Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Comprehensive Zoning Code Revision - City Council Approved Funding

Greetings All:

The City Council has approved funding from the Construction Services Trust Fund (CSTF) for the first year of a five-year work program to revise the City’s Zoning Code.  This historic action marks the beginning of one of the City's most significant planning initiatives to date.  The project now has enough funding to proceed to the next step.

Our Department will prepare and release a Request for Proposals to select the consultant team, and begin taking steps to initiate the creation of a brand new Zoning Code.  We expect to be ready to embark on this effort by December 2012.

Funding from the CSTF will be granted on an annual basis as part of the Department's annual budgetary process.  We have committed to providing quarterly status reports on the Zoning Code Revision project to the Planning & Land Use Management Committee, which will also be available to the public.

The remainder of the funding will come from an Ordinance to increase the General Plan Maintenance Surcharge from 3% to 5% for a period of five years with a sunset clause, which will follow shortly and be prepared in cooperation with the City Attorney's Office.


The last time the City of Los Angeles did a comprehensive revision was when the current Zoning Code was first adopted in 1946.  It has since grown from an 84-page pamphlet to a 600+ page book does not reflect our 21st Century needs or vision.

The proposal will result in a new Zoning Code that:
  • Establishes clear & predictable language
  • More effectively implements the Goals & Objectives of the General Plan and Community Plans
  • Offers a wider variety of zoning options that protect and/or enhance our communities
  • Reflects the diversity of Los Angeles and allows each neighborhood to maintain a distinct sense of place
  • Accommodates the City’s current and future needs
  • Improves the built environment, economic vitality, & quality of life
  • Is an economic development tool that will help shore up the City’s tax base
The five-year work program includes three major deliverables:
  • Dynamic Web-Based Zoning Code - Clear & Predictable Code that allows for customized/interactive on-line experience
  • Layperson’s Guide to Zoning - Easy-to-Read Guides that help people navigate regulations & procedures
  • Unified Downtown Development Code - New Zoning Tools for revitalization of Downtown within first 24-30 months of the program; ensuring it is poised to lead the charge for Los Angeles’s economic recovery
The work program includes an enhanced public participation strategy that will include many opportunities for public involvement and feedback.  Our Department is committed to an open and transparent process that ensures that all stakeholders are given the opportunity to participate and contribute to the new land use and development standards.

The project will not: 1) override any existing Specific Plans or Overlays; or 2) result in the wholesale "up-zoning" of the City.  Although changes will eventually be pursued in order to implement the new Zoning Code, the proposed work program does not include any amendments to the current Zoning designations.  Any future changes will include notifications and public hearings.


Below is a link to the Council File for the proposal.  It includes copies of the Department's funding request which outlines the proposed work program and budget plan, as well as other reports and comments submitted to date.

Council File No. 12-0460


Help us spread the word by forwarding this information to anyone you feel might be interested.

If you received this email via forwarded message from someone other than myself, and you want to obtain updates directly from the Department, please email erick.lopez@lacity.org and ask to be added to the interest list.  Please type "Add Me To Zoning Code Notification List" in the subject line.

If you are on  Facebook , please visit our Los Angeles City Planning - Code Studies page at http://www.facebook.com/LACityCodeStudies.  Click on the "like" button and you will receive updates in your news feed regarding this project and other proposed Zoning Ordinances as they become available.

As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact myself or David Olivo at david.olivo@lacity.org; email is preferred.

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