If live/work units conjure up romantic images of artists and studio spaces (or at least of one less person commuting to the office), prepare to be disappointed. According to the LA Business Journal (sub. req.), there's trouble brewing at a number of condos around town where non-resident owners are using their units to run everything from call centers (at the Ritz-Carlton!) to recording studios. Annoyed by the comings and goings of their professional non-neighbors--a guy running an import/export business from home seems to have been a particular nuisance-- some home owners associations are changing the rules to explicitly prohibit condos from being used this way. At the Lofts @ Hollywood and Vine, a live/work building, seven owners (including Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame) are suing over the rule change; none of them had ever intended to live in the units. Part of the problem seems to stem from a 2010 change to the city's live/work ordinance which defined the spaces as "regularly used by one or more persons residing there" (they'd been seen as primarily commercial before then [pdf]). This isn't just a case of a case of NOMHism (not on my hallway-ism) run amok--some HOAs are worried that if more than half the units in their building are owned by non-residents, new buyers won't be able to get loans, and they won't be able to sell their condos.
· Workplaces Hit Close to Home [LABJ, sub. req.]