Wildlife District Ordinance District, First Proposed in 2014, Goes to PLUM

Circling the News received several emails from people warning about the proposed L.A. City Wildlife District Ordinance and the need to warn the community.

One wrote “The Wildlife Ordinance is 100 time worse than Measure ULA. It will decimate property values for those north of Sunset.”

Another wrote that the building ordinance is going through [LA City] committee without public outreach and will have “have a devastating effect on the housing market and our local economy. While it includes some decent protections and safety measures, it also deceptively reduces most properties’ buildable square footage by nearly 50 percent or more of what is currently allowable, and it will eliminate the ability to build basements entirely.

The reader warned, “If passed, this ordinance will decimate the value of thousands of properties and will take away your ability to build even the most reasonable size home.”

Another reader added, “this is not going to be a public vote. The Wildlife Ordinance is being voted on by our elected officials who are trying to keep this quiet from the public.”

Research, by this editor, shows this proposed ordinance, which would fund and develop a wildlife corridor, first came to the City in a 2014 motion by Paul Koretz and has had numerous hearings.

Then, the motion was unanimously approved by the City Council. The ordinance was to set standards for residential fencing, landscaping, trash enclosures, light and windows, which also would protect houses from fires by allowing first responders better access.

It was acknowledged that while the ordinance would only protect the hillside area between the 405 and 101 Freeways, it could eventually impact wildlife in other areas of the city.

A draft ordinance was released in May 2021.  (To see the activity on this motion back to 2014, click here.)

The Wildlife Ordinance first came to the Pacific Palisades Community Council at a June 2022 meeting, when Area member at Large Chris Spitz reported “The Wildlife District Ordinance proposes new development standards for lot coverage, landscaping, and setbacks, as well as grading and height limitations.

“The ordinance includes regulations that apply to all properties within the Wildlife District, as well as additional regulations that apply to lots where natural resources, such as water features, open space, or ridgelines, are present,” Spitz said. “The Wildlife District proposal includes a code amendment to create a new Wildlife Supplemental Use District (WLD) and a zone change to apply the regulations to the zoning of properties located in the WLD District, approximately between the 405 and 101 freeways, and Ventura and Sunset Boulevards.

Spitz noted that although this ordinance was not written for this area, she said, “portions of Pacific Palisades may be impacted in the future,” and suggested that residents might want to attend the ongoing public meetings to learn more about the proposal.

The Los Angeles Daily News in December 2022 (“LA City Panel Unanimously Backs Wildlife District, to Save Animals from People) reported, “City planners said the average homes size in these hills has nearly doubled over the decades, from 4,300 square feet in 1962 to huge 8,800 square foot homes in 2020.

“Under the ordinance, homeowners would not be subject to the new regulations unless they start a major remodel of their house or make other significant alterations. Developments of 6,000 square-feet properties or larger would be subject to a site plan review.

“No new development could be taller than 45 feet, the height of a four-story building, and basements would be counted toward a development’s residential floor area calculation.”

The story also noted that at that December hearing there were 300 people who called into speak.

Some residents are now urging people go to the Planning and Land Use Meeting (PLUM) Committee Hearing at 2 p.m. Tuesday, at 200 N. Spring Street, Room 340, City Hall to speak on the ordinance.

If PLUM approves the ordinance, it will go to the City Council for final approval.

This entry was posted in Animals/Pets, City, Pacific Palisades Community Council. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Wildlife District Ordinance District, First Proposed in 2014, Goes to PLUM

  1. Jerry McBrearty Sr says:

    Face it. Eventually we need to move to Florida or Texas or better yet…Wyoming.

  2. K.C. Soll says:

    Excellent reporting. Thank you.

  3. Paul Martin says:

    I am fully in support of this measure. West LA already has too many MacMansions marring the landscape. This measure will help bring sanity to the planning process while helping to protect what’s left of our wildlife. It’s the realtors and developers who don’t like this proposal not homeowners who value the beauty of the natural environment that makes living here so delightful.

  4. Sue says:

    I totally agree with Paul Martin. There is a 12,00 sq. foot house being built on Chautauqua with a pool in the basement. In the process they took out all the trees on the lot including one which was the stopping place of the green parrots for years. Haven’t seen them since they flew over, circled, obviously looking for their resting home and it was gone. So sad. And the “house” looks like a black warehouse. Hopefully they will have their basement count as ‘Habitable” for property taxes.

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