Things You Should Know
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Things You Should Know
One of the reasons our neighborhood looks so good is that all property in the California Riviera Tracts is subject to covenants, conditions & restrictions (CC&Rs) first recorded in 1926 and updated at various later times. The CC&Rs regulate construction and other matters affecting the Riviera community. They require that an owner submit plans and obtain approval of them by the Association before beginning most demolition, construction or remodeling. General standards for approval are contained in the Association’s Architectural Guidelines — which require that, as properties are rebuilt or substantially remodeled, they be brought into compliance with current requirements, some of which are summarized below. For details, please refer to the current full version of the Architectural Guidelines and related documents, which are available on our web site, www.rivierahomeowners.com or from the Association’s office. The CC&Rs should have been given to you by your title company at closing. If not, please contact your escrow officer.
Building and Architectural Guidelines Overview
An application for approval of plans must be submitted to the Architectural Review Committee (ARC) of the Association in connection with most construction and landscaping. Exempt are interior remodeling that does not affect the square footage of the house and minor “maintenance” landscaping.
A Minor Project Application is required for:
- Addition or modification of exterior doors or windows, skylights, solar panels, antennas and other exterior equipment (such as air conditioning compressors, pool equipment and lighting).
- Addition or modification of fences, gates, hedges, walls, driveways, walkways, stairs, patios and other hardscape (including exterior fireplaces, barbecue grills, kitchens, fountains, cabanas, canopies, masonry mailboxes and some play structures)
- Addition or modification of fences, gates, hedges, walls, driveways, walkways, stairs, patios and other hardscape (including exterior fireplaces, barbeque grills, kitchens, fountains, cabanas, canopies, trellises, permanently affixed art works and other decorative installations, signs, masonry mailboxes and some play structures).
- Re-roofing; Addition or modification of a pool, spa, pool equipment or sports court.
- Significant additions to or modifications of permanent landscaping (but not, of course, changing out plants in a flowerbed or similar yard maintenance).
A Major Project Application is required for all other projects, including:
- Demolition of an existing structure (an application must be approved BEFORE demolition).
- Construction of a new house, guest house, pool house or other structure
- Remodeling which affects the exterior of a structure or increases its square footage, including new additions and the re-facing of exterior walls.
Application forms for plan approval and submittal requirements are available on the Association web site or from our office. Because the ARC meets only once a month and not in every month, it is important to start the approval process well in advance. The ARC will gladly help guide you. Just ask.
Hedges, Fences, Walls and Setbacks
For some decades now, the Riviera has adhered to an “open streetscapes” design policy, Intended welcoming feeling of broad streets while still permitting privacy and security through good design, trees and other well spaced plantings and permitted fencing.
The City owns the land in front of every lot, including the area from the street to the front property line (which is usually 12 to 15 feet back from the curb). This area, called the “parkway,” is public land, benefiting the community at large, as well as the adjacent owner. Landscaping and other improvements in the parkway require plan approval from the ARC, as well as from the City. Where there is no sidewalk, a 3 ft. walk-able path (grass, stone, pavers, etc.) is required so that visitors can easily exit cars and walkers can escape the traffic lanes.
The ARC will not approve new walls, fences, hedges or tall plantings (other than street trees) in the parkways. Some do exist from earlier years but, as properties are redeveloped, the ARC requires that they be brought into conformance with current standards — and all owners are encouraged to modify existing non-conforming landscaping and improvements to help maintain the look and character of the community. Fast growing hedge material is not allowed in the front of a property.
Landscaping and other improvements on individual properties also require approval from the ARC before work begins. Association standards (and the City’s zoning code) limit the height of hedges, fences, walls and gates to 42″ in Riviera front yards (both in front of the house and along the side lot lines forward of the house). With a variance and ARC approved plans, a height of five feet may be permitted if the hedge, fence, wall or gate is set back at least five feet behind the front property line (and it can be up to six feet tall, if set back eight feet or more behind that line). The ARC and its consulting architect often work with Riviera owners to find ways to give security and privacy from the street while maintaining Riviera streetscape design standards.
Association design standards (and the City’s zoning code) limit the height of hedges, fences and walls along side lot lines (rearward of the house) and along rear lot lines to six feet. After plan approval, the height and trimming of side and rear lot line plantings usually is something worked out between neighbors, balancing the light, views and privacy concerns of each.
The CC&R’s establish the front, side and rear yard “setback” areas for each Riviera lot. No structure is to be built, and no pool, air conditioning or other equipment is to be installed, in any setback area. Generally, the front yard setback is 30 feet behind the front property line, the side yard setback is 10 feet, and the rear yard setback is 5 feet; but setbacks do vary for some lots. The ARC considers setbacks carefully when reviewing plans.
Chain link fencing is not allowed in front of any house or property. If used in the side or rear, chain link fencing must be clad with black or green vinyl and generally is shielded with plantings. Chicken wire fencing is not allowed anywhere in the Riviera.
Other CC&R Requirements of Interest
The CC&Rs contain other provisions intended to maintain the quality of life and character of the Riviera neighborhood. For example, refuse cans are to be shielded from view, placed at the curb not earlier than the evening before collection, and promptly removed afterward; and pets which disturb the neighborhood are not to be kept.
PLEASE CONTACT THE ASSOCIATION IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS CONCERNING:
California Riviera Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions – these apply to all property and owners within the California Riviera tracts; or
Architectural Guidelines – the requirements for prior approval by the Association of most construction and landscaping projects on California Riviera properties (including demolition, new homes, remodels, new roofs, hedges, fences, gates, pools, spas, etc.).
We will be pleased to assist you, 310-454-5245, firstname.lastname@example.org or go to “Contact Us”.
Our requirements, enforced by the Association and in force for more than 80 years, have helped keep the Riviera one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Los Angeles.
Please help us keep it that way.