A long-exposure photo of a freeway at night.

Where We've Been, Where We're Going

on April 10, 2019

The re:code LA team has been hard at work getting a preliminary draft of a new Zoning Code ready for public feedback. The primary focus of the new Code will be to provide a framework, or zoning system with the ability to offer a more responsive set of zoning tools that help implement the visions of the many neighborhoods that make up the City of Los Angeles.

As we approach this major milestone for the project, we’d like to take this opportunity to look back at what where we’ve been and share where we’re going.

 

re:code LA Launch

re:code LA was officially launched on June 12, 2013, kicking off the creation of a brand new, more responsive Zoning Code that meets the varied needs of the many neighborhoods that make up the City of Los Angeles. This project was, and remains, one of the most ambitious code overhauls in the country.

 

Listening Sessions

Before we put "pen to paper", the project team set out to hear the needs of our stakeholders by holding a series of listening sessions throughout the City of Los Angeles. Hundreds of people attended these meetings, providing their thoughts and concerns regarding our current Zoning Code and what they’d like to see in their future Code. The feedback we received helped to shape the project objectives.

For a summary of these meetings and what we heard, read our article 'Stakeholders Spoke, We Listened'.

 

Zoning Advisory Committee Formed - December 2013

The Zoning Advisory Committee (ZAC) was formed to provide perspectives from representatives of the different regions and stakeholders of the City of Los Angeles. It held its first meeting on December 11, 2013, and ever since has been an invaluable resource to the project team in developing our new Zoning Code.

These ZAC meetings are open to the public, so join us and listen in on the discussions that help guide our work. Visit our project calendar for future meetings and summaries of past meetings.

 

Zoning Code Evaluation Report - December 2014

After compiling all of the feedback we received from our various stakeholders, the project team prepared the Zoning Code Evaluation Report. This document outlined the aspirations for re:code LA, and organized them into 8 major categories:

  • Distinct Neighborhoods
  • Housing Affordability and Diversity
  • Centers and Corridors
  • Transportation Choice
  • Jobs and Innovation
  • A Strong Core
  • A Healthy City
  • Code Delivery

The 78-page report was reviewed by the City Planning Commission and City Council and serves as a guiding document for the project.

 

WebCode Toolkit Open Source Release – October 2016

WebCode is a first-of-its-kind system designed to make it easier for users to browse, search, and download the new zoning regulations. It offers a customized, interactive experience, providing all relevant zoning information for an address specified by a user. With the approval by the Mayor and City Council, the WebCode Toolkit marked the City of Los Angeles’ first open source software contribution, and was released on October 2016 on the City’s official GitHub account. The project team has been working on improvements to the system and will continue to post them.

 

R1 Variation Zones Adopted - Effective March 2017

In response to the increasing demand for more tailored solutions in our single-family neighborhoods, the project team accelerated the development and adoption of these new tools. The "R1 Variation Zones" were added to the existing Zoning Code and rolled out as part of the Neighborhood Conservation Initiative. These new zones were designed to eventually be transitioned into, and expanded upon, in the new Zoning Code.

 

Processes & Procedures Ordinance - In Progress

The Department of City Planning unveiled a proposed ordinance that will cut the number of project review processes in half while maintaining long-standing opportunities for public participation. The Processes & Procedures Ordinance will make it easier for both applicants and the public to clearly understand how the Department considers use and development proposals and how to navigate the decision-making process.

The City Planning Commission (CPC) recommended adoption of the proposed ordinance on October 11, 2018. The project team is currently reviewing the feedback received since the CPC action and is preparing materials in response for City Council review which will be released to the public.

 

Zoning Code Framework & Downtown Zoning Options - In Progress

The project team is working toward a Preliminary Draft Zoning Code to be released for public feedback in Summer 2019. This draft will establish the framework for the zoning solutions of the future and will include the tools needed to realize the visions established in the proposed Downtown Community Plans.

The zoning system established by the initial Zoning Code will enable the project team to continue to develop additional zoning solutions that address the wide variety of needs throughout the City of Los Angeles as part of the Community Plan Update Program.

Feedback received on the preliminary draft will shape the creation of a proposed draft that would be considered by the City Planning Commission and City Council.

 

Boyle Heights Zoning Options - In Progress

The project team is working on the zoning options needed to realize the visions articulated in the proposed Boyle Heights Community Plan. Draft material will be released in conjunction with proposed community plan material. Be sure to follow Planning4LA on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, or sign up for updates from the Boyle Heights Community Plan team.

 

New Zoning Code Roll-Out - In Progress

The new Zoning Code will offer a new, more responsive set of zoning tools to meet the needs, and help implement visions of the many neighborhoods that make up the City of Los Angeles. As the Department of City Planning updates community plans throughout the City of Los Angeles, the team will continue to develop any new zoning districts needed for each plan area. The early stages of work have already begun with the following planning efforts: Southwest Valley, Southeast Valley, Westside, and Harbor Community Plans, as well as the Orange & Purple Line Transit Neighborhood Plans, and Venice Local Coastal Program.