Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

Mapping L.A.'s Zoning Changes Finds Little Room for Upzoning

A new study makes a visual case against the narrative that spot zoning and a broken development approval process are running roughshod over the entire city.
September 2, 2016, 8am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments
Sean Pavone

Steven Sharp shares news of a new study [pdf] released by the UCLA Anderson Forecast and the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate that puts the planning and development approvals process in context by aggregating all of Los Angeles' zoning changes for specific parcels, which the study describes as "spot zoning."

The study comes at a time of controversy over the planning process and the impacts of development in the city. The findings of the report, however, probably run counter to the narrative of runaway development preferred by advocates for the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative.

Authored by C.J. Gabbe, the study identifies properties with zoning changes of two kinds: those that allowed for more residential density and those that allowed for less density. Here Gabbe summarizes the findings:

Zoning designations were largely static: On average, the City upzoned 225 acres and downzoned 216 acres annually between 2002 and 2014.  (Los Angeles' total land area is about 300,000 acres.)  That is less than two-tenths of one percent of its land area every year.

Another provocative layer of conclusion drawn from the report's findings: in Los Angeles, "the most desirable neighborhoods with access to valuable amenities are also the most difficult to upzone."

Full Story:
Published on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 in Urbanize LA
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email