The Real Deal Los Angeles

A small lot neighborhood could be coming to the San Fernando Valley

David Spiegel is planning to build 51 small lot homes on a four-acre site
By Cathaleen Chen | May 27, 2016 11:36AM

The parcel of land at 7000 North Woodlake Avenue (credit: Google Earth)

The parcel of land at 7000 North Woodlake Avenue (credit: Google Earth)

As L.A.’s precious land supply continues to dwindle behind its rapid growth, developers are doing whatever they can to optimize the available space.

Woodland Hills-based developer David Spiegel is the latest firm to take a crack at high-density housing. And he’s planning it in the typically more suburban-sprawling Valley.

Speigel’s firm is planning a four-acre development at 7000 North Woodlake Avenue for 51 small lot homes, according to an environmental reviewed filed with City Planning. The site, currently empty, is a triangular 195,103-square-foot parcel bound by Sherman Way and a creek that runs alongside Woodlake Avenue.

Adjacent to a city-designated historic monument, the Canoga Mission Gallery, the West Hills Residential Project includes two portions, split down Woodlake Avenue. The east side of the street would contain 36 small lot homes and 10 parking spots, while the west side would have 15 homes and 15 parking spots.

Property blueprints (credit: L.A. City Planning)

Property blueprints (credit: L.A. City Planning)

According to the project description, the land was formerly part of a 250-acre ranch owned by silent film actor Francis Lederer.The Canoga Mission Gallery was originally built as a stable and was declared a historic-cultural monument in 1974. Because of its significance, the developer has hired preservation consultants to ensure its safekeeping during construction.

Small lot developments are becoming increasingly popular in L.A. Last year through November, city council approved 37 small lot projects, according to a KCET report. Since the subdivision ordinance became legal in 2005, more than 2,000 small homes have been constructed. Reducing the minimum home lot size from 5,000 square feet to 600 square feet, the ordinance was incentivized homebuilders to create more homes in order to feed the housing inventory and drive down costs.

Small lot homes have been especially popular in recently gentrified areas like Silver Lake and Eagle Rock. In February, developer Warmington Residential broke ground on a 45-home project known as the E.R.B. on a vacant lot at 4320 Eagle Rock Boulevard, The Real Deal previously reported.