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Culver City Tackles Mansionization at Tuesday’s City Council Meeting

Image is of a large home under construction.Tuesday at 7 p.m. the Culver City City Council will be considering whether or not to award a contract for studies on creating municipal standards for new home building codes. These codes would regulate mansionization in city neighborhoods and would likely affect all of Culver City Real Estate.

Large-scale homes that are typically out of character with the rest of the neighborhood’s other residences, known as McMansions or mansionization, became a topic of interest three years ago. Martin Feinberg, Realtor, remembers the debates during Culver City’s 2014 municipal races that focused on how the city was going to handle these new building trends.

The topic made headlines again in late 2016 and early 2017 when a group of Culver Crest homeowners asked the city to intervene after they discovered a neighbor was planning major improvements to his hillside residence.

In response to the Culver Crest concerns, the council implemented a 45-day moratorium, which ended on May 4. This put a hold on the issuance of land use permits, variances, building permits or land use determinations or entitlement requirements. The council is still working on a more permanent solution however.

The concern in the Culver Crest community was mostly focused on safety and the likelihood of landslides following extensive excavation on hillside properties. In other Culver City neighborhoods, the issue is more about esthetics and neighborhood continuity. Both concerns could be resolved with improved building codes for large-scale homes.

On December 14, the city council introduced new guidelines to amend current municipal codes on development standards for residential zoning districts, but more still needs to be done.

Image is of a row of neighborhood houses.So far, city planners have chosen ten neighborhoods to be designated as ‘unique’. These are Carlson Park, Blair Hills, Culver Crest, Culver West, Studio Village, Blanco Park, Park West, Park East, Sunkist Park and Washington-Culver.

Councilwoman Meghan Sahli-Wells, who lives near Carlson Park, is hoping that the city will eventually expand the ‘unique’ designation to other neighborhoods as well.

“After we go through the process with R-1, I’d like to look at R-2 as well, as there are similar issues in those neighborhoods,” she said.

The city council meeting tonight will take place in the Mike Balkman Council Chambers at 9770 Culver Blvd. Among other things the council will consider hiring John Kaloski Architects as the contractor to handle the studies.

Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, hopes many will take this chance to support their community and make their voices heard.