- Policy & Planning
- Where, Oh Where, Will Our Children Live?
- Is the State Density Bonus Driving Demolition of Rent Controlled Apartments?
- Condo Converters: The Problem Or The Solution?
- City and County Move to Update Local Density Bonuses
- Including Affordable Residences In New Development
- Fostering Equitable Development In Downtown LA
What's the Plan for Los Angeles?
Everyday more babies are born, more people move to Los Angeles, more jobs are created. All indications are that this population and job growth will likely continue. Are we ready for such growth? Do we have a vision? Do we have a plan?
We do have a vision and a plan for Los Angeles— it’s called the General Plan Framework and it’s the big-picture guiding document for the City’s General Plan. The State requires every city in California to have a General Plan to guide future development by planning for transportation, housing, the environment, parks, noise, safety and land use. Because Los Angeles is so big and complicated, the City created the General Plan Framework as a summary document, but it’s still pretty long. Here’s our simplified version of the General Plan Framework.
New workplaces, homes and shopping should locate in neighborhood districts, shopping areas, industrial districts, along boulevards, and near transit stations. By focusing new development in the right places, we can protect single family neighborhoods, reduce car trips, cut down on air pollution, encourage investment, build more affordable homes, and improve our quality of life.
The areas where growth should be focused in each particular neighborhood, along with other plans for improving neighborhoods, are described in detail in the 35 Community Plans. Together these Community Plans make up the City’s Land Use element. The City is in the process of updating nine Community Plans: Hollywood, Boyle Heights, Westlake, South LA, Southeast LA, West Adams, San Pedro, Granada Hills, and Sylmar.
The following describe the right places to put new development.
Neighborhood Districts are typically areas where people walk from their homes to visit shops and services that serve the local neighborhood. Most buildings are one or two stories. Little Ethiopia, Leimert Park Village, and Larchmont Village are examples of Neighborhood Districts.
Community Centers are mini “downtowns” that typically have two to six story buildings with shops, offices, entertainment, and public facilities. Many Community Centers also have mixed-use buildings and one or more transportation hubs. The area surrounding MacArthur Park and Westwood Village are examples of Community Centers.
Regional Centers have larger regional businesses, a regional identity, and more regional activity. They typically have corporate offices, concentrations of entertainment and cultural facilities, mixed-use buildings, and several transportation hubs. Buildings are six to twenty stories or even higher. Century City, Koreatown, Westwood, and Hollywood are examples of Regional Centers.
There is only one Downtown in Los Angeles. With City Hall, the County Hall of Administration, state and federal offices it is the principle center for government in the region. It is also the financial and business center of the region, the hub of regional transportation, and serves a worldwide market.
Boulevards are major streets that connect the City’s Neighborhood Districts, Community and Regional Centers, and Downtown. Mixed-Use Boulevards have a mix of residential, office, shopping and other commercial along them and typically have one to six story buildings and a variety of transportation options for the people who live and work in the area.
Industrial Districts are areas designated for industry, which supports economic development and job creation.
Provide Homes for Everyone
We need to plan so we have enough homes for the City’s current residents and our children. Regardless of where we live or the amount of our incomes, we all need a home we can afford. We want to build these new homes in a way that creates stable, safe, and livable neighborhoods while reducing overcrowding. We want to preserve the scale and character of residential neighborhoods. And we want to improve access to jobs and services by building new homes where people can have a variety of transportation options.
Create Enough Jobs
Creating and maintaining a sufficient job base is necessary to enhance the quality of life in Los Angeles. To maintain our job base we must work to attract and retain businesses; support emerging industries; streamline approval processes; expand job training programs; and create industries and jobs that help us conserve our natural resources and protect the environment.
Create Easy Ways to Get Around
Everyone who lives, works, travels, or moves goods in Los Angeles needs to be able to get around the City in an efficient way. Achieving this goal requires improving our streets, managing traffic better, and reducing the frequency of car use. More people need a variety of efficient transportation options including walking, bicycling, driving, and riding local shuttles, buses, and the subway.
Protect the Environment, Provide a Place to Play
The City’s parks, mountains, rivers, ocean areas, and other natural habitat are very important. We need to protect these resources and, at the same time, create safe places for children and adults to play and enjoy the outdoors. Our goal is to protect the environment and the public but also enhance community and neighborhood character.
Maintain Infrastructure and Public Services
To make Los Angeles work we have to maintain our roads, sewer system, libraries, schools, police department, and other systems and services in the City. We need to upgrade and replace some of the facilities we have; find out what we need in the future; figure out ways to be more efficient and smarter; and have a workable plan for restoring services after emergencies, including earthquakes.
Create a Livable City
We want to create a safe, fun, and attractive city for current and future residents. We can strengthen the identity and the quality of life in our neighborhoods while accommodating growth by:
Respecting and creating a “sense of place” for each of the diverse neighborhoods and districts that make up the City;
Better designing our streets according to how they are used, including creating pedestrian districts and transit segments;
Creating standards to raise the quality of development;
Making streets safe and attractive to pedestrians; and
Providing lighting, public art, street trees, benches, trash cans, and bus stops that enhance neighborhood character.
Make It Happen
It takes work to make this vision a reality, but it can be done. Here are some of the things we need to do to make our vision come to life:
Keep an eye on population and job growth and the impact it has on our infrastructure and services;
Create financing plans for infrastructure and services we’ll need in the future;
Change the community plans and zoning code to reflect this vision;
Clearly tell developers what we want them to build and where we want them to build it;
Streamline the development review process;
Create a comprehensive economic development strategy
Click here to read the whole General Plan Framework.