The City Council and Planning Commission are trying to steam roll Angelenos once again, and attorney Carlyle Hall is asking for our help. Copy and paste this protest letter below about “granny flats,” and send an email to your Council member and planning commissioners before May 12. Email addresses are provided at the end. Let’s do this!
Dear Commission Members,
I strongly oppose the proposed repeal of our City’s current adopted second unit standards.
When development entitlements are “by right,” it is vitally important that cities have adopted standards to protect their neighborhoods. Under state law (Gov’t Code section 65852.2), if a city has adopted its own local standards, it approves or rejects second unit applications in accord with those local standards, which can include substantial protections for the surrounding neighborhood. For example, LA City’s local standards (adopted back in 1985) specify a maximum size of 640 SF for second units, they forbid construction of second units that are visible from the street, and second units cannot be built in designated “hillside” areas.
The Legislature encourages cities to adopt and enforce their own local standards by providing that, if a city does not have its own adopted standards, it must approve second units “by right” according to very weak state “default” standards that provide virtually no neighborhood protection. For example, under the lenient “default” standards, a second unit can be 1,200 SF (the size of many primary residences), and there are no visibility or hillside protections.
If the current adopted standards are repealed, LA planning and building officials will have to follow these very lenient “default” standards. This would allow many negative impacts on surrounding neighborhoods from second unit construction.
The City should consider changing its adopted second unit standards only after thorough study and opportunity for public input. In particular, the Planning Department should consider ways to tighten up the City’s standards to provide even greater protection. The current “fast track” of the proposed repeal does not allow for adequate study or public input.
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Together, we can create the change that L.A. needs!