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Culver City Allows Studio “Micro-Units”

Post Date:02/20/2020 2:58 PM

architect-architecture-blueprint-buildAs Culver City faces increased pressure on housing costs and demand for new types of housing, the City Council voted 4-0 at its January 27, 2020 Regular Meeting to adopt an ordinance that amends the City's Residential Zoning Districts Development Standards, allowing the development of residential studio “micro-units” as small as 350 square feet.

Micro-units typically offer 20 to 30 percent lower monthly rents than a standard-sized unit, creating new affordable housing for individuals who wish to live in Culver City. With more than 44 percent of Culver City renters paying 30 percent or more of their monthly income on housing, the City Council resoundingly approved this amendment to accommodate single-person households in Culver City.

Studio micro-units in Culver City will follow distinct standards specific to studio micro-units:

  • According to these standards, studio micro-units do not have to provide private open spaces, such as patios or balconies. However, a minimum of 100 square feet of communal open space per unit is required.

  • These regulations also require 0.5 parking spaces per micro-unit, except for any units in the Culver City Transit Oriented District that do not have to provide any parking spots.

  • The ordinance also states that an apartment development cannot contain more than 25 percent of studio micro-units.

Previously, the Planning Commission, by a vote of 3-0, recommended the City Council approve this amendment after considering all studies, testimony and environmental information presented. Micro-units have the added benefit of reducing environmental impact and construction costs.

The amendment will go into effect on Thursday, February 27 (30 days after adoption). Then, contractors and developers will be able to build a maximum of 25% of their unit mix as micro-units. Before developers can pursue individual projects, they are required to get Planning Commission and/or City Council approval. Currently, there are no projects that have micro-units included in the mix.

The City of Pasadena, the City of Santa Monica and the City of Los Angeles also allow micro-unit apartments within their city limits.

For more information about micro-units in Culver City, please call the Current Planning Division at (310) 253-5725.

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