Ever since I started appraising real estate in Los Angeles, twenty eight years ago, it became apparent to me very quickly that L.A. would be as dense as New York or Chicago, one day. Over the past fifteen years many sections of Los Angeles neighborhoods such as Highland Park, Mar Vista, Echo Park, Silver Lake, Faircrest Heights, Hollywood and others have been re-zoned from single family to multiple family use. And slowly but surely multiple family dwellings have begun to emerge. Some with a little sympathy on the surrounding neighborhood, some, not so much. Last night I attended my neighborhood homeowners meeting and the hot item was a proposal of a new development of sixteen semi-detached, three story homes being built on two standard size residential lots. The neighborhood was furious. Even I was a little upset knowing that this area of the neighborhood had been re-zoned for higher density over ten years ago and when a hot area gets re-zoned for higher density in L.A., the multiple family monstrosities are soon to follow. If you want to start a fight against this type of development, keep in mind you’re up against deep pockets, the “wheels of progress” the banking industry, worldwide demand and city hall politics!
What I can offer are some suggestions to ease the pain and help avoid experiencing this type of problem again. First you can go to the city website www.zimas.lacity.org, type in an address and it will give you the zoning of all the properties in the area. If your property is near anything other than an R1, there “may” be cause for concern. At this website you will see several other buttons you can click that will give you all kinds of information from economic development, planning and zoning, tax assessor information and permit information. Most cities have ten and twenty year plans for how they’re planning to develop the area, this is also helpful. In the future when you purchase property, this research should always be done, in addition to seeing how close public amenities are, what traffic patterns are like at rush hour, types and proximity of public transportation, proximity to parks and the like. A worthy Realtor should offer these services!
Most of us live in Los Angeles because of its great weather, open space and many other great amenities. The world is aware of this and they want a piece of the action!
Long ago, I learned to cope with such development when the miniature golf/trampoline park on La Cienega was razed for a new commercial strip center.
Chief Appraiser / Realtor / Analyst / Investor
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