When we talk about small lot houses around here, we're usually discussing developments of six or eight or even 14 little detached houses all squished in together on one lot. The proposed Pinecrest project (pdf) in Van Nuys is about 1,000 percent bigger--literally. Yesterday the planning commission approved plans for 131 small lot houses, plus four houses on standard lots, on the northwest corner of Sherman Way and Hazeltine. The site is currently home to a school, which sold the property to developer PC Sherman Way Associates, according to Joel Miller at Psomas, a consultant on the project. Miller tells us that the project was approved with some small changes that may result in the loss of a few lots, but that the commission generally supported the project, as did the one member of the public who came to the hearing. The houses are all three bedrooms, and have either two or three bathrooms apiece. Designed by Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh, the project was tweaked after community hearings--developers removed a few houses and reoriented others to add a public park to one corner of the development. It's not exactly a thing of beauty, but this is one way to increase density in the Valley. Construction is expected to begin in the fall, and will take 12 to 18 months.