Downtown Los Angeles Community Plan Update

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Los Angeles City Planning is partnering with the Downtown community to update the Central City and Central City North Community Plans. The Downtown Community Plan will describe a collective vision for Downtown’s future and include policies, plans, and implementation programs that frame the City’s long-term priorities. Downtown will have the first Community Plan in the City to apply new zoning tools developed as part of the comprehensive update to the City of Los Angeles’s Zoning Code.

The update of the Downtown Community Plan 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 Downtown, and guides the development of Community Plans. The Framework Element describes Downtown as “the principal government and business center of the region, with a worldwide market,” “the highest-density center of the City,” and a “hub of regional transportation.”

The Plan will build on Downtown’s concentration of transit options. With support from Metro’s Transit Oriented Development Grant Program, the City is promoting Downtown’s role as the convergence point of regional transit lines that connect multiple cities across Los Angeles County.

What is a Community Plan? Why do we need to update it?

Click the button below to watch a short video about Community Plans.

video link

Purpose

The ambition of the Downtown Community Plan is to create and implement a vision of the future for Downtown Los Angeles. Downtown is the birthplace of Los Angeles and the primary center of urban activity in the region. It remains the City's commercial, entertainment, cultural, and civic heart. Now enjoying a renaissance, Downtown is home to a diverse range of industries and a patchwork of distinct neighborhoods that sit at the center of an expanding regional transportation network. According to regional projections, by the year 2040, Downtown will be adding approximately:

+ 125,000 people

+ 70,000 housing units

+ 55,000 jobs

The Plan will strive to support and sustain the ongoing revitalization of Downtown, while thoughtfully accommodating this projected future growth.

A strong core is important to the health of the City.

The Plan will promote a dynamic, healthy and sustainable Downtown core that is tightly connected to its surroundings and supports the City of Los Angeles and the region.

The following core principles represent the long-term priorities for the Downtown Community Plan:

  • Accommodate anticipated growth through 2040 in an inclusive, equitable, sustainable, and healthy manner, while supporting and sustaining Downtown's ongoing revitalization

  • Reinforce Downtown's jobs orientation

  • Grow and support the residential base

  • Strengthen neighborhood character

  • Promote a transit-, bicycle-, and pedestrian-friendly environment

  • Create linkages between districts

  • Create a world-class streets and public realm
     

Los Angeles City Planning is pleased to share:

Draft Documents

The new Zoning Code is intended to be effective only within the Downtown Community Plan Area at this time. The new Zoning Code will be applied to other areas as each Community Plan is updated and will be augmented with new zoning tools to support the goals of subsequent Community Plan updates. Click here to learn more about other Community Plan updates.

Providing Comments

Comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report can be provided by mail or email from August 6, 2020, through December 4, 2020. Comments on the Preliminary Draft Zoning Code and Draft Downtown Community Plan can be provided via mail, email, or through this comment form. Further refinements to the Draft Downtown Community Plan and Preliminary Draft of the New Zoning Code will be made in advance of the Public Hearing Draft (please see the "Timeline" tab for more information).

Preliminary Draft of the new Zoning Code

  1. Introductory Provision
  2. Forms
  3. Frontage
  4. Development Standards
  5. Use
  6. Density
  7. Alternate Typologies
  8. Specific Plans & Supplemental Districts
  9. Public Benefit Programs
  10. Streets & Parks
  11. Division of Land
  12. Nonconformities
  13. Administration -- aka Processes & Procedures Ordinance - Not Included
  14. General Rules & Definitions
  15. Fees - Not Included

A crucial component of the Downtown Community Plan update has been to acknowledge historic inequities in the planning process, and their ongoing impact on communities of color, and facilitate meaningful dialogue with the Downtown community. This work is the culmination of years of integrating your input on issues that touch the lives of everyone in the Downtown L.A. community, from housing affordability and access to economic opportunity, to mobility choice and public space. All of you have put in countless hours to provide feedback to City Planning on this Plan.

City Planning will strive to provide time and flexibility for everyone to engage with us at this stage of the project. Please see the timeline below that shows where we are at in the project process as a whole, and the many opportunities for input and participation now through 2021. To see materials from previous outreach events visit the resources page.

Recognizing the impact of COVID-19 and to ensure broad participation, the engagement strategy will focus on the following considerations and associated tools:

  • Extended timelines
    • Expand Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) comment period from 45 days to 75 days
    • Expanded Comment period on Public Hearing Plan drafts
  • Educational Opportunities
    • Planning 101 webinar: This webinar will introduce the basics of community planning in Los Angeles
    • Downtown Community Plan and code webinars: These webinars cover a technical and in-depth description of the proposed Downtown Community Plan
  • Material accessibility
    • Key materials will be available in Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese
    • Simultaneous translation for Spanish during Webinars; other languages if available, as requested
    • All webinars will include phone access to provide engagement opportunities for those without internet or computer access

 

