A porte-cochere might look like a carport, but there is a difference--at least in Beverly Hills, where the more elegantly named overhang is a feature of most older, Mediterranean-style homes.
Beverly Hills residents are allowed to park their Rolls Royces in their driveways. carports, garages and with--the proper permit--even on some streets. But not under a porte-cochere.
The latter is really part of the house and originally served as a drop-off spot, from which the car was then driven into the garage or out of view behind the house. Over the years, as residents have enlarged their homes, parking space on many properties has dwindled below the 38 feet required by the city. Some homeowners complain that they cannot meet that requirement without using the space under the porte-cochere.
The City Council next month will consider letting them do it.
"Technically, there is not a whole lot of difference between a porte-cochere and a carport," admits city Planning Director Irvin Moss Kaplan.