LA Launches ‘User-Friendly’ Zoning Website

By City News Service

City leaders hope to cut City Hall red tape with the launch yesterday of a five-year process to simplify Los Angeles’ 600-page zoning code – the first such effort since 1946.

The revisions, city officials said, will make the code book more user- friendly to businesses and residents.

“We need to make it easier, smarter and more transparent to develop in this town,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who unveiled the website to solicit feedback from the public.

The website will update the public on hearings and workshops and provide access to documents about the zoning code revision process, as well as allow people to comment and make suggestions.

City officials envision a zoning code book with fewer pages and more charts to aid in a better understanding of how to tackle major architectural efforts or the everyday home renovation project.

The revision of the zoning codes will occur as the city updates 35 community plans that set priorities on which types of developments that can be built in a particular neighborhood. The codes that will undergo revision govern building heights, whether an area can have residential, commercial or industrial buildings, and other requirements.

Councilman Ed Reyes, who chairs the Planning and Land Use Committee, called the zoning code reform effort a “game changer” that will make the process more accessible to “mom and pop” shops.

“With this reform, you’re going to address this imbalance and embrace the part of the city that needs attention,” he said.

The city’s zoning code began as an 84-page document in 1946, but additions over the years have created a “hodge-podge” of rules, some of which may be inconsistent or obsolete, according to Councilman Jose Huizar, a member of the planning committee.

The City Council this week approved a contract with Code Studio, a planning and land use firm based in Austin, Texas, to work with city staff and other consultants to revise the zoning code. The company will be paid $990,000 from the city’s Construction Services Trust Fund in the first year, and can be paid up to $5 million over the next five years based on annual reviews of funding availability.

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June 13, 2013  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.


One Response to “LA Launches ‘User-Friendly’ Zoning Website”

  1. Rod on June 13th, 2013 3:57 pm

    Definitely need some code changes. Like more friendly parking around City Administration Offices, and downtown courts. Need updates on new housing complexes, business and residential. Traffic congestion easement, restricting street parking. Some but not enough. Streets need to be re- surveyed, including speed changes.

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