Property Terms Dictionary

Accessory Building

A detached subordinate building, the use of which is customarily incidental to that of the main building or to the main use of the land and which is located in the same or a less restrictive zone and on the same lot with the main building or use. The relationship between the more restrictive and the less restrictive zones shall be determined by the sequence of zones set forth in Sec. 12.23 B1(c). (Amended by Ord. No. 106,571, Eff. 1/1/56.)


Accessory Living Quarters

An accessory building used solely as the temporary dwelling of guests of the occupants of the premises; such dwelling having no kitchen facilities and not rented or otherwise used as a separate dwelling unit. (Added by Ord. 107,884, Eff.9/23/56.)


Addition, Ground Floor

An expansion of the exterior perimeter of a building measured at five feet or more above adjacent grade at any point. (Added by Ord. 169,775, Eff.6/1/94)


Apartment

Same as dwelling unit. (Added by Ord. 107,884, Eff.9/23/56.)


Apartment Hotel

A residential building designed or used for both two or more dwelling units and six or more guests rooms or suites of rooms. (Amended by Ord. No. 107,884, Eff.9/23/56.)


Apartment House

A residential building designed or used for three or more dwelling units or a combination of three or more dwelling units and not more than five guest rooms or suites of rooms. (Amended by Ord. No. 107,884, Eff.9/23/56.)


Bachelor Apartment

Same as Efficiency Dwelling Unit. (Amended by Ord. No. 138,456, Eff.5/30/69.)


Basement

Any story below the first story of a building. (Amended by Ord. 131,309, Eff.4/24/66.)


Buildable Area

All that portion of a lot located within the proper zone for the proposed main building, excluding those portions of the lot which must be reserved for yards spaces, building line setback space, or which may only be used for accessory buildings or uses. For the purpose of computing the height district limitations on total floor area in buildings of any height, the buildable area that would apply to a one-story building on the lot shall be used.


Building

Any structure having a roof supported by columns or walls, for the housing, shelter or enclosure of persons, animals, chattels or property of any kind. (Amended by Ord. No. 107,884, Eff. 9/23/56.)


Commercial Corner Development

A commercial or multi-family residential use on a C zoned corner lot, whose lot line adjoins, or is separated only by an alley, or is located across the street from any portion of a lot zoned RA or R or improved with a single-family residential use, unless that use is the M Zones. (Amended by Ord. No. 170, 752, Eff. 12/10/95.)


Condominium

The same as defined by Section 783 of the California Civil Code. (Added by Ord. No. 151, 432, Eff. 10/12/78.)


Conversion Project, Commercial/Industrial to Residential

An existing building used exclusively for commercial or industrial purposes, or both, proposed for conversion to a condominium, stock cooperative or community apartment to be used exclusively for residential purposes through approval of a tract or parcel map. For purposes of this definition, the term “existing” means that the building was constructed prior to 1945 or, if it was built after 1945, a certificate of occupancy was issued for the building prior to the time of map application. (Added by Ord. No. 154, 960, Eff. 4/3/81.)


Conversion Project, Residential

An existing apartment house, apartment hotel, hotel, multiple dwelling or group dwelling used exclusively for residential purposes proposed for conversion to a condominium, stock cooperative or community apartment project to be used exclusively for residential purposes through approval of a tract of parcel map. For purposes of this definition, the term “existing” means that the building was constructed prior to 1945 or, if it was built after 1945, a certificate of occupancy has been issued for the building prior to the time of map application. (Added by Ord. No. 154, 960, Eff. 4/3/81.)

Dining Area

A recess from a room or an alcove adjoining and interconnected with the kitchen by a door or opening. (Added by Ord. No. 146, 421, Eff. 9/14/74.)


Dormitory

A guest room designed, intended or occupied as sleeping quarters by more than two persons. Every 100 square feet of superficial floor area in a dormitory shall be considered as a separate guest room. (Added by Ord. No. 107,884, Eff. 9/23/56.)


Due Diligence

The purpose of the due diligence report is to show the court that reasonable efforts were made to locate a parent whose whereabouts and/or identity is unknown. The search is conducted in the hope of locating the parent, so that he/she can be notified of an upcoming dependency hearing. While a number of standard search approaches exist, each case is unique and therefore each search must be tailored and customized to locate the particular parent. A search is to be conducted in the parent’s last known city, state, or country of residence, and must include all known aliases, and gathered dates of birth.

