L.A. Planning Department Adjusts to State Housing Laws

Los Angeles Director of Planning Vince Bertoni was recently interviewed the effects of new state planning and housing laws in the state’s most populous city.

Read Time: 2 minutes

January 3, 2023, 11:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

The Planning Report recently interviewed Los Angeles Director of City Planning Vince Bertoni, allowing the planning director of the country’s second-most populous city a chance to explain the state of planning in the city as it responds to a paradigm-shifting series of years in the State Legislature.

To summarize, Bertoni makes the case that the city of Los Angeles was on the cutting edge of zoning and planning reforms before the state stepped in.

When asked how the Los Angeles Department of City Planning is adapting its policies and plans to the host of state housing bills that have been passed over the last few years by the legislature, Bertoni specifically addresses AB 2097, which removed parking minimum near transit, and AB 2011, which legalized the construction of affordable housing on lots zoned for commercial uses:

In Los Angeles, those impacts are going to probably be indirect because, quite frankly, LA has already led the way on these two issues. For example, utilizing commercial land for residential uses has been allowed in Los Angeles for decades, but that’s not the same in the rest of the state of California. When the Terner Center looked at the 50 most populous cities in California, 40 percent of them prohibited it, so this is going to be big throughout the state.


When it comes to the issue of parking and parking minimums, we have already reduced parking in many areas of the City through our Transit-Oriented Communities incentives. But this is a bold move for the State. Don Shoup, a UCLA professor, has written multiple books about how we need to look at parking as sometimes a barrier to vital cities. The bill’s author, Assemblymember Laura Friedman, was visionary in bringing this legislation forward.

Other planning-specific details covered in the interview include the city’s consideration of an Affordable Housing Housing Overlay Zone and the city’s brief trouble with state regulators earlier in 2022 during the city’s Regional Housing Needs Assessment process.

Thursday, December 15, 2022 in The Planning Report

Chicago Commute

The Right to Mobility

As we consider how to decarbonize transportation, preserving mobility, especially for lower- and middle-income people, must be a priority.

January 26, 2023 - Angie Schmitt

Aerial view of Bend, Oregon with river and old mill district

Bend Eliminates Parking Minimums

The city is complying with an Oregon state mandate that some cities have challenged in court.

January 20, 2023 - KTVZ

Aerial view of dense single-family homes in neighborhood still under construction

How Virginia Counties Use Zoning to Stifle Development

Some state legislators are proposing action at the state level as counties block development using zoning and development requirements even as housing prices rise sharply in the region.

January 23, 2023 - The Virginia Mercury

Golf course with palm trees and mountains in background in Palm Springs, California

Despite Water Crisis, Desert Golf Courses Thrive

Officials in the Coachella Valley seem reluctant to restrict water supplies to the many golf courses and ornamental lakes that dot the region, opting instead to cut water deliveries to a groundwater recharge facility.

7 hours ago - Los Angeles Times

Freeway traffic at dusk in downtown Los Angeles, California

Lonely by Design: How Urban Planning Can Intensify Social Isolation

Walkable neighborhoods, access to parks, and opportunities for social interaction can help reduce the burden of loneliness and promote community. But many of our cities aren’t built this way.

January 30 - Streetsblog USA

Blue electric transit buses at a charging bay in Gothenburg, Sweden with two-story red brick building in background

New Round of Federal Clean Transit Funding Announced

Two federal grants will award close to $1.7 billion to state and local agencies to replace aging transit fleets and boost workforce development initiatives.

January 30 - U.S. Department Of Transportation