­tance

Los Angeles Times - - HOME & DESIGN - —Lisa Boone

The Small Lot Sub­di­vi­sion Or­di­nance was de­signed by the city of Los An­ge­les in 2005 as a way to in­crease den­sity in ur­ban ar­eas, lower the price of sin­gle­fam­ily homes and boost home­own­er­ship.

Ar­chi­tect Bar­bara Bestor says den­sity is an im­per­a­tive for ur­ban liv­ing. “The ques­tion is more about how do you keep a cool, in­ter­est­ing neigh­bor­hood in­tact while build­ing a small house that is not a generic town house.”

But even though small- lot de­vel­op­ments will con­trib­ute to Los An­ge­les Mayor Eric Garcetti’s goal of adding 100,000 homes in the city by 2021, the or­di­nance is not with­out its de­trac­tors. In Sil­ver Lake and Echo Park, some neigh­bors are pe­ti­tion­ing for a mora­to­rium on the de­vel­op­ments, cit­ing traf­fic, pri­vacy and den­sity con­cerns.

For now, the town homes and row houses have proved pop­u­lar with home­own­ers, who are snap­ping up small- lot homes in Sil­ver Lake, Echo Park and Ea­gle Rock, and new de­vel­op­ments are planned for Ea­gle Rock, Hol­ly­wood and Frog­town. Black­birds devel­oper Casey Lynch be­lieves fur­ther in­fill de­vel­op­ment in dense neigh­bor­hoods will re­sult in more af­ford­able home prices. But so far, home prices have con­tin­ued to rise, and Los An­ge­les con­tin­ues to be ranked among the least- af­ford­able hous­ing mar­kets in the coun­try.

CASEY LYNCH looks out a liv­ing room win­dow over the Echo Park area from a house in the Black­birds de­vel­op­ment.

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