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Westside Digest

Beverly Hills : Hillside Ordinance Stalls

June 11, 1992

The City Council balked on Tuesday at approving an ordinance that would set new standards for development in the city's residential hillside district above Sunset Boulevard. The proposed ordinance would not affect the Trousdale area, which already has codified development standards.

The current hillside ordinance established a discretionary review process by the city's Planning Commission. Proposed development can be evaluated on a case-by-case basis during public hearings to determine if the development is appropriate to the scale and character of the existing neighborhood.

The new ordinance would eliminate the case-by-case review of proposed development by establishing objective development standards as part of the city code.

The ordinance provides for specific regulations pertaining to building height, parking, ratio of building size to lot size, grading, height of walls and removal of trees.

Declining to carry on city business into the wee hours of the night, Mayor Robert Tanenbaum asked the council to postpone a vote on the ordinance until June 23 to give staff time to respond to questions raised at Tuesday's meeting by hillside residents.

"I don't want to willy-nilly go forward," Tanenbaum said.

Ten residents of the hillside district spoke on the issue, raising questions about how garage size would affect the square footage of the home and inquiring about limits on building heights.

The current code allows a maximum height of 28 to 32 feet. Under the proposed ordinance, builders can construct homes up to a maximum height of 30 feet on a mesa and up to 22 feet on slopes, depending on the size of the lot.

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