SINGLE-FAMILY CODE AMENDMENTSDOWNEY, CA

As home to the Apollo Space Program, the world’s oldest McDonald ‘s restaurant and the Carpenters, Downey is a prototypical Southern California town. Many of the residential neighborhoods consist of one-story single-family homes built in the middle of the 20th Century on what used to be orange groves. City officials and residents became concerned when property owners began to replace these modest homes with much larger two-story homes that possessed a bulk and mass inconsistent with the character of existing neighborhoods. Downtown Solutions was retained to seek regulatory answers to the proliferation of “mansionization” in single-family neighborhoods. Tasks included a survey of residential building permits for the past five years to illustrate the problem, a visual preference survey among residents and two community-wide meetings. The final plan made recommendations to establish a floor-area ratio (FAR) for all homes while creating a separate FAR to encourage single-story homes, increasing side setbacks on large lots, lowering the maximum building height and increasing parking requirements for homes with more than four bedrooms.