L.A. ‘Wildlife Ordinance’ to Protect Biodiversity With Zoning Changes

The Los Angeles City Planning Commission recently approved a new Wildlife Ordinance. The City Council will make the final decision about the ordinance’s approval.

2 minute read

December 22, 2022, 11:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Gabriele Maltinti / Shutterstock

The Los Angeles City Planning Commission (CPC) approved a new Wildlife Ordinance earlier this month, according to an email to Planetizen from the Los Angeles Department of City Planning.

The draft ordinance proposes development standards for lot coverage, floor area, grading, and height limitations, and as well as native landscaping/trees, fence, trash enclosure, window and lighting requirements, according to the email. The draft ordinance makes the case that these zoning changes are necessary to fight climate change and protect biodiversity. The new zoning rules would be implemented in a new Wildlife Supplemental Use District (WLD) added to the city’s zoning map by the ordinance. 

The Los Angeles Daily News covered the Wildlife Ordinance over the summer, while the current version of the ordinance was open for public comment. “The proposed Wildlife District would directly impact hilly communities in the Hollywood Hills, Hollywood, Bel Air, Beverly Crest, Laurel Canyon, Sherman Oaks and Studio City. The southern border of the proposed district follows a stair-stepping line just north of Franklin Avenue, Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard and smaller streets in Beverly Hills,” according to that article. The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board also chimed in on the issue in November, supporting the idea of making space for animals and biodiversity in the residential neighborhoods of Los Angeles adjacent to wild and open spaces.

The vote came just a few days before the death of P-22, the city’s fabled mountain lion resident, credited with birthing and building a wildlife protection movement in the nation’s second most populous city. Alissa Walker has written an article describing the tragic and compelling story of P-22’s life in the wild parts of Los Angeles.

The CPC vote brings a planning process launched in 2016 with the Wildlife Pilot Study a critical step closer to completion. The Los Angeles City Council must still approve the ordinance for adoption.

Thursday, December 8, 2022 in Los Angeles Department of City Planning

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