Due diligence must be updated every 6 months to coincide with a progress report to the court, and the completed Declaration of Due Diligence report is to be submitted with the court report.


Dwelling

Any residential building, other than an Apartment House, Hotel or Apartment Hotel. (Amended by Ord. No. 107, 884, Eff. 9/23/56.)


Dwelling, Group

Two or more one-family, two-family or multiple dwellings, apartment houses or boarding or rooming houses, located on the same lot. (Amended by Ord. No. 107, 884, Eff. 9/23/56.)


Dwelling, Multiple

A dwelling containing two dwelling units and not more than five guest rooms. (Amended by Ord. No. 107, 884, Eff. 9/23/56.)


Dwelling, One Family

A detached dwelling containing only one dwelling unit. (Amended by Ord. No. 107,884, Eff. 9/23/56.)


Dwelling, Two Family

A dwelling containing two dwelling units. (Amended by Ord. No. 107, 884, Eff. 9/23/56.)


Dwelling Unit

A group of two or more rooms, one of which is a kitchen, designed for occupancy by one family for living and sleeping purposes. (Amended by Ord. No. 107, 884, Eff. 9/23/56.)


Dwelling Unit, Low Income

A dwelling unit at a rental or at a sales price which is eligible for subsidy under any public program to assist the occupancy of housing by households of low income who meet the current eligibility standards for low-rent public housing established by the Housing Authority.


Dwelling Unit, Moderate Income

A dwelling unit at a rental or at a sales price eligible for subsidy under any public program to assist the occupancy of housing by persons or households of lower income who meet the current eligibility standards for such households established for the City of Los Angeles, from time to time by HYD and as certified to the Housing Director. (Added by Ord. No. 145, 927, Eff. 6/3/74.)


Efficiency Dwelling Unit

A room located within an apartment house or apartment hotel used or intended to be used for residential purposes which has a kitchen and living and sleeping quarters combined therein, and which complies with the requirements of Section 91, 4930.2 of this Code. (Added by Ord. No. 138, 456, Eff. 5/30/69.)


Floor Area

Is that area in square feet confined within the exterior walls of a building, but not including the area of the following: exterior walls, stairways, shafts, rooms hosing building-operating equipment or machinery, parking areas with associated driveways and ramps, space for the landing and storage of helicopters, and basement storage areas. (Added by Ord. No. 163, 617, Eff. 6/21/88.)

Garage, Private

An accessory building or portion of a main building designed or used for the parking or storage of motor vehicles of the occupants of a residential use. (Amended by Ord. No. 144, 082, Eff. 12/11/72.)


General Plan

A General Plan is a comprehensive declaration of purposes, policies and programs for the development of the city, which includes, where applicable, diagrams, maps and text setting forth objectives, principles, standards and other features, and which has been adopted by the City Council. (Added by Ord. No. 138, 800, Eff. 6/24/69.)


Guest House

A dwelling containing not more than five guest rooms or suites of rooms, but with no kitchen facilities. (Amended by Ord. No. 107, 884, Eff. 9/23/56.)


Guest Room

Any habitable room except a kitchen, designed or used for occupancy by one or more persons and not in a dwelling unit. (Added by Ord. No. 107, 884, Eff. 9/23/56.)


Hillside Area

Any land designated as a Hillside Area on the Bureau of Engineering Basic Grid Map, Map. No. A-13372, Excluding those areas specifically identified in maps entitled Hillside Ordinance Amended Exhibit A attached to Council File No.91-1621. Added by Ord. No. 168, 159, Eff. 9/14.92.) (Amended by Ord. No. 168, 728, Eff. 5/29/93.)


Home Occupation

An occupation carried on by the occupant of a dwelling as a secondary use in connection with which there is no display; no stock in trade nor commodity sold upon the premises; no person employed; and no mechanical equipment used for commercial purposes. (Amended by Ord. No. 138, 685, Eff. 7/10/69.)


