Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Baseline Hillside Ordinance Scheduled for City Council Friday March 4, 2011 (10 AM)

Greetings All:


This is an email to let you know that the Baseline Hillside Ordinance (CPC-2010-581-CA; Council File No. 10-1001) will go before the City Council this Friday, March 4, 2010; Item No. 7.  The meeting starts at 10:00 a.m. and will be located in:


John Ferraro Council Chamber

City Hall, Room 350

200 N. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012


We do not know if the City Council will be taking public testimony on this item since the Public Hearing was already held and closed by the Planning & Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee, and since the Ordinance is essentially the same as the one they approved back in August 4, 2010.


The agenda can be downloaded at the following link:  http://ens.lacity.org/clk/councilagendas/clkcouncilagendas370460_03042011.pdf


The City Council unanimously approved the proposed Baseline Hillside Ordinance provisions with some minor changes on August 4, 2010 and asked the City Attorney's Office to review and prepare the official Ordinance.  The City Attorney transmitted their report to the Council on February 14, 2011.



What's Next?


If the Baseline Hillside Ordinance gets at least 12 Yes votes and 0 No votes, then the Ordinance is officially adopted on Friday.  If the Ordinance does not get 12 Yes votes, or gets at least 1 No vote (regardless of the number of Yes votes), then it has to go back to the City Council at least one more time for what is referred to as a "Second Reading".  Just to clarify, Ordinances only need a majority vote (8 Yes votes) in order to be adopted; this information is only for those of you wanting to estimate the timeline for a possible effective date.


Once the Ordinance is adopted, the Mayor has 5 days to act on it - meaning he can act on it on the same day, or 5 days later.  Assuming the Mayor approves it, the City Clerk's Office will then post the adopted Ordinance for a period of 10 days and a 30-day effective date will begin after that.  Simply put, the earliest an Ordinance can realistically go into effect  is 40 to 45 days after it is adopted by the City Council.



Projects in Early Design Stages or Submitted for Discretionary Actions

For those of individuals working on projects which are currently in the early design stages or is waiting for a discretionary action of some sort, please use the information above to gauge whether you will be able to submit for plan check prior to the effective date of the proposed Baseline Hillside Ordinance.  Just to clarify for all, any property zoned R1, RS, RE, or RA which is designated as Hillside Area pursuant to Section 12.03 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) will eventually be subject to the Baseline Hillside Ordinance if it is adopted by the City Council; please refer to ZIMAS (http://zimas.ci.la.ca.us/) under the "Planning and Zoning" tab to find your "Hillside Area (Zoning Code)" designation.


Pursuant to Section 12.26 A.3 of the LAMC, any project which is accepted by the Department of Building and Safety for plan check with a complete set of plans and for which the fees have been paid prior to the effective date of an Ordinance will be considered to be a Vested Development Plan; meaning that the applicable regulations in place prior to this change will continue to apply.  However, there are some limitations to this provision that you should be aware of, but the more relevant ones are that you have 18 months after the fee is paid, and that you cannot make changes to those plans which increase or decrease the height, floor area, or occupant load of the proposed structure by more than 5%.  Feel free to reference our online Municipal Code for more details (http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll?f=templates&fn=default.htm&vid=amlegal:lamc_ca); go to Chapter 1, Article 2, Section 12.26, Subsection A, Subdivision 3.


The only way to "vest" a typical single-family development project under the current Code is through the Vested Development Plan provision summarized above.  Applications for, or approval of discretionary actions (i.e. Zoning Administration Determinations, Adjustments, Variances, etc.) prior to the effective date does not confer vesting rights to a project.  If you are not able to submit for plan check to the Department of Building & Safety prior to the effective date of the Baseline Hillside Ordinance, it is recommended that you consider the proposed hillside provision when making design choices or determining a course of action.



Useful Links

April 22, 2010 City Planning Commission Staff Report: http://planning.lacity.org/StaffRpt/InitialRpts/CPC-2010-581.pdf

City Planning Commission Determination Letter: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2010/10-1001_rpt_plan_6-8-10.pdf

City Attorney Report (contains the LATEST VERSION of the Ordinance): http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2010/10-1001_RPT_ATTY_02-11-11.pdf



Feel free to forward this information to anyone you feel might be interested.


If you received this email via forwarded message from someone other than myself, and you want to obtain updates directly from the Department, please email erick.lopez@lacity.org and ask to be added to the interest list.  Please type "Add Me To Hillside Notification List" in the subject line and provide your group/organization/company affiliations and contact information (please include at least your ZIP Code).


Facebook™ Users: Look for the Baseline Hillside Ordinance page; add the page and receive updates in your news feed.  You can also view our events calendar and participate in discussion boards.


As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact myself or Jennifer Driver at jennifer.driver@lacity.org or at (818) 374-9916.

Erick Lopez, City Planner
City of Los Angeles - Department of City Planning
Office of Zoning Administration - Code Studies
200 N. Spring St., Room 701
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 978-1323
(213) 978-1226 - fax