How We Did It: Obtaining a Change-of-Use Agreement for Continental Graphics
February 28, 2011 § 2 Comments
We recently worked to obtain a “change-of-use” agreement for our Continental Graphics project in Los Angeles, and it was a very enlightening and complicated process. “Change-of-use” literally means permission has been given by a local authority for premises to be used for a different purpose. This particular project contained one office and one manufacturing/garage space, both of which have now been officially converted to retail. The project plan-checked through Case Management at LADBS, which is where projects are sent if they are complex in nature and have multiple entitlements.
There are several things to consider when applying for a change-of-use:
PLANNING CODE CONSIDERATIONS
ZONING: Any change of use of a building or a portion of a building must conform to the current regulations of the zone and other applicable current land use regulations (LAMC SEC. 12.23 B7a)
PARKING: For the purpose of calculating the parking requirements for a change of use or other alterations, which would require additional parking spaces per this Code… existing parking must be maintained and additional parking spaces shall be provided equal to the difference between the number of required parking spaces for the existing use based on current parking regulations …and the number of required parking spaces for the new use or the new capacity created by the alterations, also based on current parking regulations (LAMC SEC. 12.23 B8b)
Example: There is an existing 3,900 sf office building that will be changed to a retail use. How much additional parking is required?
3,900 sf/1000 X 2 = 7.8 or 8 spaces were required (Parked off-site in a garage)
3,900 sf/1000 X 4= 15.6 or 16 spaces
16 spaces required for new retail use – 8 spaces credited from existing office use = 8 additional spaces to be parked in garage.
BUILDING CODE CONSIDERATIONS
ALLOWABLE HEIGHT AND BUILDING AREAS
– Construction type (CBC Table 503)
– Fire separations for mixed occupancies (CBC Table 508.3.3)
– Sprinkler requirement – Area increase (CBC Section 506.3)
– Rated construction (Walls, roof, structure, etc)
MEANS OF EGRESS
– Occupant load calculations (CBC Table 1004.1.1)
– Required number of exits (CBC Table 1015.1 & Table 1019.1)
– Exit widths for stairs and doors (CBC Table 1005.1)
– Exit travel distance (CBC Table 1016.1)
– Accessible Parking Stalls
– Path of Travel (exterior)/ accessible route (interior)
– Building Entry (ramps, stairs, thresholds, etc)
PLUMBING FIXTURE REQUIREMENTS
– Occupant load factor (CPC Table A)
– Plumbing fixture counts (CPC Table 4-1)
GREEN BUILDING CODE
Cal Green exempts alterations to existing buildings, but the City of LA has passed an amendment to the LAMC that lists mandatory Cal Green measures for additions or alterations to existing buildings that exceed a valuation of over $200,000 (LA Ordinance Incorporating provisions of Cal Green. Article 9 Division 1, Section 99.01.101.3)
PLANCHECK DRAWING REQUIREMENTS
Fully dimensioned drawn to scale showing all existing buildings. Indicate the use, type, number of stories, and number of dwelling units for all buildings. Slow lot size, streets, alleys, loading zone, and parking areas.
Parking Layout (if additional parking is required)
Fully dimensioned showing stall width, length, and angle of parking. Indicate standard, compact, and handicapped parking spaces. Provide parking analysis.
Floor plan showing existing and proposed area of remodel. Indicate use of all areas and rooms, show all existing and proposed partitions, size and direction of swing of all doors, and specify door type and hardware.
Equipment and Fixtures
Show locations of: Plumbing fixtures, shelves, machinery, counters, tables, and fixed seats etc.
General Notes and Details
Notes required by Health Department, construction notes, etc.
Disabled Access Requirements
Show disabled access parking, access ramps, path of travel, restrooms and phones accessible to the disabled, signs, general notes and details.
Records of Building
Copy of “Certificate of Occupancy” and/or previous building permits showing the use of the building and number of parking spaces required and provided and occupancy.
Show details for construction of partitions, ceilings, ramps etc. Also detail construction of exterior wall when new occupancy requires increased fire rating.
CITY APPROVALS REQUIRED
2. Planning (Commercial Corner, Recording of Covenants, etc.)
3. Disabled Access
4. Fire Department (Access)
5. Bureau of Engineering (Sewer Availability, Address Approval, etc.)
6. Health Department (Food Establishments)