THE BEL-AIR OVERLAY
It’s been a very long road but Bel-Air finally has its construction overlay--the first one ever approved in the City of Los Angeles. Led by the determined and focused efforts of Fred Rosen and Dan Love, on Wednesday, the City Council passed Hillside Construction Regulation Supplemental Use District (“HCR”).
The purpose of the HCR is to impose more restrictive grading limits and hauling operation standards than what is generally permitted and thus reduce some of the construction impacts. The basis of these changes came from the series of conditions created a year ago, called "The Bel-Air Rule" which is a series of conditions compiled a year ago by the collaboration of the Bel-Air Association and the Bel Air Homeowners Alliance. Here are some of the salient points of our overlay:
• Planning review for homes over 17,500 square feet to ensure they are being built as a single family home (Section 7);
• No Saturday exterior construction (Section 6.c.);
• Maximum Import and/or Export for Hillside Areas shall not exceed 6,000 cubic yards (Section D.1. and D.2.);
• Maximum of four (4) trucks are permitted to haul per hour per project site (no convoys) (Section D.3.);
• Grading permits are to be prominently posted on the job site at all times (Section D.4b);
• All hauling vehicles must be identified by a placard identifying the project address which shall be prominently displayed on each hauling vehicle (Section D.4.c)
• Only 10 cubic yard or smaller trucks for earth hauling (Section 5.a);
• Limited hours on construction trucks involving cement or earth hauling operations - 9AM to 3PM - and no hauling on Saturdays, Sundays or holidays (Section 6.a);
• Haul trucks shall be staged off-site and outside the HCR district (Section 6.b);
• Construction site work hours are 8AM to 6PM Monday-Friday (formerly 7AM to 9PM) (Section 6.c);
• No exterior work on Saturday - only interior work (Section 6.c);
• No construction that would require lighting during dark hours (Section 6.c).
The Bel-Air Association, in conjunction with the Bel Air Homeowners Alliance would like to thank all who worked so hard for the past two years to get these changes made, especially Councilmember Paul Koretz, CD5 staff standouts Shawn Bayliss, Faisal Alserri and Gurmet Khara, LA City Planner Christine Saponara and her staff, Deputy Director Kevin Keller of the LA City Planning Department and the pro-active Bel-Air community members. This was a total team effort which required the good will, expertise and patience of everyone involved.
THE BMO AND BHO ORDINANCES
Also to note that on Friday, March 3, 2017, the Los Angeles City Council passed an update to the existing Baseline Mansionization Ordinance (BMO) and Baseline Hillside Ordinance (BHO). With this overlay in place, the integrity and character of single-family homes will be better preserved. Some of the adopted changes to the Baseline Hillside Ordinance and the Baseline Hillside Ordinance regulations include the following:
• Establishment of new development standards for single family zones, including the usage of angled encroachment plane and side wall articulation requirements to reduce the visual impact of building mass;
• Modification to the definition of Residential Floor calculations to further reduce the impact of out-of-scale homes;
• Elimination of nearly all exemption, which created big, boxy homes;
• Counting of grading under a house to prevent what was previously an unlimited amount of hillside grading;
• Reduction of Floor Area Ration (FAR) for single family homes in R1 zones.