Small Lot Subdivisions

We've been doing Small Lot projects ourselves since 2008. One of our Small Lot projects, Preuss Four, has been cited by the City of Los Angeles as a Case Study for Best Practices.

(Excerpt from "Small Lot Design Guidelines," pg 47, published by City of Los Angeles, Planning Dept.

(Excerpt from "Small Lot Design Guidelines," pg 47, published by City of Los Angeles, Planning Dept.


Typical Process for Small Lot Subdivisions (City of L.A. Only)


The process for subdividing an existing lot in order to carry out a Small Lot project in the City of Los Angeles, is intensive, and at times complex. We have been doing it since 2008 and are very familiar with the entire process from start to finish. Listed below are the overall steps we will have to take in order to get a Small Lot project entitlements approved. If you'd like more information about the City of L.A. Small Lot Ordinance, please check here.

Step 1 - Entitlements / Map Filing

In order to build a Small Lot project, you must get permission, or "entitlement" from the City not only to subdivide the land, but also to access the provisions allowed for in the Small Lot Ordinance such as reduced building separations, setback requirements, etc. To do this, we must file a long list of items with your application including, but not limited to:

Every Small Lot Project we have done has received a Letter of Support from the local Neighborhood Council. This is not typical for most Small Lots.
— Danny Cerezo, Principal, c|s design
  1. A Tentative (or Preliminary) Parcel or Tract Maps. Tract maps are required for 5 or more new lots.
  2. Site Plan (also called Plot Plan) showing unit footprints and various site features.
  3. Master Land Use Application
  4. Numerous other reports, documents, drawings, etc.

Once filed, the case will be assigned a public hearing date where the project will be discussed, evaluated, and approved. Public comments are heard at this time as well. 

It's very important that before you file the case, outreach be conducted to the pertinent Neighborhood Council in order to garner their support for your project.

Step 2 - Permitting

The plan check phase, leading up to issuance of building permits, is more robust than your typical "by right" development. In addition to the usual architectural, structural, and other discipline checks, there are numerous other agencies that must review and weigh in on the project design and layout. For example, there may be Highway Dedications or B-Permits to consider, all of which require unique submittals and processing. 

Step 3 -  Map Recordation / Construction

In addition to clearing the various conditions required for construction, a Subdivision has a long list of conditions imposed on it at the conclusion the Entitlement phase and the public hearing. These conditions require that various departments and agencies throughout the city be notified and approval requested.

We have been through this process, and continue to do so with ongoing projects, and are well prepared to help you get through it successfully. 

Have a big lot that you want to turn into Small Lots?