Timeline & Outreach Activities

  • Plan was launched in 2014.  Between 2014 and 2020 the Downtown Planning team has held and participated in hundreds of community events to garner feedback on the draft plan. Conversations were held with property owners and representatives throughout the Plan area.
  • October 2016 - release of the draft plan concepts with weeklong public open studio event
  • February 2017 - Environmental Impact Report (EIR) scoping meeting
  • 2017-2019 - outreach at community events, neighborhood council meetings, meetings of community based organizations and refinement of the plan
  • July 2019 - release of the draft plan
  • October 2019 - release of the draft zoning map and Downtown zones
  • November 2019 - outreach at public open house events
  • January/February 2020 - outreach at office hours events
  • February 2020 - July 2020 - Preparation of the Draft EIR
  • August 2020 - release of Draft EIR and Preliminary Draft of the new Zoning Code, refined draft plan (policy document, zoning map, and General Plan Land Use map, CPIO)
  • Fall 2020 - Plan “Recap” Webinar (introduces the basics of planning in los angeles and the concepts of the Downtown Community Plan; allows learning opportunities for those who are just joining the planning update process)
  • Fall 2020 - “Office hours” opportunities for one on one meetings with planning staff to ask questions and provide feedback. These events do not include presentations or plan overview materials
  • Fall 2020 - Small group engagement (available on request)
  • Refined Plan II “Public Hearing Draft” (Fall 2020) - Incorporates edits from Downtown Stakeholders
  • Fall 2020 - release of the Public Hearing Draft of the new Zoning Code, which will be City Planning’s proposed draft of the New Zoning Code on which we will receive most substantive public comments
  • Public Hearing1 (Winter 2020)
  • Refined Plan III “CPC Draft” & City Planning Commission2 (CPC) meeting - Incorporates edits from Downtown Stakeholders provided at the Public Hearing (2021)
  • Refined Plan IV “Planning & Land Use Committee Draft” & Planning and Land Use Committee Meeting (PLUM) Incorporates edits from CPC informed by public comment at CPC hearing  (2021)
  • Refined Plan V “City Council Draft” & Full City Council Incorporates edits from PLUM informed by public comment at PLUM hearing  (2021)
  • Plan Adoption by City Council (2021)

  1. The Public Hearing is a formal opportunity for stakeholders to provide comments on the plan to a public hearing officer. These comments are documented and summarized in a report submitted to the City Planning Commission.

  2. City Planning Commission is a regularly scheduled meeting where commissioners make decisions or recommendations on Department of City Planning recommendations. These decisions and recommendations are informed by the public comments provided at the commission meeting.

  3. The Planning and Land Use Committee meeting is a regularly scheduled meeting where a selected group of City Council members make recommendations. These decisions are informed by the public comments provided at the committee meeting.

DTLA Timeline

Draft Documents

Here you can view draft documents and outreach materials as they become available.

Draft Concepts from the 2019 Open Studio
Sustainability
Sustainability

 

Plan Background Information
Plan Background Information

 

General Plan Land Use Designation Map
General Plan Land Use Designation Map

 

Housing
Housing Orientation

 

Jobs
Jobs Orientation

 

Community Character
Community Character

 

Streets and Open Space
Streets & Open Space

 

Draft Zoning Map
Draft Zoning Map

 

Form Frontage Use Overlay
Form Frontage Use Overlay

 

Community Benefits 1
Community Benefits 1

 

Community Benefits 2
Community Benefits 2

 

EIR Scoping Meeting

The documents below were shared at the Environmental Impact Report Scoping Meeting for the updates to the Downtown Community Plans & Amendments to the LAMC.

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Downtown Community Plans EIR Scoping Meeting Presentation

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Environmental Impact Report - Overview

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Project Introduction & Background Information

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Draft Downtown General Plan Designations


Draft Concepts from the Open Studio

The documents below reflect draft policy concepts that will continue to be refined throughout the Plan development process. To learn more about the Open Studio & Design Charrette visit our News & Events page.

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Introduction & Background Information

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Growth Strategies

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Jobs

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Mobility

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Community Character

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Housing

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Streets & Open Space


Additional Policy Documents & Outreach Materials 
Draft Plan Concepts for the Skid Row Area - June 2019
The Draft Plan Concepts for the Skid Row Area pamphlet provides a summary of the draft zoning regulations for the Skid Row area.
Shaping the Skyline - A Dialogue with AIA
- March 2018

The Shaping the Skyline - A Dialogue with AIA  document provides an overview of existing conditions and draft policy direction for urban form, especially as it relates to Downtown's skyline.
Historic Cultural Neighborhood Council (HCNC) Land Use Committee Meeting - February 2018
The Downtown Community Plan Strategies for HCNC document provides an overview of draft Downtown Community Plan policy direction and strategies for the neighborhoods represented by the HCNC.
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 Festival for All Skid Row Artists - October 2017
Thoughtful Growth for Skid Row document and Draft Concepts Map provide an overview of draft Downtown Community Plan goals and strategies for the Skid Row community. The consolidated notes provide a summary of the comments received from community members about future goals for Skid Row.
 