Hostel

A one-family dwelling, boarding or rooming house, dormitory, apartment hotel or apartment house which is advertised as a hostel or which is listed with any recognized national or international hostel organization. (Added by Ord. no. 167, 689, Eff. 5/8/92.)


Hotel

A residential building designed or used for or containing six or more guest rooms or suites of rooms, which may also contain not more than one dwelling unit, but not including any institution in which human beings are housed or detained under legal restraint. (Amended by Ord. No. 138, 685, Eff. 7/10/69.)

Kitchen

Any room or any portion of a dwelling unit, whether an enclosing subdivision thereof or otherwise, used or intended or designed to be used for cooking and preparing food, except a light housekeeping room or hat portion of a recreation room in a multiple residential use, or in an accessory building appurtenant thereto, containing facilities for the cooking and preparation of food. (Amended by Ord. No. 140, 191, Eff. 5/15/70, Oper. 10/12/70.)


Lot

A parcel of land occupied or to be occupied by a use, building or unit group of buildings and accessory buildings and uses, together with such yards, open spaces, lot width and lot area as are required by this chapter, and fronting for a distance of at least 20 feet upon a street as defined herein, or upon a private street as defined in Article 8 of this chapter. The width of an access-strip portion of a lot shall not be less than 20 feet at any point. In a residential planned development a lot for a townhouse need have only such street frontage or access as is provided on the approved plans for the development. (Amended by Ord. 141,474, Eff.2/27/71.)


Lot Area

The horizontal area within the lot lines of a lot.


Lot Depth

The horizontal distance between the front and rear lot lines measured in the mean direction of the side lot lines.


Lot, Flag

A lot so shaped and designed that the main building site area is set back from the street on which it fronts and includes an access strip not less than 20 feet in width at any point connecting the main building site area to the frontage street. (Added by Ord. No. 137,956, Eff.3/2/69.)


Lot Line, Front

In the case of an interior lot, a line separating the lot from the street or place; and in the case of a corner lot, a line separating the narrowest street frontage of the lot from the street, except in those cases where the latest tract deed restrictions specify another line as the front lot line.


Lot Line, Rear

A lot line which is opposite and most distant from the front lot line and, in the case of an irregular, triangular or gore-shaped lot, a line 10 feet in length within the lot, parallel to and at the maximum distance from the front lot line.


Lot Line, Side

Any lot boundary line not a front line nor a rear lot line.


Lot Width

The horizontal distance between the side lot lines measured at right angles to the lot depth at a point midway between the front and rear lot lines.

Major Remodel, Hillside

Any remodeling of a main building on a lot in the Hillside Area whenever the aggregate value of all alterations within a one-year period exceeds 50 percent of the replacement cost of the main building. (Added by Ord. No. 168,159, Eff.9/14/92.)


Nonconforming Building

A building, structure or portion thereof, which does not conform to the regulations of this chapter and which lawfully existed at the time the regulations, with which it does not conform, became effective.


Nonconforming Lot

A lot whose width, area or other dimension does not conform to the regulations of this chapter and which lawfully existed at the time the regulations with which it does not conform became effective. (Added by Ord. No. 127,777, Eff.8/1/64.)


Nonconforming Use

A use of a building or land which does not conform to the regulations of this chapter and which lawfully existed at the time the regulations with which it does not conform became effective.

Parking Area, Private

An open area located on the same lot with a dwelling, apartment house, hotel, or apartment hotel, for the parking of automobiles of the occupants of such buildings. (Amended by Ord. No. 138,859, Eff.8/21/69.)


Parking Space, Automobile

Space within a building or a private or public parking area, exclusive of driveways, ramps, columns, office and work areas, for the parking of one automobile.


Principal Use

The main permitted use of land or structures as distinguished from an accessory use. (Added by Ord. No. 152,467, Eff,7/13/79.) Recreation Room- A room, contained in either a main building or an accessory building, designed to be utilized primarily for games, the pursuit of hobbies, social gatherings, and such activities. Such a room may contain such plumbing fixtures as are utilized in a bar or for hobby activities. Such a room in a single-family or two-family, or in an accessory building appurtenant to a single-family or two-family, may not include facilities fort the cooking and preparation of food. However, in multiple residential use or in an accessory building appurtenant thereto, a recreation room which is for the common use of all the dwelling units therein, may contain facilities for the cooking and preparation of food. (Added by Ord. No. 138,685, Eff.7/10/69.)


