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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Granny Unit Before Council Tuesday; Write Councilman

It is critical that the City Council hear from those who oppose the measure that will REPEAL the City’s Second Dwelling Unit Ordinance (SDU) as an urgency measure leaving the City to default to the state’s generous standards.

Those state standards permit “granny units” (SDU’s) of up to 1200 square feet to be constructed on R1 properties. State standards would legalize large second dwelling units on all single family residences (including those on substandard lots/hillside lots).



On the Westside, Councilmember Koretz is opposed to the repeal. However, Councilmember Bonin needs to hear from the community as he has NOT joined those opposed.

We understand that Councilmembers Ryu, Martinez and Koretz are solidly opposed, that three others are considering joining them in opposing the repeal, and three more are ID’ed as on the fence. Because the repeal action is written as urgency legislation it will require a 3/4 vote of Council to pass. So it is very important that some of the uncommitted Councilmembers hear from their constituents and others (cc: the full Council on any letter to your Councilmember) urging opposition to the repeal measure..


1) Write now. Refer to Council File: 14-0057-S8
Send your letters to your Councilmember and copy the full Council and Mayor. ******A sample letter appears below at the bottom of this email along with additional background information.
Submit CIS statements from NC’s, motions from HOA’s and CC’s, etc.

2) Plan to attend the hearing if possible.

3) Spread the word. It is important that all are aware of the consequences of this effort to repeal LA’s SDU/granny unit law as an urgency measure and default to state standards. IF the City wishes to adopt new standards, there should be an open public process to do so.


As you may know, the City has proposed to repeal its Second Dwelling Unit ordinance, and to do so on a fast-track emergency basis. This action would replace the City’s current standards with state default rules that allow for much larger second units (up to 1,200 square feet) than allowed under the City’s ordinance. In addition, the City’s current ordinance does not permit Second Dwelling Units to be built in hillside and some other areas. These larger Second Dwelling Units would be permitted virtually everywhere in the City by right.

Several rationales for the change offered by the City’s Planning Department suggest that the repeal is required by a recent Superior Court ruling that struck down the City’s previous unlawful administrative policy, or that it is necessary to conform to the Housing Element of the City’s General Plan. These arguments are false, as explained in recent articles by environmental and land use attorney Carlyle W. Hall:



Proponents also argue the fast-track repeal is needed to provide relief to homeowners who relied on the City’s now-illegal process. But this is not true. The City can take action to “grandfather” any permits issued and second units built under the old process to clarify that those rights are vested. The fact is, there is no reasonable justification to repeal the City’s ordinance on a fast-track basis. An ill-advised emergency repeal that removes existing protections for hillside and other areas is neither an adequate nor transparent way to change carefully considered and long-standing policy.

The fast-track repeal will be considered by the City Council Tuesday, August 23. Please contact your councilmember immediately to oppose repeal of the Second Dwelling Unit ordinance. For your convenience, you may cut and paste the message below into an email.

Thank you!


Dear Councilmember ____________:

RE: CF 14-0057-S8

I oppose repeal of the City’s Second Dwelling Unit ordinance through an emergency, fast-track action. The City can “grandfather” permits issued under its previous administrative procedure to provide relief to homeowners who reasonably relied on it, but must not change long-standing City policy and rules protecting hillside and other areas. The City should change the ordinance only through an open and customary deliberative process that allows for the views of all impacted stakeholders to be thoughtfully considered.



councilmember.cedillo@lacity.org, councilmember.krekorian@lacity.org, councilmember.blumenfield@lacity.org, david.ryu@lacity.org, paul.koretz@lacity.org, councilmember.martinez@lacity.org, councilmember.fuentes@lacity.org, councilmember.harris-dawson@lacity.org, councilmember.price@lacity.org, councilmember.wesson@lacity.org, councilmember.bonin@lacity.org, councilmember.englander@lacity.org, councilmember.ofarrell@lacity.org, councilmember.huizar@lacity.org, councildistrict15@lacity.org,
mayor@lacity.org, vince.bertoni@lacity.org, matthew.glesne@lacity.org

For Council/Council file: alan.alietti@lacity.org, sharon.gin@lacity.org

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