Will The Owner's Plan Bungle a Bungalow Court?

C.C. de Vere

C.C. de Vere

· 3 min read
Screenshot of proposed site plan for subdivision of Scott Avenue Court, showing two duplex-style units in the bungalow court converted into single-unit dwellings.

It seems to be open season on LA's dwindling supply of bungalow courts.

The Maycrest Bungalows are in imminent danger.

A South LA bungalow court sustained some fire damage when the apartment building next door burned down ten days ago.

We just lost the Stires Staircase Bungalows two weeks ago.

A seven-unit bungalow court on Melrose has gone to dereliction hell due to a Las Vegas carpetbagger and a completely useless councilmember. (I said what I said. Prove me wrong, Diet Mitch.)

So, kindly excuse me if I seem overly worried about the Scott Avenue Court, a ten-unit RSO bungalow court in Echo Park.

For once, I'm not worried about losing the court. The owner had it landmarked in 2008. Owners who go to the trouble of landmarking their properties generally don't want them to be torn down.

Here's what does worry me: the owner plans to subdivide the court.

Subdividing bungalow courts has been done before, and it can be an effective way of adding relatively affordable starter homes to the real estate market. Peruse Los Angeles real estate listings for long enough, and you will find the occasional bungalow court home listed for sale.

It's not subdivision per se that's the problem. It's THIS specific subdivision plan that has me concerned.

The owner wants to turn 10 RSO bungalows into 8 small-lot houses. That's a net loss of two RSO homes. The property doesn't appear to be subject to the Housing Element (i.e. not required to replace the units), but it's still a bummer.

Especially for any current tenants.

A quick peek at ZIMAS showed two past occurrences of construction without permits or inspections.

Oddly, the application states that the owner does not plan to conduct any demolition or construction. A quick look at the submitted documents shows that the owner apparently plans to turn two duplex-style bungalows into single-unit homes. I can see how it would be easier to sell two single bungalows than four tiny duplex units in two bungalows.

There are two landscaped spaces at the rear of the property that COULD, perhaps, be used to add two small units. If I owned the Scott Avenue Court, that's what I would do (assuming I could get city approval and the funding).

Granted, I could also see how green space could be a major selling point for the two bungalows next to them. As the Scott Avenue Court is built into a hillside, the common area basically consists of a wide staircase, and the very front of the property is a driveway and "overflow" parking for vehicles that don't fit into the garages. (Having said that, the property is only about 400 feet from Elysian Park, so there IS more green space close by.)

Well, at least it's not going anywhere. Those bungalows could make very nice starter homes for eight households. I just hope it doesn't come at the expense of anyone currently living in the bungalows.

1463-1469 4/5 W. Scott Avenue, Echo Park.

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C.C. de Vere

About C.C. de Vere

C.C. de Vere is a fourth-generation Angeleno. She is horrified at what greed and hubris are doing to Los Angeles.

This website was built by her preservation pals at Esotouric.

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