Marquez and Ida
A structure is going up on the corner of Marquez and Ida, almost 45 feet high and with over 5,000 square feet of floor space, that has drawn the ire of the neighborhood. Some call it unavoidable progress, most call it out of character with the neighborhood and visually incompatible with its surroundings, and if allowed to move ahead, fear that it will be precedent setting.
Of course, we cannot stem progress. It is healthy and necessary. The challenge is to find a balance between progress and regression, between property rights and neighbor dissatisfaction, between adhering to old laws and the desire to change them to meet the needs of our times.
Progress is not new to lower Marquez. This neighborhood has grown organically and quietly from a small, one-story, ranch-style community into a modern, two-story environment. There are no view protection CC&Rs to govern.
This project, however, got a whole community up in arms. It has raised enough attention at the LA Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) for it to issue a stop construction order, stating a long list of violations.
What makes this project different is that it is a full story taller than anything else surrounding it. The Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) has charged its Land Use Committee (LUC), made up of professionals, to prepare a report designed to research the facts behind the current rules and regulations and to separate rumors from reality.
Recognizing the out-of-scale issue, and the fact that the Baseline Mansionization Ordinance (BMO) does not normally apply within the Coastal Zone, Councilman Mike Bonin introduced a motion at the LA City Council a year ago to apply BMO development standards to the single-family zoned areas in the Coastal Zone. The motion was passed unanimously. That would generally keep a building within a two-story height limit. We are awaiting action on this.
We need to pay attention to the outcome of this project. It could irrevocably change the character of our community in many places in the non-hillside areas. Progress is welcome but let us not confuse it with excess.
PPCC Area 3 Representative
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