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The Small Lots, Smart Designs townhouse design competition was launched by the City of LA this fall. Architects, city planners, design professionals and students are encouraged to submit designs for affordable housing on narrow lots. The grand prizewinner design will be commissioned to build their design on a lot owned by the Enterprise Home Ownership Partners.

The LA City Council passed a new zoning rule to allow for housing to be built into "infill lots," a certain kind of small lot that is typically found in multi-family zones and along commercial corridors. Since the buildings will be townhomes and not share any walls, they'll be individually owned (and different from condos) even though the lots are small. This is just one of the ways the city is trying to address the housing crunch. Hopefully it'll lead to some pretty cool new buildings.

Teams don't even have to live in LA, but the design has to meet all LA building regulations (it will be built here, of course). The registration deadline for the competition is Feb. 1, 2006, and all the materials are due February 28.