Architecture. Grad School. The State of the Profession. Field Trips. Agony. Ecstasy. Life. Etc.

Architecture Addiction, The Official Blog of


unSchool of Architecture
suggested reading/bookstore
other blogs I like
my portfolio
events
fieldtrips & workshops*
categories | archives | search
contact | rss

Down with the McMansion! Up with neighborhood character!
by Katy Purviance on 05/21/08 @ 08:52:55 am
Categories: Articles | 520 words | 1920 views

Allison Milionis wrote this article “Don’t Supersize Me: Los Angeles limits McMansions, downsizes starter castles” in The Architect’s Newspaper.

The old adage “less is more” has been revived in Los Angeles. On May 6, the LA City Council unanimously approved its “Mansionization Ordinance,” also known as the Neighborhood Character Ordinance, which will restrict the size and bulk of new or remodeled single-family dwellings in many LA neighborhoods. First proposed by council member Tom LaBonge in 2006, it is one of many similar pieces of legislation in the region, all hoping to limit the spread of the much-reviled McMansion.

The LA ordinance will require that houses throughout many of the city’s flatland neighborhoods limit square footage to approximately half the size of their lot and keep garages at a modest 400 square feet. Fulfilling criteria such as having larger setbacks and including “eco-friendly” features would allow homeowners to add another 20 percent to their square footage.

LA residents have long been asking for more restrictions on house size, citing the loss of neighborhood character and, in some cases, privacy, as a glut of multi-level McMansions replaced 20th-century bungalows. According to The Los Angeles Times, LA houses have grown steadily over the years, reaching an average of 2,500 square feet, just over 1,000 square feet larger than the average residence in the western U.S.

LA City Council President Eric Garcetti argued that super-sized houses are the antithesis of sustainable development and a “green” city. “The days of considering land-use decisions separate from their environmental impact are a thing of the past,” Garcetti said.

But realtors and builders have a different take on McMansions. Holly Schroeder, CEO of the Building Industry Association’s Los Angeles/Ventura chapter, said that new homes and substantial remodels are already 30 percent more energy-efficient than in other states and that in the next year, new California standards will push that up another 20 percent. “Bigger homes are not necessarily less efficient,” she said. The Beverly Hills/Greater Los Angeles Association of Realtors said the ordinance will have a negative effect on the already beaten-down housing market and won’t allow families to grow into their current homes.

Their concerns are not entirely unfounded. In a March 2008 review by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LACEDC), it was determined that property values would decline in proportion to the floor area no longer allowed by such an ordinance. However, in the same report, LACEDC pointed to the potential for property values to decline in neighborhoods with prevalent McMansions because the demand for such houses was dropping.

Los Angeles is not the first city in Southern California to put the kibosh on super-sized development. The first anti-mansionization ordinance was introduced by LA City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel in 2005, and applied to the Sunland-Tujunga community the same year. Glendale, Burbank, and Beverly Hills have similar ordinances on the books, and Santa Monica has been curbing super-sized development for a number of years. Other Southland cities have started to undergo similar processes. In February, the Manhattan Beach City Council adopted an ordinance that revised residential building standards in an effort to minimize bulky, lot-consuming houses and additions.

Source

Bookmark and Share Send Feedback | Permalink

Pingbacks:

No Pingbacks for this post yet...

This post has 383 feedbacks awaiting moderation...

Previous post: I.M. Pei's monument to the possible
Next post: Are you serious, Glendale?

Categories
our sponsors
Other Blogs I Like
GSD Blogs:
Ben in Paris
A Large Lumpy Rock
Wayfinding with Waxman
Other Blogs:
Saved By Design
Jetson Green
Core 77
Archinect
Rammed Earth is for Everyone
Raw Design Build
Lloyd Kahn's blog
Ouno
Form Follows You Home
Burning Down the House - Radio Architecture
Unhappy Hipsters
Design Vote
Talkitect
Truly Minimal Plan
Archives
December 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
 << <   > >>
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31            
Search

Search

Me on Burning Down the House
The VERB School
August 18 2010

GO HOME!
October 20 2010

Licensure in the USA
November 17 2010

Become One of Us...Subscribe to Architecture Addiction
Donate
Give the gift of an architecture book to Architecture Addiction
Radio Architecture
Listen live to Burning Down the House, Wednesdays 4PT/7ET
Or download the podcasts from iTunes
Blowfish
 

our sponsors
It's Finally Here
unSchool of Architecture is here. Enter your name and email below to learn more.

Architecture School Survey
Contact
Hi. My name is Katy. I like it when you write to me and tell me about the cool stuff you're doing in architecture. Yes, I write back.* I may publish your letter and my reply on the blog. If you don't want me to do that, you can just ask that I withhold your name, or if you're really serious about keeping your letter a secret, you can ask me to just not publish it at all. Of course I'll still write back to you. * I hope you'll take this opportunity to share your thoughts with our worldwide audience.

[Fields marked (*) are required]

Subject:

Your Name:*

Your Email Address:*

Your Question or Suggestion:*

After you click Submit, you'll come right back to the blog!

* Unless you spam me.

Created by Contact Form Generator

places where you could probably learn more about designing and building in just a few days than I did after a year of grad school

Know of some others I can add here? Let me know. Have you already visited some of these places...or planning on it? Let me know and I will feature your story and your photos here!

I am starting a new kind of architecture school. Unlike most architecture schools, you wouldn't have to submit GRE scores or good grades or letters of recommendation. You wouldn't have to put the rest of your life on hold for 3 to 5 years. You wouldn't have to accrue tens of thousands of dollars in debt. At my architecture school, anyone could come for a few weeks and learn how to build a house with their own two hands. My teachers would take skills and concepts from some of these other workshops I've listed above... except classes would be held year-round to make it easy to fit into your schedule. I would have a number of different campuses around the country that would teach building designs appropriate to the local climate. And I need your help. Can you donate land for a campus? Can you dotate books for a library? Can you teach a workshop? Can you provide start-up capital? Let me know.

suggested reading/bookstore

Need more? Visit our bookstore

where is everybody?
Locations of visitors to this page

Who's Online Now?

  • Guest Users: 21
random quote generator

Give me another

our sponsors