91.101.1. Title. (Amended by Ord. No. 186,488, Eff. 12/27/19.) This article shall be known as the Los Angeles Building Code or Building Code or LABC, a portion of the Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC), and wherever the word Code is used in this article, it shall mean the Los Angeles Building Code. Sections of Article 1.5 of Chapter IX of the LAMC shall collectively be known as the Los Angeles Residential Code or LARC. The provisions of the LARC for one- and two-family dwellings shall apply to the construction, alteration, movement, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, removal and demolition of detached one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses not more than three stories above grade plane in height with a separate means of egress and their accessory structures. In addition to the LARC, appropriate sections of Divisions 1, 11A, 11B, 17, 31, 31B, 33, 63, 67, 70, 71, 72, 81, 89, 92, 93 and 96 of the LABC shall also be applicable to one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses unless stated otherwise.
The Los Angeles Building Code and the Los Angeles Residential Code adopt by indicated reference portions of the 2019 California Building Code (CBC) or the 2019 California Residential Code (CRC) located at Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR).
EXCEPTION: Live/work units complying with the requirements of CBC Section 419 shall be permitted to be built as one- and two-family dwellings or townhouses. Fire suppression required by CBC Section 419.5 when constructed under the CRC for one- and two-family dwellings shall conform to CBC Section 903.3.1.3.
91.101.2. Purpose. The purpose of this article is to safeguard life, limb, health, property and public welfare by regulating and controlling the design, construction, quality of materials, use and occupancy, location and maintenance of all buildings and structures erected or to be erected within the city, and by regulating certain grading operations within the city.
91.101.3. Application. (Amended by Ord. No. 186,488, Eff. 12/27/19.) Chapters 1 through 97 of the LABC as published by the International Code Council (hereinafter referred to as the published code), are Divisions 1 through 97, respectively, of Article 1, Chapter IX of the LAMC. Only the division and section numbers are stated in the published code, for uniformity with the CBC. For the complete LAMC section number, each code section number specified in Chapters 1 through 97 of the published code shall be presumed to be preceded by two digits and a decimal point (specifically "91."). For example, this section is Section 91.101.3 of the LAMC.
91.101.4. Scope. (Amended by Ord. No. 180,619, Eff. 5/12/09.) The provisions of this Code shall apply to the construction, alteration, moving, demolition, repair, maintenance and use of any building or structure within this jurisdiction, except work located primarily in a public way, public utility towers and poles, mechanical equipment not specifically regulated in this Code, and hydraulic flood control structures.
For additions, alterations, moving and maintenance of buildings and structures, see Article 1.2, Chapter IX of the Los Angeles Municipal Code. For temporary buildings and structures, see CBC Section 3103. (Amended by Ord. No. 184,692, Eff. 12/30/16.)
Where, in any specific case, different sections of this Code specify different materials, methods of construction or other requirements, the most restrictive shall govern. Where there is a conflict between a general requirement and a specific requirement, the specific requirement shall be applicable.
The codes and standards referenced in this Code shall be considered part of the requirements of this Code to the prescribed extent of each reference. Where differences occur between provisions of this Code and referenced codes and standards, the provisions of this Code shall apply.
Wherever in this Code reference is made to an appendix, the provisions in the appendix shall not apply unless specifically adopted.
The metric conversions are provided in parenthesis following the English units. Where industry has made metric conversions available, the conversions conform to current industry standards. Formulas are also provided with metric equivalents. Metric equivalent formulas immediately follow the English formula and are denoted by “For SI” preceding the metric equivalent. Some formulas do not use dimensions and, thus, are not provided with a metric equivalent. Multiplying conversion factors have been provided for formulas where metric forms were unavailable. Tables are provided with multiplying conversion factors in subheadings for each tabulated units measurement.
1. One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the floor area is not greater than 120 square feet (11.148 m 2 ), not located in Fire District No. 1 and does not contain any heating, plumbing or electrical installation, and is located as permitted by Chapter I of the LAMC. (Amended by Ord. No. 185,587, Eff. 7/16/18.)
