Roadmap Check: Council, CPC Subcommittee, Ready to Go

on September 16, 2014

Where Are We Now?

City Council

At the September 10, 2014 City Council meeting, staff presented a quarterly report on the status of the overall project. Below is the video of the presentation and discussion.

Meeting Summary

Councilmember Jose Huizar (Council District 14), Chair of the Planning & Land Use Management Committee introduced the effort, followed by a presentation by Michael LoGrande, Planning Director, and Tom Rothmann, Senior City Planner. Afterward, the Council provided the following questions and comments:

Councilmember Tom LaBonge (Council District 4)

  • Stressed the importance of Angelenos getting involved in Neighborhood Councils, business groups, and projects like this one.
  • Made a suggestion for how Council Offices can stay involved in the process.

Councilmember Bob Blumenfield (Council District 3)

  • Asked about the interim period [while the new Zoning Code is being written], and how to address the smaller deficiencies in the current Zoning Code.
  • Expressed his support for our efforts to connect with, and participate in the Open Data movement, referencing our WebCode initiative.

Councilmember Felipe Fuentes (Council District 7)

"The Zoning Code is the DNA by which the City of Los Angeles grows, and historically is why you've got some challenges in Districts like 7, for example, where you don't have very good buffers between uses . . . so this exercise is very important." 

  • Asked for some of the benchmarks of the project, and if there would be anything that could be used in the short-term.
  • Pointed out the the process has been really inclusive, but at what point do the policy conversations begin about the future of Los Angeles?

Councilmember Curren D. Price, Jr. (Council District 9)

  • Appreciates the "Herculean effort", but pointed out some of the recent planning challenges and asked how this project might address some of that.

Councilmember Jose Huizar (Council District 14)

  • Asked staff to clarify the next steps of the project.
  • Encouraged all of the Council's Planning Deputies to participate because "at the end of the day, when this comes back to [the City Council] for a final vote, it's going to set the DNA for the City and . . . it's going to create the type of City that we want to see."
  • Asked staff to clarify the difference between the Zoning Code and the General Plan. For more on this, please read our article, Putting the Vision into Action: How Zoning Implements the General Plan.
  • Pointed out some of our more recent long-range planning work (i.e. the Mobility Plan 2035 and PLAN for a Healthy Los Angeles), and asked how re:code LA might help make those policies a reality.
  • Expressed his desire to see the Community Plans move forward and to make sure that it plays a larger role in this re-envisioning of the City.

The Director of Planning and re:code LA staff addressed each of these questions and comments. Please watch the video above or listen to the audio (starts at 01:23:16) of the meeting for that information. The City Council did not need to act because our item on the agenda was only a presentation. However, with the completion of this last step we are now ready to proceed with the next phase of the project as outlined in the 'What's Next?' section below.


City Planning Commission

At its September 11, 2014 regular meeting, the City Planning Commission established a re:code LA Subcommittee to review and monitor best practices of zoning codes throughout the United States. The four Subcommittee members are Renee Dake Wilson (Commission President), David Ambroz, Maria Cabildo, and Caroline Choe. An alternate member will be selected for serving in case of an absence. Subcommittee meetings will be open to the public.


What's Next?

Revise Zoning Code Evaluation Report

Now that the City Council and PLUM have weighed in on the direction for re:code LA, we will be making the necessary revisions to the Zoning Code Evaluation Report based on the feedback we've received from the public, City Planning Commission, PLUM, and City Council. When these revisions are complete, we will post the Report to our Project Downloads page and announce it on our homepage, Facebook, and Twitter.

Go Forth and Code

Once we have posted the final Zoning Code Evaluation Report, writing of the new Downtown Code and Citywide Zoning Code will take place over the next three to four years. The Downtown Code is currently scheduled for release in the summer or fall of 2015. The Citywide Zoning Code will be released in modules (large "chunks") as they are completed. The re:code LA team and the City's decision-makers are working hard to provide opportunities to participate in the crafting of the new Zoning Code.

  • The Zoning Advisory Committee holds monthly meetings (open to the public) where it provides feedback on the various aspects of the new Zoning Code. This is an opportunity for you to listen in on discussions about early draft proposals.
  • Regional and Virtual Forums will be conducted as each module is released for feedback from the general public.
  • The City Planning Commission's re:code LA Subcommittee will conduct a series of public meetings to discuss best practices for zoning codes.
  • The PLUM Committee will continue to receive quarterly updates and consider specific proposals as they become available. It will also receive comments, and consider requests for changes, from other Council Offices.

Please visit our project calendar for the latest list of upcoming meetings.


Stay Involved!

All of the hard work and ideas that you have invested so far on this journey toward our new Zoning Code are starting to pay off. The re:code LA team values your engagement in the biggest overhaul to the City’s Zoning Code since 1946. We will continue to integrate the feedback you provide on MapIt and polls throughout this process. Please stay tuned for more updates, browse through our articles about different zoning topics that affect you, and keep an eye out for new content weekly. The latest happenings with re:code LA are posted on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.