The re:code LA team has been fairly quiet on our website and social media the last few months, but we can assure you that we’ve been hard at work. First, you may have noticed a "refresh" of our website. We have been drafting and refining what ultimately became known as the "R1 Variation Zones". We've also been simplifying and improving upon our existing workflows into a new “administration” section. Last but not least, we've been working side-by-side with other planning teams in building zoning tools for a variety of community planning efforts. Read more about these below.
You may have already noticed a new look to our project website. Our team needed to make some technical upgrades to our website to make sure that it continued to work on all of your web-enabled devices. We took this opportunity to “freshen up” our site and improve how information is presented. We are working on more enhancements as we get closer to rolling out new drafts of the regulations, and will keep you posted.
Let us know what you think about our changes, and if you have any suggestions for further improvements.
New R1 Variation Zones Adopted
In response to rising concerns regarding out-of-scale development, in 2015 the re:code LA team drafted single-family zoning options based on our proposed zoning system using Form Districts and Frontages; these new solutions were carried forward by the Department of City Planning's Neighborhood Conservation Initiative as "R1 Variation Zones". To reflect the character-defining features of our individual neighborhoods, a new subset of zones within the R1 Zone were created. Conceived out of a desire to move away from a one-size-fits all approach to residential zoning (40% of lots in Los Angeles are zoned R1). The R1 Variation Zones offer neighborhoods more tailored development standards. We had to reformat these options into 16 new zones and an overlay in order for them to work in our existing Zoning Code. The new R1 Variation Zones went into effect last month, and marks the completion and implementation of the first major re:code LA deliverable.
The newly established RG Rear Detached Garage Supplemental Use District is an overlay that can be combined with any single-family zone. It mandates that required parking be enclosed in a private garage, be detached from the main building and be located in the rear of the lot. While in today's system the district is an overlay, it should be considered a precursor to the new Frontage system in the new code.
Only a handful of communities will immediately benefit from the creation of the R1 Variation Zones. Neighborhoods across the City will eventually have the ability to opt into one of the newly-created zones as community planning efforts roll out.
Now that they are in effect, they have been “re-reformatted” back into our new structure. The adopted ordinance prompted us to make adjustments to our original concepts. Now we are working on expanding the number of options to address a wider variety of needs. More on that when we are ready to release these proposals. We anticipate that these new Form District will be in heavy use throughout the City.
Coming This Summer: Fast and Not Infuriating … Workflows
While it may not be as exciting to most as a summer blockbuster, we are working towards releasing the second installment in our re:code LA saga. This next deliverable is a new “administration” section which sets out the workflows for the many types of requests the Department of City Planning processes. It will apply to both the existing and new Zoning Code. We plan on adopting this section in a new Chapter in the City of Los Angeles Municipal Code that will eventually become our new Zoning Code.
Keep an eye on our Department's Proposed Ordinances page for a public hearing announcement in the coming months.
Forms, Frontages, and Uses ... OH MY!
We’ve also been focusing on creating new zoning options for the Downtown (DTLA2040) and Boyle Heights Community Plans. Recently, the re:code LA team also began work on early concepts for the Transit Neighborhood Plan (Purple Line Extension and Orange Line stations), Venice Local Coastal Program, and Southwest Valley Community Plan efforts.
After feedback from our public forums, and many, many, many internal discussions, we’ve also refined our zoning system in order to make it as accessible, efficient, and responsive as possible. To date, we’ve created 44 Form Districts, 21 Frontages, and 36 Use Districts with more to come. We are working out the details internally, but we will be sure to post about it when they are ready for primetime.