Lot Splits

Lot Splits

Cutting up a lot into smaller pieces can create affordable homeownership opportunities – smaller, fee-simple lots with smaller houses. Some ways lots are being split are outlined below.

Compact Lot Subdivision

Los Angeles County is working on a “Compact Lot Subdivision Ordinance” to allow the division of land that creates smaller fee-simple, single-family residential lot, less than the typical minimum area of 5,000 square feet and minimum lot width of 50 feet.

Small Lot Ordinance

Conceived by smart growth proponents as a viable solution to Los Angeles’ tight housing market, the City of Los Angeles adopted the Small Lot Subdivision Ordinance in 2005. The ordinance aimed to encourage the construction of smaller, more affordable infill housing to target first-time home buyers in an increasingly unaffordable market.

The ordinance allowed for the creation of detached townhouses on land zoned for commercial and multi-family use, reducing setback requirements and minimum lot sizes from five thousand to six hundred square feet. In turn, these properties could be sold outright to homebuyers, a process that distinguishes small lot homes from condominiums or apartments.

Links: Background and Design Guidelines.

Lot Line Adjustments

In addition to lot splitting, lot line adjustments can create unique land use opportunities. A lot line adjustment may be approved between two or more existing adjacent parcels where the land taken from one parcel is added to an adjacent parcel, and where a greater number of parcels than originally existed is not thereby created. LA County’s application can be found here.


  • Los Angeles City Planning Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • County of Los Angeles Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • City of Los Angeles Housing Innovation Collaborative

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