An overlay is an additional layer of planning control applied to properties in a clearly defined geographic area. Overlays function as tailored zoning districts, each with its own specialized set of regulations.
Overlays implement the City’s General Plan and Community Plans through neighborhood-specific policy objectives, supplementing the underlying base zoning. Applicants seeking to develop in an overlay must demonstrate compliance with all applicable regulations.
The different types of overlays the City uses are listed below in alphabetical order.
Certified Coastal Land Use Plan
In order to comply with the California Coastal Act of 1976, the City prepared the Local Coastal Program (LCP) for areas located in the State’s designated Coastal Zone.
The LCP consists of the City’s land use plans, zoning ordinances, and zoning district maps, which collectively implement the provisions and policies of the California Coastal Act at the local level.
Commercial and Artcraft Districts (CAD)
Commercial and Artcraft Districts (CAD) are districts where artisans may live and create and market their work.
Artcraft uses, combined with commercial and residential uses, are permitted in those areas appropriate for the establishment of a CAD.
Community Design Overlays (CDO)
Community Design Overlays (CDO) contain design guidelines that enhance the visual identity and character of a neighborhood.
They can apply to new development projects and to improvements to existing properties.
Community Plan Implementation Overlays (CPIO)
Community Plan Implementation Overlays (CPIO) are specialized zoning tools that implement the policy goals and objectives associated with a Community Plan.
Customized to fit the needs of individual neighborhoods, they further regulate different aspects of proposed projects.
Dual Coastal Plan Zones
Dual Coastal Plan Zones encompass properties that lie within the dual jurisdiction of the State’s designated Coastal Zone and the City of Los Angeles’s Coastal Zone.
The State’s Coastal Zone is defined in the California Public Resources Code (CA PRC) Division 20, Section 30000, pursuant to the California Coastal Act of 1976.
Historic Preservation Overlay Zones (HPOZ)
In order to protect neighborhoods with distinct architectural and cultural resources, the City created Historic Preservation Overlay Zones (HPOZs) to govern the review of project applications.
These regulations address exterior alterations or additions to historic properties within designated districts.
Pedestrian/Neighborhood Oriented Districts (POD/NOD)
In Pedestrian or Neighborhood Oriented Districts (POD/NOD), a variety of commercial uses and activities are located along major streets that have a
majority of structures with similar size and similar architectural features, such as the location of windows, building walls, and pedestrian entrances.
Regulations in these corridors preserve and enhance form, encouraging people in the surrounding neighborhoods to walk and shop along them.
Sign Districts (SN)
In Sign Districts (SNs), the continuing contribution of signage in specific areas is acknowledged and promoted.
These districts also control blight created by poorly placed and badly designed signs throughout the City.
Specific Plans (SP)
A Specific Plan (SP) is a district where special zoning stipulates the types of development permitted within a zoning district.
Aligned with the goals of the General Plan and Community Plans, Specific Plans include development regulations for applicants to follow.
Streetscape Plans provide a blueprint for streetscape improvements in the public right-of-way on key street segments.
They aim to create pedestrian-friendly environments and enhance neighborhood identity.