Rentable Floor Area

The floor area in a building, exclusive of corridors, stairs, elevator shafts, lavatories, flues and janitors’ storage closets.


Residential Building

A building or portion thereof designed or used for human habitation. (Added by Ord. No. 107,884, Eff.9/23/56.)


Residential Planned Development

A group of residential buildings and appurtenant structures located and arranged in accordance with the requirements of the RPD residential Planned Development District (Sec. 13.04) in which the property is located. A residential planned development may include schools. I may also churches, hospitals, infirmaries, recreational and commercial uses, as an integral part of the development and intended for use by its occupants, to an extent commensurate with the planned population of the RPD district. (Added by Ord. No. 141,474, Eff.2//27/71.)


Room, Habitable

An enclosing subdivision in a residential building commonly used for living purposes, but not including any lobby, hall, closet, storage space, water closet, bath, toilet, slop sink, general utility room or service porch. A recess from a room or an alcove( other than a dining area) having 50 square feet or more of floor area and so located that it could be partitioned off to form a habitable room, shall be considered a habitable room.

For the purpose of applying the automobile parking space requirements of this article, any kitchen as defined herein shall be considered a habitable room and, if it is a part of a room designed for other than food preparation or eating purposes, such remaining portion shall also be considered habitable room.

For the purpose of applying the lot area requirements of the article, a kitchen less than 100 square feet of room area wall to wall shall not be considered a habitable room. (Added by Ord. No. 146,421, Eff.9/14/74.)

Specific Plan

Specific Plan is a definite statement adopted by ordinance of policies, standards and regulations are applicable. (Added by Ord.138,800,Eff.6/14/69.)


Story

That portion of a building included between the upper surface of any floor and the upper surface of the floor next above, except that the topmost story shall be that portion of a building included between the upper surface of the topmost floor and the ceiling or roof above. If the finished floor level directly above a basement, cellar or unused underfloor space is more than six feet above grade as defined herein for more than50% of the total perimeter, or is more than twelve feet above grade as defined herein at any point, such basement,cellar,or unused space shall be considered as a story.


Structure

Anything constructed or erected which is supported directly or indirectly on the earth, but not including any vehicle which conforms to the California State Vehicle Act. (Amended by Ord. No. 107,884, Eff.9/23/56.)


Structural Alterations

Any change which would prolong the life of the supporting members of a building or structure, such as bearing walls, columns, beams or girders.


Tenant

A person who rents, leases or sub-leases, through either a written or oral agreement, residential real property from another. (Added by Ord. No. 151,432, Eff.10/12/78.)


Townhouse

A dwelling unit, structurally separated from another dwelling unit or other dwelling units in a building containing two or more dwelling units, and complying with the provisions of Section 91.2305 (k) 2 of this Code, and which may be sold jointly with the lot upon which the dwelling unit is situated. Provided, however, that common roofing, flashing and siding are permitted so as to enclose the airspace resulting from said structural separation. (Added by Ord. No. 141,474, Eff.2/27/71.)


Use

The purpose for which land or a building is arranged, designed or intended or for which either land or a building is or may be occupied or maintained.

Yard

An open space other than a court, on a lot, unoccupied and unobstructed from the ground upward, except as otherwise provided in this article.


Yard, Front

Yard, Front- A yard extending across the full width of the lot, the depth of which is the minimum horizontal distance between the front lot line and a line parallel thereto on the lot.


Yard, Rear

A yard extending across the full width of the lot, the depth of which is the minimum horizontal distance between the rear lot line and a line parallel thereto on the lot. (Amended by Ord. No. 121,925, Eff.6/4/62.)


Yard, Side

Side- A yard more than six inches in width between a main building and the side lot line, extending from the front yard or front lot line where no front yard is required, to the rear yard. The width of the required side yard shall be measured horizontally from the nearest point of the side lot line toward the nearest part of the main building.


Zoning Administrator

Shall mean the Chief Zoning Administrator or an Associate Zoning Administrator. (Amended by Ord. No. 112,909, Eff.3/19/59.)


Definitions copied from data provided by City of Los Angeles, July 1996.

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