Are You Seeing Oversized Houses Being Built In Our Neighborhood?

photo credit LA Times
photo credit LA Times

Have you been following the media coverage on the topic of mansionization in LA?

As described in this LA Times article, the term “mansionization” typically refers to developers buying small, older homes and replacing them with extra large homes out of character with the neighborhood.

Westchester, and more specifically, Kentwood, are no strangers to this phenomenon. Our neighborhood is a highly desirable place to live with lots of smaller, older bungalows.

You can read a summary of the current rules here. The formula gets a little complicated, but in broad strokes, the rules allow smaller houses to be replaced by houses up to 50% of the lot size, plus certain bonuses for defined purposes.

So what should you do if you observe a possible illegal structure being constructed in Kentwood? You can start by contacting KHG’s office to ask if the property owner submitted plans for review by our Architectural Committee, as required by our Declarations of Protective Restrictions (DPRs).

Please understand, however, that KHG only reviews plans for compliance with our governing DPRs which, for the most part, do not refer to dwelling size or city ordinances.

You can also report suspected violations of city building ordinances by making an online report to the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety here.

Mansionization can be a highly polarizing topic. We urge our stakeholders to work through the channels described above. It’s always possible that the very large home you see going up is completely legal under current rules, but let’s all work together to make sure that the current rules are being honored.

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