Palisades News Letters: Upper Chautauqua Residents Weigh in on Mansionization Ordinance

Upper Chautauqua Residents Weigh in

(Editor’s note: This letter was sent to the News, Councilmember Bonin, and members of the city planning department.)

Many residents in the upper Chautauqua and Berea hillside area of Pacific Palisades are opposed to the proposed R1H1 amendments and to any other zoning changes that would continue with the “mansionization” of the neighborhood. We would like to pursue an exclusion from the Pacific Palisades growth strategy similar to that which the city recommended to the Marquez Knolls neighborhood.

Also attached to the letter is a copy of page 6 of the Department of City Planning Recommendation Report, regarding the City Planning Commission hearing of July 14, 2016, wherein the city planners recommended that residents of specific sections of Pacific Palisades could opt to retain the BMO/BHO regulations.

Finally, attached in a separate document is a list of resident addresses in the neighborhood and a description of the map area covering the Chautauqua/Berea hillside area (submitted at the suggestion of Mr. Blumenberg).

Please advise as to how we may opt to retain the BHO amendments restricting mansionization, over-building, and excessive grading in our neighborhood. Please include this email and the attachments in the public comment record.

Cori Hayman and the residents on the attached letter


Alphabet Resident Speaks Out

(Editor’s note: This letter was also sent to city planning.)

I strongly support the zone change from R1-1 to R1V1 for the Pacific Palisades pursuant to the Notice of Open House and Public Hearing (“Notice”) received in August 2016. The notice said in relevant part:

There are two new single-family zones proposed for the areas of Pacific Palisades, outside of the Coastal Zone. The zone change from R1-1 to R1Vl is proposed for non-hillside areas and would regulate floor area to between 55% and. 65% a lot.

The noticed hearing took place on Sept. 13 at the Henry Medina Building in West Los Angeles. At the hearing it was explained that the notice was the first notice of proposed changes to mansionization zoning rules mailed to all affected residences in Pacific Palisades.

At the hearing, materials were provided detailing the proposed R1VI zone change. It was explained that Rl-1 regulates the floor area of new residences in Los Angeles which may equal up to 50% of lot area, plus an additional “bonus” up to 20% for meeting certain criteria such as choice of building materials. The “50%” provision actually equals 45% for lots larger than 7,500 square feet.

The proposed RlV1would alter Rl-1for many Palisades residents, dropping the “bonus” calculation, and setting six simple standards based on lot size ranging between 65% for properties of 6,000 square feet or less, to 55% for properties of 10,000 feet or more. I reviewed the materials and believe the R1V1 zone is fitting for the community and in the best interests of it, meeting concerns over property values and mansionization.

I strongly object to other and different proposals presented at the hearing. These new proposals were titled R1V2, R1V3 and R1V New. None of these new proposals were mentioned in the notice.

There was no mention in the notice of the possibility that any alternatives to R1V1 could be imposed on Palisades residents. There was no warning to recipients of the Notice who decided not to attend the hearing because the words “between 55% and 65%” sufficed for them, that substantially more restrictive anti-mansionization laws could be imposed on them despite the notice. The imposition of any other zone change from R1-1to R1V1 is wholly without any notice and would be constitutionally and otherwise invalid.

Furthermore, the new proposals, if instituted, would constitute unwarranted takings, and could constitute draconian infringements on property rights. Each of the unnoticed new proposals are substantial additional restrictions on property rights beyond R1V1. The worst being R1V3, with lot-size variation criteria ranging from 30% to 40%.

David Markel, M.D.

Palisades News welcomes all letters, which may be emailed to Please include a name, address and telephone number so we may reach you. Letters do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Palisades News. 

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