2. Oil derricks.
3. Towers or poles supporting public utility communication lines, antennas, or power transmission lines.
4. (Amended by Ord. No. 172,592, Eff. 6/28/99, Oper. 7/1/99.) Retaining walls which are not over 4 feet (1219 mm) in height, measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or sloping earth, or impounding flammable liquids. This exemption shall not apply to retaining walls of any height built on slopes steeper than 1 vertical to 5 horizontal (20% slope).
5. Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons (18 927 L) and the ratio of the height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to 1.
6. Motion picture sets when not supported by any portion of any building.
7. Pergolas and lath houses, both of which shall be outside of any fire district, not over 400 square feet in area, and not supported by or attached to any portion of any building.
8. Work in a public way, dams and drainage structures constructed by or under contract with the Board of Public Works, the Department of Water and Power and the County Flood Control District, unless the structure forms a portion of the support for a building or a structure coming within the jurisdiction of the Department of Building and Safety.
9. Portable amusement devices and structures, including merry-go-rounds, ferris wheels, rotating conveyances, slides, similar devices, and portable accessory structures whose use is necessary for the operation of such amusement devices and structures; any portable accessory structure included in the provisions of this subdivision shall be limited to a cover or roof over each device, but shall not include any storage building or detached structure which is not an integral part of the device.
10. Isolated buildings not larger in area than 16 square feet, including roof projections, and not more than 8 feet in height, if separated by a distance of 20 feet or more.
11. Nothing in this Code shall apply to any excavation, removal, fill or deposit of any earth or other materials from individual interment sites, underground crypts or burial vaults within a property which is dedicated or used for cemetery purposes, provided that such work does not affect the lateral support or increase the stresses in or pressure upon any adjacent or contiguous property not owned by the cemetery authority.
12. The surface mining of minerals in a "G" Surface Mining District as established and provided for in LAMC Section 13.03, or where permitted by order of a court of competent jurisdiction. (Amended by Ord. No. 185,587, Eff. 7/16/18.)
13. The depositing of rubbish or other material at any dump operated by the City or by any person pursuant to the provisions of LAMC Section 66.25. (Amended by Ord. No. 185,587, Eff. 7/16/18.)
14. Nothing in this Code shall apply to grading in an isolated, self-contained area if the Department finds that by reason of such isolation and self-containment no danger to private or public property can now or thereafter result from grading operations. (Amended by Ord. No. 185,587, Eff. 7/16/18.)
15. Any portable metal hangar less than 2,000 square feet in size, located on a city-owned airport, used for the parking of aircraft only, and bearing evidence of approval by the Department of Motor Vehicles of the State of California for movement on any highway. The structure shall, as an integral part of its basic construction, be equipped with a hitch or coupling device for towing. It shall accommodate, without further major structural change, wheel and axle assemblies which will provide the structure with a safe means of portability. No water or sanitary facilities shall be permitted in this structure and it shall be equipped with permanent ventilation as required for Group S-1 Occupancy. (Amended by Ord. No. 180,619, Eff. 5/12/09.)
16. Tents and trailers used for office or shelter purposes accessory to a Christmas tree sales lot during the month of December only, provided the aggregate area of all tents and trailers does not exceed 600 square feet (56 m 2 ) for each sales lot. (Such tents are regulated by the Fire Department under Article 7, Chapter V of the LAMC.) (Amended by Ord. No. 185,587, Eff. 7/16/18.)
17. Tents accessory to a dwelling and not exceeding 450 square feet in area.
18. Signs not exceeding 20 square feet in area, placed upon the surface of the ground, no part of which extends more than 6 feet 6 inches above the underlying ground, which have no mechanical or moving parts or to which no electricity or other source of illumination or power are attached or made a part thereof. Such signs shall be separated from each other a minimum distance of 15 feet.
19. Boards and signs used exclusively to display official notices issued by any court or public officer in the performance of a public duty or by a private person in giving legal notice.