Code Changes / by Ben Ballentine

Los Angeles Property Owners and The Real Estate Community,

There has been a tremendous amount of opposition and involvement from hundreds of concerned individuals and businesses that have presented a loud and clear opposition to the proposed code changes to the BHO and BMO as drafted by LA City Planning. The successes of this opposition has resulted in:

- Rescheduling of the City Planning Commission hearing on this proposal from March to May 12th, 2016. It is imperative that you block out May 12th in your calendar to show up in force for this Public Hearing to express your opinions.

- Commitment to a re-draft of the proposed code changes due to the complaints and comments from the community.

Due to the adamant nature of City Planning that a Code Change will be implemented as soon as June of 2016, it has caused a massive rush effort by every knowledgable property owner in the city that is aware of the potential financial impacts to their property to begin preparation of full building plan submittal sets under current development rights on their property which if submitted prior to the impending code changes will vest development rights under the current code. A project is vested under current code if submitted prior to the adoption of the new code provisions under LAMC 12.26 A3 which states in order to maintain the rights, a project cannot make subsequent changes that “increase or decrease the height, floor area, or occupant load of the proposed structure by more than five percent.”

Although the opposition to the original proposals from City Planning has been publicly addressed and well documented, many in the industry are extremely concerned that the valid comments from homeowners, professionals and organizations including the AIA will go by the wayside for an anti property development rights code change proposal. It is important that everyone continue their vocal opposition of the code changes until a proper draft of code revisions that allow for the responsible development of properties in our community is achieved. In addition to the demand for proper code changes, it is also a goal of the Coalition for Responsible Development to pursue a delay to the implementation of the code changes in order to lessen the massive burden that many of us in the industry are dealing with in unnecessary fast tracking of project designs for vesting rights submittals.

The Coalition for Responsible Development has been hard at work on items including;

- Direct Meetings with City Planning to discuss the code changes and potential positive solutions

- Direct Meetings with Building and Safety to discuss the code changes and potential positive solutions

- Meetings with several City Council Members and Planning Staff

- Fundraising to pay for Legal and Lobbying Efforts

- Production of an informative Website. Please visit

We are all aware that our continued efforts can have a positive change on the code proposals, just as we did on the Bel Air ICO which has limited grading and residential square footage in a reasonable fashion. With continued support, we hope that similar achievements can be made in this circumstance.