Last night, Tricia Keane, was KHG’s guest to explain the Kentwood ICO and what happens when it expires in March. Tricia is Mike Bonin’s Director of Land Use & Planning. She does not work for the City Planning Department, but she interfaces with the Planning Department on Mike’s behalf.
Tricia explained that the entire City is undergoing rezoning through the re:codeLA program. The goal with re:code is to overhaul LA’s very old, very complex zoning code. Currently, a property owner has to check multiple places in the Code to figure out what is allowed when building/remodeling a residential property in LA. re:code is still several years from being rolled out to most LA communities.
ICO communities like Kentwood have temporary rules in place that expire in March 2017. ICO literally stands for “Interim Control Ordinance” (emphasis added). Tricia explained that Kentwood, along with East Venice and Mar Vista, was put into the ICO by our Councilman because it is an easily defined area that was being hit hard by developers.
ICO communities (there are 15 in LA) have two choices at expiration – (1) revert to the BMO (the layer of building restrictions enacted in 2008); or (2) pick a new re:code R1 category.
It is important to understand regarding the BMO that if we revert, we are not reverting back to the BMO rules we had pre-ICO. The BMO is in the last stages of being amended to be more restrictive, although (in theory) even BMO communities will eventually be rolled into new re:code categories. You can see the proposed amendments to the BMO here.
You can read more about Kentwood’s ICO on our Councilman’s website here.
Comparing The Options
To see a side-by-side comparison of the existing BMO, the proposed BMO amendments and each of the new re:code R1V categories, look at this chart.
To keep all homes in a neighborhood similar in mass, no matter what the lot size, the re:code R1V categories are scaled. For example, if you look at the proposed R1V2 category, you’ll see that the floor area ratio (FAR) for a 5000′ lot is 45%. That is, you will calculate 45% of your lot size to get your maximum Residential Floor Area (RFA). However, to keep the homes in scale, the 45% calculation only works for lots up to 6000 feet. The FAR percentage goes down as your lot gets bigger, as can be seen on page two of this document.
One item related to the new re:code R1V categories that Tricia said is getting a lot of complaints is the garage exemption. She said to keep an eye on this line item, as it may change.
What To Do Next
The biggest takeaway of Tricia’s presentation is to understand that nothing has been formally decided for Kentwood when the ICO expires. The Planning Department is making a recommendation that re:code’s R1V2 should be implemented, BUT the Planning Department and our Councilman are looking for our input.
The Public Commenting period has been extended to October 13th. At a minimum, send your comments to the Planning Department using this email address: NeighborhoodConservation@lacity.org. Tricia is asking for a cc on all communications so that she can track our input for Mike. Her email address is email@example.com.
You can also write or call:
- Councilman Bonin at firstname.lastname@example.org • 213 473-7011 • fax:213 473-6926
- Councilman Bonin’s Chief of Staff Chad Molnar at email@example.com • 213 473-7011 • fax:213 473-6926
- Councilman Bonin’s Deputy Chief of Staff Laura McLennan at firstname.lastname@example.org • 213 473-7011 • fax:213 473-6926
- Councilman Bonin’s Westchester Deputy Anna Kozma at email@example.com • 310 568-8772 • fax: 310 410-3946
- Councilman Bonin’s Director of Land Use & Planning Tricia Keane at firstname.lastname@example.org • 213 473-7011 • fax:213 473-6926
- Councilman Bonin’s Senior Planner Ezra Gale at email@example.com • 213 473-7011 • fax:213 473-6926
- Contact Councilman Bonin’s office through his website