Peek Behind the re:code LA Curtain

on December 18, 2014

Since the City Council weighed in on the Zoning Code Evaluation Report in September, you may (or may not) have noticed that we have been a little quiet. Well, a lot of exciting things have been happening behind the scenes for re:code LA. We wanted to put together a quick peek as to what we’ve been working on.


Modeling Downtown

Torti Gallas and Partners, part of our consultant team, has been busy modelling the Downtown Los Angeles area (about 17.5 square-miles). However, they have focused on a 2 square-mile area to produce a finer degree of building detail and accurate street widths (curb to curb); the area’s distinctive shape has us affectionately referring to it as the "Downtown Boomerang". The purpose of this model is to establish a baseline that will serve as the starting point for the physical and economic analyses of our future zoning options.

A graphic of a computer model of a portion of Downtown Los Angeles.


Walking Downtown

The re:code LA team, Downtown community planners, and the Urban Design Studio have been visiting the various neighborhoods and experiencing these spaces in person. The consultant team is starting to get a good sense of the range of building types, uses, issues and opportunities in Downtown. Let us know what areas of Downtown Los Angeles are most special to you and upload a photo on MapIt.

A photo collage of staff touring a variety of places in Downtown Los Angeles.


Forming Downtown – Downtown Form Week

Last week (December 8-12), the re:code LA team (including a majority of the consultant team), the Zoning Advisory Committee, and several planners responsible for the various aspects of work we do in the Department of City Planning all got together for a week-long discussion regarding the zoning needs for Downtown Los Angeles.

A graphic depicting the existing 28 character districts in Downtown Los Angeles.

When base zones, height districts, overlays, specific plans, and site-specific conditions in Downtown are taken into consideration there are 123 distinct zones currently in place. The community planning staff kicked off the week by presenting a more refined set of 28 character districts that could make up new zoning options. It is important to note that the information presented does not reflect any future change areas, and is just a reflection of what is currently on the ground now and adopted visions for change. The refinement of this information, and opportunities for the public to shape policies, will take place during the Downtown planning efforts for the Central City and Central City North Community Plans.

A collage of photos from various meetings during the Downtown Form Week for recode LA.

A total of 15 meetings covered numerous topics including character districts, design, housing, jobs, code structure, review procedures, parking, mobility/transportation, and streets. At the end, the team developed some early character district concepts for the Downtown Code. If you are curious and would like to check out some of the work product, download the Zoning Advisory Committee presentation from December 10.

The re:code LA team has really started to get into a steady stride and, if we keep it up, we anticipate having a draft of the Downtown Code available for public feedback in Fall 2015.


Finalizing the Code Evaluation

The project team has been incorporating the feedback from the public, City Planning Commission, Planning & Land Use Management Committee, and City Council on the direction for re:code LA, and the Zoning Code Evaluation Report is now complete. We have posted the final report to our Project Downloads page and announced it on our homepage, Facebook, and Twitter.

An image of the cover of the final draft of the Zoning Code Evaluation Report.

All of the hard work and ideas that you have invested so far on this journey toward our new Zoning Code will be guiding our work for the next three to four years. The re:code LA team values your engagement in the biggest overhaul to the City’s Zoning Code since 1946.