The City of Los Angeles adopted an ordinance in September 2017 that created incentives to include affordable housing units in multi-family residential developments located within designated Transit Oriented Communities (TOC). There are four TOC Tiers, based on the distance between a property and a qualified Major Transit Stop. All qualified properties must be within one half mile of a Major Transit Stop, however, the type of Major Transit Stop and the distance determine the Tier level for each property.
The City has undertaken these zoning changes to encourage developers to build more affordable housing, so developers are offered a number of incentives to include affordable housing units in their projects. Housing developments must provide restricted affordable units according to percentages required by each Tier. The higher the Tier, the more affordable housing units are required - however, higher Tiers also have the greater incentives, such as up to an 80% increase in the number of total units allowed.
There are several base incentives which every eligible project can utilize, as well as additional incentives which apply when certain conditions are met. These incentives tackle some of the major stumbling blocks many developments face, such as providing enough parking and maximizing allowable floor area or building height.
Of course, as may be expected, applying for TOC incentives through the City's Planning Department adds a layer to the already tedious and sometimes frustrating plan check process, but for developers it can be worth the effort to maximize the number of units and return on investment.
Please contact S K Architects if you would like to explore the possibilities for developing your property.
What is an ADU?
The City of Los Angeles describes an ADU as:
An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a residential unit that can be added to a lot with an existing single family home. ADUs can be detached (a separate building in a backyard), attached to or part of the primary residence, or a garage conversion. ADUs are independent rental units that have their own kitchens, bathrooms, living areas, and entrances.
Why build an ADU?
ADUs can provide additional space for caregivers, grown children, elderly parents, or renters. Because ADUs are rental units, they produce additional household income. “Empty nesters” can stay in their neighborhoods by moving into a smaller ADU and renting their larger existing home to pay the mortgage. An ADU can be built to house a relative or caregiver. There are many reasons for building an ADU on your lot.
New State Law:
The new state law (AB 2299, effective January 2017) applies to LA and makes it easier to build an ADU on a single family lot. The state law encourages the construction of accessory units because the City needs more housing.
As with any project, strict building codes apply to the construction of ADU's within Los Angeles and the surrounding cities. Every city can adopt their own variations of the code that will apply to ADU's in their neighborhoods, but since it is a State law, all California cities are required to allow ADU's if the property meets the basic requirements to conform with zoning regulations.
Additional information about ADU's will be addressed in a follow-up post. If you would like more information about adding an ADU to your property please contact S K Architects.