How sausages are made.

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How sausages are made.

by SweisKloss
Sep 26, 2019
Otto von Bismarck is most often credited with saying, “if you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made.” Although I think that I do not particularly want to see how sausages are made, I think it is extremely important that we all are aware of how laws are made. And that we have the opportunity to participate in how they are made is one of the benefits of this great democracy. With that said… the Santa Monica City Council will be considering proposed amendments to the ordinance for R1 neighborhood zoning at their October 22 meeting. If you have any interest in remodeling your home in Santa Monica in the near future, you made want to exercise your right to speak up.

These amendments, if passed, will affect homeowners in the R1 (the classification for a single unit residential dwelling) zoned districts within Santa Monica. The amendments seek to address some residents’ concerns that the character of these neighborhoods is changing with the increase in the “size and scale” of homes being built. These amendments are intended to encourage homeowners to renovate their existing home instead of building new.

A selection of the zoning changes the City Council is considering affect:
  • Parcel Coverage – the amendment would reduce the amount of buildable square footage on a lot from 50% of the lot to 45%. On a 6,600 square foot lot the amount of buildable square footage will be reduced by 330 square feet – the equivalent of a nicely sized master bedroom suite

  • Structure Height – most buildings would be limited in height to 28’

  • Setbacks and Upper-Story Stepbacks – the amendment limits the square footage on the 2nd floor so that the home is not boxlike

  • Upper-Story Outdoor Space – the amendment would reduce the amount of allowable upper balcony square footage

The good news… parking – enclosed garages would no longer be required, and the proposed amendments haven’t removed any of the incentives for accessory dwelling units (ADUs). ADU square footage does not count towards the maximum square footage for the parcel.

If you are planning a remodel or rebuild, you should consider reaching to your city council person to express your concerns. The full proposed resolution, along with the Planning Commission’s summary report, is here.

Once the code is passed we’ll write up a detailed summary on the changes and when they are taking effect. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to call us, we’re happy to help. If you have any concerns, well then, reach out to your representative.

Address your correspondence to:
City Clerk
Re: R1 update
City Planning Division
1685 Main St., R. 102
Santa Monica, CAA 90401
Email letters to:
Abeer SweisComment