Friday, August 3, 2007

What Downtown Ordinances?

LA Weekly mentions a downtown ordinance. Specifically, the Greater Downtown Housing Ordinance (my bolds):

The so-called Downtown Ordinance is one in a trio of zoning changes drafted by the Planning Department that could eventually transform what the entire city looks like architecturally, who will be able to live here and in what conditions.

This particular ordinance will be voted on August 7. What will it do?

. . . lift zoning restrictions on developers in a five-mile area framed by the 110 and 101 freeways and Alameda Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard, allowing them to carve up residential structures into potentially tiny, closetlike condos and apartments — whatever configurations permitted in the building code that developers think the market can bear.

. . . The Downtown Ordinance’s relaxed restrictions provide a fat “density bonus” — meaning that in exchange for setting aside 15 percent of units for low-income “affordable housing,” developers receive an entitlement to build 35 percent more apartments or condos on the same lot.

. . .The downtown ordinance’s relaxed restrictions would also allow developers to extend residential buildings all the way out to the sidewalk (like the baroque structures that were built between the late ’20s and ’30s along Spring Street and Broadway), tossing out the green space “setbacks” that have been a citywide requirement in the zoning code for decades. In addition, the new ordinance would allow tiny apartments L.A. has never before seen — as small as the building codes allow, with floor space as scant as 250 square feet, slightly larger than a walk-in closet.

Oh, joy.

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