If you heard that the City of Los Angeles was completely overhauling its Zoning Code for the first time since 1946, your first reaction might have been to ask, "Does this mean my property has been rezoned?"
Your second reaction might have been to ask, "What does this mean for my neighborhood?"
The re:code LA project has been working since 2013 on a comprehensive revision of the City's Zoning Code. Yes, that's a big deal. It's one of the largest planning processes ever undertaken by the City, in fact. But no, re:code LA will not change the zoning on your property.
Working with a team of hired consultants and a Zoning Advisory Committee of your fellow residents and stakeholders, the re:code LA team is creating an all new Zoning Code for the City of Los Angeles. The new Zoning Code will implement a new approach to development regulation, with new kinds of zones and even a new website. But the new zones created for the new Zoning Code won't go into effect until your community has completed the full process of implementing a Community Plan or other long-term plan. The full process includes feedback and public hearings, drafting, more feedback and public meetings, review by the City Planning Commission, and approvals from City Council and the Mayor.
When the time comes to undertake a Community Plan update with the potential to change the zoning in your neighborhood, the new Zoning Code will offer a whole new set of tools to work with. Think of the new Zoning Code as a painter's palette, covered in swatches of color. When the time is right, the painter skillfully dips a brush into a swatch of color and applies it to the canvas in just the right amounts and in just the right places. Those swatches of color are the new zoning options created by the re:code LA project. The entire palette is the new Zoning Code. The painters are community members, planners, the Planning Commission, and the City Council.
When the re:code LA project is complete, the City will essentially have a new palette with which to paint. But that doesn't mean we've started painting yet!
When it comes time for your community to undertake the revision of its Community Plan, or some other kind of long-range planning processes involving zone changes, you will also get to use that new palette to paint a vision for the future for your neighborhood.
The City of Los Angeles recently committed to overhauling all of its Community Plans on a more regular and more frequent basis, so there's a high likelihood that you'll get a chance to work with the new Zoning Code in the next few years. To be ready when the time comes, now is a great time to get to know more about what to expect from the new Zoning Code.