Latest on Mansionization

The argument continues on the pages of the Beverly Press.  Here is my latest post:

As a resident of Beverly Grove, I am gratified at this good news out of the Planning Commission. This decision is an important victory in the fight to protect Beverly Grove from overdevelopment.

I feel compelled to correct some of the mistakes in Charles Tarlow’s characterization of the ordinance. Those interested in finding out what the ordinance actually says can consult it here:  http://www.beverlygrove.org/uploads/6/0/9/3/6093311/beverly_grove_rfa_ordinance_for_cpc.pdf.

The primary error in Mr. Tarlow’s analysis is his assumption that garages will count against the allowable square footage. This is the case only if homeowners choose to build ATTACHED garages. So long as the garage is DETACHED, it will be exempt from restrictions on square footage (see 4.a. in the ordinance).

It’s true that attached garages will count against the maximum square footage restriction. And for good reason! The simplest way to prevent oversized homes and ensure that neighbors’ light and privacy are protected is to incentivize detached garages.

In short, those choosing to build detached garages will be able to build up to 3050 sq. ft. (on the typical 6100 sq. ft. lot). This is larger than even the bigger older homes in the neighborhood. The ordinance allows for upgrading, remodeling, and even upsizing. The only thing it prevents is overdevelopment that intrudes on the rights of neighbors and undermines the character of the neighborhood.

As for the assertion that the ordinance does not reflect the will of the community, I would just say that the only official survey on the matter confirmed that more than 60% of the neighborhood was in favor of this ordinance. Anything else is mere speculation.

Thanks and congratulations to Paul Koretz and Shawn Bayliss on this. Now we just have to hope that they finish the job soon and shepherd the RFA across the finish line before more of the neighborhood is bulldozed.

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