Reader’s Response to Monrovia Mansionization Issue

Dear Editor:

For those of you interested in the mansionization/neighborhood compatibility issues in Monrovia, I would like to share some information and also some personal perspectives.

I think the house sizes that would be allowed under Monrovia’s proposed new codes for the R-L zone are still too large. In my opinion they would negatively affect neighbors and the special qualities and character of Monrovia

I listed some comparison between Monrovia’s proposed code and those of La Canada Flintridge, San Marino, and Sierra Madre. These cities F.A.R. (Floor Area Ratios) are lower than Monrovia and they include all garages and accessory structures in F.A.R. which Monrovia draft code does not – so the true difference is even greater. Even Arcadia’s new draft code has lower F.A.R.s for some parts of the city (although they, like Monrovia, are not including garages and accessory structures in the F.A.R.).

I did the comparison for a 9000 square foot lot (122 N. Alta Vista has a lot size of 8,192 square feet and 201 Stedman Place has a lot size of 9,358 square feet). (Please see table below).

Another example that gives one a sense of numbers of proposed code is the insignificant difference that new code would have made in one of the houses that was a lightning rod for the anti-mansionization movement – 122 N. Alta Vista. Under proposed new code, it would only be required to be a little over 100-plus square foot smaller – not a noticeable difference in my book.

If any of my fellow Monrovians share similar concerns, it is important to share your opinions with the city council. Time is of the essence as this part of code update is scheduled to be finalized in the next month or so. (First City Council Reading is April 5; City Council Second Reading is April 19). City council members e-mail addresses are on the city website and at city council meetings there is a time near beginning of meeting for public input on any subject.



City F.A.R./LOT Size Actual F.A.R./ Square Footage of Buildings





Monrovia 38 percent / 9,000 square feet 42.8 percent (with two car garage).

45 percent (with three car garage).

3,852 square feet

(with two car garage),

4,050 square feet

(with three car garage).

*Does not include square footage of lofted ceiling area (which counts twice in other cities) or other accessory structures.

San Marino 30 percent / 9,000 square feet 30 percent 2,700 square foot total,

including garages, lofted ceiling area (which count twice), covered

patios, and other accessory structures.

La Canada-Flintridge 36 percent / 9,000 square feet 36 percent 3,240 square foot total,

Including garages, lofted ceiling area (which count twice), and covered patio.

Sierra Madre 33 percent / 9,000 square feet 33 percent 3,000 square foot total, including garages, lofted ceiling area (which count twice), covered patios, etc.

Thank you.

– Arlene Dunson




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