 
Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood CouncilMeeting - February 2018
The Downtown Community Plan Strategies for DLANC document provides an overview of draft Downtown Community Plan policy direction and strategies for the neighborhoods represented by the DLANC.
Little Tokyo Community Outreach - November 2017
The Draft Concepts Map provides an overview of draft Downtown Community Plan goals and strategies for the Little Tokyo community. 
Chinatown Community Outreach - October 2017
The Draft Concepts Map provides an overview of draft Downtown Community Plan goals and strategies for the Chinatown Community. The consolidated notes provide a summary of the comments received from community members about future goals for Chinatown.

Central City Association: Committee Meeting - June 2017
Theconsolidated notes provide a summary of the comments regarding draft Downtown Community Plan objectives, draft policy direction, and strategies. 

Neighborhood Vision Workshop: Fashion District - June 2017 
The power point presentation provides an overview of the Downtown Community Plan objectives, draft policy direction, and strategies for the Fashion District. The consolidated notes provide a summary of the comments from the group discussions. 

Neighborhood Vision Workshop: Skid Row Community - June 2017 
The power point presentation provides an overview of the Downtown Community Plan objectives, and draft policy direction and strategies for the Skid Row community. The consolidated notes provide a summary of the comments from the breakout group discussions. 

This document provides highlights from the full Regional Connector Existing Conditions Report July 2016
Regional Connector Existing Conditions Report (Full Document)
This document was prepared as a part of the Metro-Funded Transit Neighborhood Planning Grant
July 2016
General Development Standards Presentation to the re:code LA Zoning Advisory Committee (ZAC)
December 9, 2015
Downtown Progress Report Presentation to the re:code LA Zoning Advisory Committee (ZAC)
September 30, 2015
Downtown Policy Presentation to the re:code LA Zoning Advisory Committee (ZAC)
September 30, 2015
 
Community Vision Documents

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Downtown Development Strategy

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LA River Master Plan

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Park 101

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Innovate DTLA

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DLANC Vision Downtown

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Sustainable Little Tokyo

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Central City East Planning Study

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Arts District Uncommon Ground

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Broadway Streetscape Master Plan

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Los Angeles Downtown Development Strategy

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Figueroa Corridor: Connecting Communities

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Figueroa Corridor Streetscape project

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South Park BID Technical Assistance Panel Report

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Downtown Strategic Plan Los Angeles

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Green Alleys in South Park Visioning Report

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Cleantech Corridor Los Angeles, California

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South Park Development Studies, Sites, and Rehab Opportunities

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South Park Development Strategies & Design Guidelines

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Our Skid Row

Event Date
Community Planning 101 Webinars

The latest trainings in the Planning 101 series provide an introduction to long-range planning, from the development of new policies and goals to local zoning rules, with a focus on Downtown Los Angeles. Each webinar will include a presentation and Q&A.

Click one of the sessions below to RSVP.

READ MORE +

Event Date
Community Planning 101 Webinars

The latest trainings in the Planning 101 series provide an introduction to long-range planning, from the development of new policies and goals to local zoning rules, with a focus on Downtown Los Angeles. Each webinar will include a presentation and Q&A.

Click one of the sessions below to RSVP.

READ MORE +

Event Date
Community Planning 101 Webinars

The latest trainings in the Planning 101 series provide an introduction to long-range planning, from the development of new policies and goals to local zoning rules, with a focus on Downtown Los Angeles. Each webinar will include a presentation and Q&A.

Click one of the sessions below to RSVP.

READ MORE +

Event Date
Virtual Open Houses

The Virtual Open Houses will provide a detailed overview of the Draft Plan for Downtown Los Angeles, including the proposed land use designations and zoning. Each webinar will include a presentation and Q&A.

Watch this space for a registration link.

Event Date
Virtual Open Houses

The Virtual Open Houses will provide a detailed overview of the Draft Plan for Downtown Los Angeles, including the proposed land use designations and zoning. Each webinar will include a presentation and Q&A.

Watch this space for a registration link.

Event Date
Virtual Public Hearing

The Public Hearing is a formal opportunity to provide public comment on the Draft Plan to a Hearing Officer. Those who do not attend the Public Hearing may submit comments by email or hard copy through December 18, 2020, at 5 p.m. The purpose of the Public Hearing is to collect comments on the Draft Plan. No presentation will be provided and no decisions will be made at the time of the Public Hearing.

Participants may join the Public Hearing online or by phone at any time between 4 and 7 p.m. to offer testimony. In order that all viewpoints may be presented, speakers at the Public Hearing may be limited in the length of their testimony.…

READ MORE +

Planning Staff Contact Info

Contact the Downtown Community Planning Team for general questions regarding the Plan update, or individual team members with specific questions.

Craig Weber
Principal City Planner & Division Head
Valerie Watson
Senior City Planner & Section Head
 
craig.weber@lacity.org valerie.watson@lacity.org  
(213) 978-1311 (213) 978-1294  
     
Brittany Arceneaux
Project Manager, Community Plan Update
Veena Snehansh
veena.snehansh@lacity.org
 
brittany.arceneaux@lacity.org  (213) 978-1317  
(213) 978-1911    
     
Jordan Hallman    
Jordan.hallman@lacity.org    
(213) 978-1204