Los Angeles to Update Community Plans Every 6 Years

Los Angeles has approved new rules aimed at increasing accountability in the planning process—and at preempting a more severe approach promised by an upcoming ballot measure.

2 minute read

February 17, 2017, 9:00 AM PST

By Elana Eden

Los Angeles Density

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

The centerpiece of the new rules approved by the Los Angeles City Council is a requirement that the city's 35 community plans be updated on a six-year cycle.

"The plans are so outdated that developers frequently seek permission to skirt the rules, allowing them to build bigger and taller than what the plans allow," explains Curbed LA. Since 2000, 90 percent of these exemptions have been granted, the Los Angeles Times recently found.

The new legislation restructures the review process for these exemptions—which can include height allowances, zoning changes, or General Plan Amendments—to help planning commissioners get a more holistic picture of their impact on the city.

The City Council also approved a plan to create a list of approved consultants from which developers can choose to prepare environmental impact reports.

Fast-tracking General and Community Plan updates was one demand presented to the mayor by backers of the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, now called Measure S, which will appear before voters on the March 7 ballot. Measure S calls for a two-year moratorium on any such exemptions, during which the city would have to update its General and Community Plans. And it would ban developers from choosing their environmental consultants at all, potentially requiring the city to retain them directly.

City officials including Mayor Eric Garcetti have opposed the measure. PLUM Committee Chair José Huziar, whose district includes Downtown Los Angeles—an area in the midst of a development boom as well as a community plan updatetold KPCC that, all in all, the city’s new rules would "make Measure S unnecessary."

Thursday, February 9, 2017 in KPCC

View down New York City alleyway at nighttime

Red Cities, Blue Cities, and Crime

Homicides rose across the nation in 2020 and 2021. But did they rise equally in all cities, or was the situation worse in some than in others?

March 12, 2023 - Michael Lewyn

babyt Boomer Homeowners

The Shifting Boomer Bulge: More Bad News for America’s Housing Crisis?

In the first of a two-part series, PlaceMakers’ Ben Brown interviews housing guru Arthur C. Nelson on the sweeping demographic changes complicating the housing market.

March 12, 2023 - PlaceShakers and NewsMakers

Yellow on black "Expect Delays" traffic sign

A Serious Critique of Congestion Costs and Induced Vehicle Travel Impacts

Some highway advocates continue to claim that roadway expansions are justified to reduce traffic congestion. That's not what the research shows. It's time to stop obsessing over congestion and instead strive for efficient accessibility.

March 14, 2023 - Todd Litman

Washington D.C. Protest

IPCC Report: The World Is Running Out of Time on Climate Change

The planet is not doing enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a recent report published by the United Nations’ International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

March 20 - International Panel on Climate Change

A view of the Boise skyline, across tress int he foreground. The state capitol is visible amongst other office buildings.

Skyline-Defining High-Rise Potentially Coming to Boise

A rendering making the rounds in Boise depicts a 40-story apartment building that would be taller than all other buildings in one of the fastest growing cities in the United States.

March 20 - Boise Dev

Interior of Tesla car with driver holding hands off wheel in 'full self-driving' mode

Buttigieg: Tesla ‘Autopilot’ Marketing ‘A Concern’

The USDOT secretary says marketing doesn’t fall under his department’s investigative authority, but expressed disapproval of language that implies autonomous operation.

March 20 - Bloomberg

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.