One Story Town
Los Angeles has a ghastly shortage of housing because of its restrictive and outdated zoning laws.
Despite being the second largest city in the United States, vast areas of this metropolis are filled with one-story buildings, often with huge parking lots. These plots are underused because they provide no housing above the stores, which also reduces walkability, and paradoxically, increases dependence on cars because stores are spaced further apart and people cannot walk to where they need to shop.
In my neighborhood of Van Nuys, near Victory and Sepulveda, I noticed that the most every building is only one-story tall despite the fact that they are located along a well-travelled, bus-serviced street. The Orange Line runs east to west and crosses Sepulveda near Oxnard, and then there are buses running north and south down Sepulveda, yet there are no apartments along this stretch from the busway to Victory and south to Burbank Blvd.
Thousands of apartments could be built in this area, right above shops, providing critically needed housing, and revitalizing a tired, shabby, unappealing urban area.
I photographed these buildings on October 8, 2017 around 6-7pm.