A little-noticed zoning twist is set to spark a home-building boom in L.A.

On a recent spring day, bulldozers leveled the low-slung Holiday Auto Plaza in Palms, home to several repair shops. Just another unremarkable commercial building being swept away — except for the intriguing turn that its replacement might mark for L.A.’s housing crisis.

The Venice Boulevard site is currently zoned for 46 residential units. But because the plot is near a major bus stop, its developer can now plan much bigger: an eight-story building with 79 units, eight of them reserved for extremely low-income households.