Boyle Heights Community Plan Update
About This Project
Boyle Heights, a comparatively dense, urban neighborhood, is one of the City’s most transit-accessible communities. The update to the Plan aims to encourage specific growth around transit hubs and commercial corridors while conserving residential areas’ existing varied densities and historic character.
The priorities of the Boyle Heights Community Plan Update are:
- Reflecting preferred future growth patterns in the area;
- Encouraging wise growth;
- Identifying appropriate locations for new development;
- Addressing prevailing neighborhood and community issues; and
- Protecting residential neighborhoods from development that is out of character and scale.
The Community Plan Area is one of three located within the City’s East Los Angeles Planning Region. The Boyle Heights Community Plan Area includes Council District 14 and the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council.
The topography of Boyle Heights is generally flat and the street grid is oriented for east–west travel. The major east/west arterials are Marengo Avenue, Avenida Cesar Chavez, First Street, Fourth Street, and Whittier, Olympic, and Washington Boulevards. These streets provide regional access from Downtown to the outlying communities beyond East Los Angeles, such as Monterey Park, Whittier, Montebello, Commerce, and Vernon. The major north–south arterials are Soto Street, Lorena Street, and Indiana Street. Evergreen Avenue also provides north–south access but is narrow at the southern portion of Boyle Heights and ends at the northern border of Boyle Heights.
The Land Use Element of the City’s General Plan comprises 35 Community Plans. The policies in each Community Plan set out a vision of the future for an area of the City. Community Plans also designate land for the range of uses needed, including jobs, housing, transportation, open space, and amenities.
Plans guide decision-making when projects are proposed. The Plans tell developers and homeowners the types, densities, and intensities of development that are permitted. They also outline strategies for accommodating planned growth.
What is the purpose of the Plan Update?
The Boyle Heights Community Plan Update takes cues from the City’s General Plan, particularly from its Framework Element, which describes the City’s long-term growth strategy. The Framework Element lays out goals, objectives, and policies for the range of land uses throughout the City, including Boyle Heights, and guides the development of Community Plans. The update will build on Boyle Heights’ diverse historic character and history and will apply new zoning tools developed as part of the City's re:code LA project.
Draft Community Plan
The Draft Boyle Heights Community Plan provides policy guidance for new development in the area, as well as preservation of the community’s traditional neighborhoods.
The document’s vision statement, informed by the Department’s outreach to community stakeholder organizations from 2006 through the present, recognizes Boyle Heights’ unique history. “This community was built by generations of immigrants, fostering a sense of pride in the work ethic, rich cultural identity, and community activism of those who call it home,” it says. “Boyle Heights is a historic and cultural treasure with a diverse local economy that has the potential to bring prosperity and opportunity to residents of today and to future generations. Building upon its distinctive, pedestrian friendly, traditional neighborhood character, this community envisions a plan that is supportive of environmental quality, economic vitality, and urban design that promotes safe and walkable neighborhoods.”
While the Draft Plan proposes policies and new zones that foster thriving transit centers and promote walkable mixed-use corridors, it also includes policies to conserve the neighborhood’s character and preserve industrial land for jobs, innovation, and workforce training. Additionally, the document builds upon the City’s Clean Up Green Up (CUGU) Ordinance, which improves compatibility among industrial uses, neighborhoods, and the Los Angeles River.
The new proposed zones, developed in conjunction with the Department’s comprehensive revision of the Zoning Code, are tools for implementing the Plan’s vision and goals. They facilitate improved development standards that address buildings’ form and shape, design elements, and ways of interacting with the street. Tailored to the unique development patterns of the community, these new zones will encourage new development that is compatible with the traditional architecture and pedestrian-friendly environments commonly found in Boyle Heights.
The next milestone will be the release of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) that analyzes the potential environmental impacts of the Draft Plan, in accordance with state law. Once released, the DEIR will be available for public review and comment. The Department also expects to host another open house and hold a public hearing. Public hearings provide opportunities for the Department to share any Draft Plan or zoning changes and for the public to weigh in on the Draft Plan and submit formal comments. After these events, Department staff will prepare a report and present a recommendation on the Plan to the City Planning Commission (CPC). Ultimately, the Planning and Land Use Committee (PLUM) of the City Council, the City Council itself, and the Mayor will determine whether to adopt the plan (see Plan Process).
Follow us on social media for ongoing updates. The Department continues to reach out to residents and stakeholders to learn about their goals and vision for the neighborhood and to collect input on the Draft Plan.
The interactive map of the Boyle Heights Community Plan Update depicts proposed land use and/or zoning changes.
General Plan Framework
Mobility Plan 2035
Los Angeles River Master Plan
River Improvement Overlay
Clean Up Green Up
Community Planning Public Participation Process
Case Document Quick Search
Department of City Planning 2015 Growth & Infrastructure Report
United States Census Bureau, American Fact Finder
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
A state law requiring state and local agencies to analyze the potential impacts of their actions on the environment, disclose their findings to the public, and to mitigate impacts where feasible.
The Land Use Element of the General Plan consists of 35 Community Plans. Each focuses on a particular area or community in the City (e.g., Boyle Heights Community Plan).
The number of residential units permitted per acre of land.
Environmental Impact Report (EIR)
Type of environmental review prepared when the City determines that a project may potentially have significant environmental impacts.
Floor Area Ratio (FAR)
The ratio of the gross floor area of a building to the area of the lot where it is located. (This video explains FAR.)
The General Plan is the City’s guide for its future growth and development. The State of California requires every city to adopt a General Plan. General Plans have a typical lifespan of 20 to 30 years and must be updated periodically.
Each General Plan must cover certain topics in sections called Elements (such as Land Use, Housing, and Safety).
General Plan Framework
The Framework Element of the General Plan lays out goals and policies for topics related to growth and services. All General Plan Elements need to be consistent with the Framework.
Establishes the height and Floor Area Ratio limitations.
Implementation Tools Overlay
Zones or regulations included in the Community Plan that supplement existing zoning regulations and help realize the Plan’s goals for new development.
Development of vacant or underutilized land within urban communities that are nearly fully developed.
The public and quasi-public facilities required in order to serve the development and operational needs of a community, such as roads, water, and sewer systems.
Land Use Designation
Examples of land use designations include residential, industrial, commercial, and open space. Each land use designation has a list of corresponding zones.
A project that combines compatible uses within the same structure, such as a building with residential uses above ground floor commercial space.
A law or statute enacted by a city government. Zoning is established by ordinance.
A permanent committee of five or more citizens who are appointed by the City to review matters related to planning and development.
Transit Oriented Development
Development located near transit. The City’s General Plan encourages locating new housing and businesses near transit to provide convenient alternatives to car travel (e.g., walking, bicycling, taking public transportation).
Zoning determines the uses permitted on a parcel and provides regulations for development, including height, bulk, and setbacks.