Permitted Use & Occupancy
The building description in the Certificate of Occupancy includes the permitted use of the structure. It is always the last sentence of the description. For instance in the CofO above from 1981 the permitted use for the building is “R-1 Occupancy.”
Certificate of Occupancy and Permitted Use relate to building code (Section 9 of LA Municipal Code) and have nothing to do with Zoning (Sections 1 of LA Municipal Code). It can be really confusing because the building departments “Use and Occupancy” codes use some of the same names as Zoning – R1, R2, R3, R4 etc. However for Permitted Use these codes have their own meaning and should not be confused with the zoning definitions.
Los Angeles Municipal Code adopted the definitions for Use and Occupancy from the California Building Code in 1985. Here is a link to CBC Use and Occupancy definitions. Residential occupancy codes (R1, R2, R3, R4) are Section 310.
Here is my simplification of the Use and Occupancy R definitions:
Residential occupancies containing sleeping units were the occupants are primarily transient in nature, including: Boarding Houses, Hotels, Motels.
Residential occupancies containing sleeping units with more than two dwelling units where the occupants are primarily permanent in nature, including: apartment buildings, boarding houses, convents, dormitories.
Residential occupancies where the occupants are primarily permanent in nature and not classified in R-1, R-2, or R-4, including: Duplexes and Single Family houses.
Residential occupancies for residential care/assisted living facilities.
If you have a Certificate of Occupancy before 1985, the Occupancy and Use code for Los Angeles were different. Dwellings and Duplexes use to be R-1 instead of R-3. Hotels, motels and Apartment houses were R-2, R-3, and R-4.