Los Angeles Cracks Down On Mansionization

Despite concerns about lowering property values across the city, the L.A. City Council moved to limit the size of newly constructed homes in older neighborhoods to about 4,000 square feet.

"The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved new rules to address major byproducts of the gentrification that has swept the city: limiting the size of "mansionization" additions and making it harder for developers to convert low-income housing into luxury lofts.

The rules radically limit the size of remodeled homes in the city's flatlands to about 3,000 to 4,000 square feet in most cases, curtailing what homeowners say is a plague of giant, ugly stucco boxes that are killing neighborhood character.

On the other end of the spectrum, council members voted to preserve more than 18,700 units in residential hotels, mostly in downtown, that advocates worry are in danger of being turned into luxury lofts or condominiums, leaving many of the city's poorest with nowhere to live.

The controversial measures required heavy negotiation among activists, property owners and businesspeople. But in both cases, the unanimous decisions by council members represent recognition of the incredible pressures that rising property values and gentrification have exerted on virtually every corner of the city in recent years.

Despite the recent slowdown in the housing market, officials said the ordinances were necessary to protect neighborhoods in the future."

Full Story: Los Angeles limits 'mansionization,' downtown hotel conversions


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