Boyle Heights Community Plan Update

City Planning is pleased to share the latest draft of the Boyle Heights Community Plan policy document and updated zoning, along with the draft Community Benefits Program. Informational materials that summarize and highlight key features of these Plan documents, including policy handouts and an interactive presentation, are also available at our website to help you navigate and explore.

As we strive for equity and inclusion in every aspect of our policymaking, City Planning has continually engaged residents and stakeholders in Boyle Heights since the beginning of the Plan process in 2012, garnering valuable feedback that has fundamentally shaped the Plan’s policy direction and new zoning concepts. The documents released today are also reflective of the extensive and continued grassroots work that organizations do—work that has empowered the residents of Boyle Heights to develop a vision for their community that represents their values and immediate and long term needs.

Plan Highlights and Summary

What’s Next for the Plan?
See the timeline below under “Plan Progress and Outreach” to see where we are in the Plan process as a whole, and the many opportunities for input and participation now through 2021. Stay tuned for opportunities to connect with us in the coming months, including virtual office hours by phone and video conferencing, and forthcoming educational features about the Plan.

Our next milestone is the release of our Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). Following this milestone will be an open house and public hearing, as well as hearings at City Planning Commission and City Council, all additional opportunities to provide your feedback and stay involved.

About This Project

The Boyle Heights Community Plan, one of the City of Los Angeles’s 35 Community Plans, sets goals and policies for the future of Boyle Heights. (Click here to view the Draft Plan.)

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.

 

Boyle Heights is situated at the eastern boundary of the City of Los Angeles and neighbors the City of Vernon to the south, the unincorporated community of East Los Angeles to the east, the communities of Lincoln Heights and El Sereno to the north and the Los Angeles River and downtown to the west.

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. 
 
Size, Population, Topography
Historically, Boyle Heights has been known for its cultural diversity. The neighborhood has been a center for Mexican, Jewish, Japanese, and Russian immigration. The 2010 Census estimates its population at approximately 85,000. Covering approximately six square miles, Boyle Heights contains a mix of residential, commercial, industrial, open space, and public facility land.

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.

mapWhat is a Community Plan?

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.

The Boyle Heights Community Plan includes three primary components - the Draft Plan, the Draft Land Use & Zoning, and the Community Benefits Program. For information on how the plan policies and zoning address various topics, and for more information on Frequently Asked Questions, please view the documents below.

The Boyle Heights Community Plan Update will be utilizing new zones created through the City’s comprehensive zoning code update and implemented through the Boyle Heights Community Plan. To view zoning details for a specific property or address, please visit the Interactive Zoning Map. To view the draft Articles of the New Zoning Code, please view below.

Please note: The Downtown Community Plan will bring forward for adoption the New Zoning Code, including the Articles listed below. The Boyle Heights Community Plan will bring forward the unique zones to implement the Boyle Heights Community Plan.

New Zoning Code Articles: Boyle Heights Preliminary Draft

Rules & Definitions:

2017 Draft Plan
2017 Draft Goals & Policies
2017 Draft Zoning
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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.

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. 

Interactive Zoning Presentation

Please click below to view an interactive zoning presentation and interactive proposed zoning map.

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General Plan Land Use Designation (GPLU) Map

Download GPLU Map

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.

Community Plan

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).

Density 

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.)

General Plan

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.

Height District

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.

Infill Development

Development of vacant or underutilized land within urban communities that are nearly fully developed.

Infrastructure

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.

Mixed-Use Development

A project that combines compatible uses within the same structure, such as a building with residential uses above ground floor commercial space.

Ordinance

A law or statute enacted by a city government. Zoning is established by ordinance.

Planning Commission

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

Zoning determines the uses permitted on a parcel and provides regulations for development, including height, bulk, and setbacks.

Planning Staff Contact Info

Please feel free to email us with questions regarding the plan update, and don't forget to follow us on Facebook!

Kiran Rishi Ernesto Gonzalez
kiran.rishi@lacity.org ernesto.a.gonzalez@lacity.org
(213) 978-1169 (213) 978-1304