Policy Initiatives

Los Angeles - The nation's second-largest city - is currently undergoing a dramatic transformation with its Department of City Planning(DCP) at the forefront of reshaping the city into a dynamic, sustainable 21st century urban center. Los Angeles' planning issues and opportunities are unparalleled, as DCP works to serve a city of 4,000,000 residents, 469 square miles, 35 Community Plan Areas, and 15 City Council Districts, plus unique geography and diversity that offer a little of everything - from hillside areas to coastal zones, and from vibrant urban centers to rustic, semi-rural settings with equestrian trails.


Much as the freeway system defined Los Angeles in the past century, the creation of an extensive regional transit network is redefining Los Angeles for the 21st century. With the passage of Measure R, a half-cent sales tax, the region is making an unprecedented investment in its rail transit system. DCP's talented and creative staff members are capitalizing on this new investment to lay the groundwork for more livable, transit-oriented, vibrant communities throughout the city. Mixed use development that combines multi-family housing with ground floor commercial is becoming the new norm. Catalytic projects near transit stations are providing economic revitalization, new housing opportunities and more sustainable development. And the City is shifting toward policies that emphasize livability, walkability, and "Complete Streets."

Some of the Department's most far-reaching planning initiatives include:

Blue and white pages with a hub and several pictures connected
Mobility Hubs provide a focal point in the transportation network that seamlessly integrates different modes of transportation, multi-modal supportive infrastructure, and place–making strategies to create activity centers that maximize first–mile last mile connectivity. The Mobility Hub Reader’s Guide is meant to provide guidance and inspiration for city staff, property owners, developers, designers, transit agencies, and community members for enhancing project developments and public right-of-way improvements in proximity to existing or new transit stations with amenities, activities, and programs to support multi-modal connectivity and access.
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Transit-Oriented District (TOD) Planning (http://www.latnp.org), supported by $7.5 million in grant funds from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), creating focused "Transit Neighborhood Plans" along five emerging transit corridors that will include land-use incentives for vibrant, transit-oriented development, attractive streetscapes, and new community amenities.
Recode LA logo
re:code LA (http://recode.la), the first comprehensive overhaul of the City's outdated zoning regulations since 1946, applying state-of-the-art zoning tools to implement the City's planning vision that will make the development process more certain for all users. The project will deliver a new Downtown Code and a Citywide Zoning Code, as well as a first-of-its-kind, interactive web-based code system.
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The Complete Street Design Guide lays out a vision for designing safe, accessible and vibrant streets in Los Angeles. It is a complement to the Mobility Plan 2035 and provides a compilation of design concepts and best practices that promote the major tenets of Complete Streets—safety and accessibility. The Guide is meant to supplement existing engineering practices and requirements in order to meet the goals of Complete Streets.
people walking and riding bikes
Mobility Plan 2035, a transformative citywide policy plan, approved in August 2015, replacing a 1990s Transportation Element of the City's General Plan, that is shifting Los Angeles' mobility policies toward "Complete Streets" principles, including new street standards and classifications and new linked networks to create great streets that better serve bicyclists, transit users and pedestrians.
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Affordable Housing strategies, led by the Department of City Planning, include a variety of ordinances and implementation tools that facilitate the development of a mix of housing types for residents of all incomes.
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The Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles (http://healthyplan.la/) , the new Health and Wellness Element of the General Plan, approved in March 2015, is a ground-breaking plan linking public health to land-use planning and decision-making, making Los Angeles the first large city in the nation to include a health element in its General Plan.
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New Community Plans, comprehensive plans for communities that are the size of most mid-sized cities, creating new visions and accompanying regulations and incentives for several key areas of the city, including the entire South Los Angeles region and Boyle Heights.
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SurveyLA (www://preservation.lacity.org/survey), the Los Angeles Historic Resources Survey, a partnership between DCP's Office of Historic Resources (OHR) and the J. Paul Getty Trust, the nation's largest, most ambitious initiative to document a city's architectural and cultural heritage, honored with the American Planning Association's National Planning Excellence Award for Public Outreach.
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The Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) program within the OHR, (www.preservation.lacity.org), the second largest historic district program in the nation, providing protections for 29 diverse and cherished historic neighborhoods, in all corners of the city.
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Citywide Design Guidelines, adopted by the City Planning Commission in 2013, providing the City's first-ever compilation of baseline commercial, multi-family, and industrial urban design guidelines, "raising the bar" on the City's expectations for quality design across the city.
The LA River
Los Angeles River Planning, spearheading the City's significant efforts to revitalize the Los Angeles River and create a true sense of place within riverfront communities, following decades of the River's encasement in a concrete channel.
tall buildings on a city street.
Clean Up Green Up, on June 19, 2013, the City Council approved the Clean Up Green Up Trust Fund Ordinance, which directs the Department of City Planning, in consultation with various other agencies and project consultants, to undertake a two-phase approach to study and implement the Clean Up Green Up pilot. The two primary implementation components of the Clean Up Green Up pilot are the establishment of "Green Zones" and the creation of an Ombudsperson's Office.
tall buildings on a city street.
Monitoring of Growth & Infrastructure, the Framework Element of the General Plan adopted several policies and programs around the monitoring of growth and infrastructure in the City. The Department of City Planning monitors growth through many activities, including the publication of development activity data and Census data on our website, the Housing Element of the General Plan (and its Annual Report), the Mayor’s DataLA open data portal,as well as a Growth and Infrastructure Report.
Picture of Industrial Land Use document.
Industrial Land Use Project, A review of the City of Los Angeles Industrial Land Use Policy has been completed by staff led by the Department of City Planning and Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles team.
Picture of Industrial Land Use document.
Venice Local Coastal Program: In order to comply with the California Coastal Act, Venice is required to have a Local Coastal Program (LCP) for its coastal zone. A multi-year effort to prepare, adopt, and certify the Venice LCP as the coastal planning tool for the area is now underway. Once certified by the California Coastal Commission, the LCP will be implemented by the City of Los Angeles' Department of City Planning in partnership with the California Coastal Commission.