A decade ago, in the hopes of accommodating a growing population, the Los Angeles City Council tweaked zoning laws to create a new type of housing: small lot homes. These townhouses could be built on lots as little as 600 square-feet and packed together in dense developments. City planners touted the underlying ordinance as bringing "the American dream of homeownership" to more residents, and theorized that it would generate affordable homes for middle-income Angelenos. Design publications, meanwhile, drooled over the often boxy, modern homes architects created to fit the small footprints. But as the homes have proliferated, a chorus of voices has risen with a different view. Some people resent that low-rent homes are destroyed to make way for houses that often fetch three-quarters of a million dollars. And not everyone enjoys the architecture. Some claim the homes destroy the character of L.A. neighborhoods, tower over surrounding buildings, and that developments are permitted to grow too large.
More than 2,000 individual houses have been approved in more than 200 developments since small lots became legal. Using information obtained through a public records request, KCET assembled a map of all homes approved between 2005 and November 2014, the most recent available data. The map shows the location of each development, the number of homes within, and provides the approval date and a file number that can be used to locate complete city records.
Developments denoted in blue have 10 or fewer houses, those in green have between 11 and 30, and those in pink have 31 or more.