Zoning & Development

Baseline Hillside Ordinance
By: Gillian Calof
Hillside Federation Representative

What is the Baseline Hillside Ordinance?

Effective May 9, 2011, the Baseline Hillside Ordinance (BHO) is an important amendment to the Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) dealing with single-family residential zoned lots in hillside areas. It is significant because it addresses out-of-scale construction on small or steep hillside lots in Los Angeles, while balancing property rights and other needs. The BHO focuses specifically on the following main elements of construction, depending on site conditions such as lot size, slope and zone:

  •                       Grading
  •                       Dwelling Height
  •                       Maximum Residential Floor Area

The BHO also has a provision that allows individual neighborhoods to tailor size limits and other regulations covered in the BHO.

For a copy of the final BHO please see: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2010/10-1001_ord_181624.pdf

 How the Baseline Hillside Ordinance Applies to You

Properties zoned R1, RS, RE, or RA which is designated as Hillside Area pursuant to Section 12.03 of the LAMC will be subject to the BHO.  It applies to new construction, major remodels and additions to single-family dwellings, accessory buildings and additions. Please refer to the City of Los Angeles Zoning Information and Map Access System (http://zimas.lacity.org/) to check your “Zoning” and “Hillside Area (Zoning Code)” designation under the “Planning and Zoning” tab.

 BHO Status – City Planning Commission Action

On April 22, 2010 the City Planning Commission discussed the proposed BHO. Based on testimony shared at this meeting, the Commission decided to continue review of the BHO to May 2010. On July 27, 2010 the Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee, a Subcommittee of the City Council that reviews all planning related matters, officially recommended that the proposed BHO provisions be moved to the City Council for action prior to sending it to the City Attorney for their review and preparation of the official version.  The final BHO was signed by Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa on Friday, March 25, 2011 and was received and posted by the City Clerk on March 30, 2011.  It will be effective May 9, 2011.

 Other Useful Links

April 22, 2010 City Planning Commission Staff Report: http://planning.lacity.org/StaffRpt/InitialRpts/CPC-2010-581.pdf

May 27, 2010 City Planning Commission Staff Report: http://planning.lacity.org/Code_Studies/BaselineHillsideOrd/CPC-2010-581-CA052710SRpt.pdf

City Planning Commission Determination Letter: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2010/10-1001_rpt_plan_6-8-10.pdf

City Planning Recommended Changes for PLUM: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2010/10-1001_MISC_07-26-2010-1.pdf

Online Council File:  http://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm?fa=ccfi.viewrecord&cfnumber=10-1001

City Attorney’s Report – Draft Ordinance: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2010/10-1001_RPT_ATTY_02-11-11.pdf

 Residents of Beverly Glen, Inc. Action

 While the Board of ROBG supported a BHO, several concerns with the current version were raised. To view a copy of the June 11, 2010 response prepared by the ROBG Board, click here Response to Hillside Ordinance PLUM 061110

ROBG has also attended various hearings and meetings to keep up to date on the BHO status and through its representation on the Bel Air Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council.

To Learn More or Get Involved

Email: hillside@beverlyglen.org