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Housing Element, West Side Community Plan Update, & City Zoning Code


The City Planning Department’s Westside Community Plans Update team recently issued updated StoryMaps as part of the Community Plan Update process. The Planning Department is proposing to increase housing density by upzoning different parts of the City based on projected need for affordable housing. We encourage stakeholders to review the issues described below and to share your feedback and concerns with both DRNC and directly with the Planning Department at:  

Stakeholders are also encouraged to attend the DRNC Land Use Planning Committee (LUPC) meeting on Thursday, July 18, at 7pm where Planning Department representatives will attend to hear community feedback. 


HOUSING DENSITY and City of Los Angeles’s  Housing Element


The State of California has directed the City of Los Angeles that it must build 456,000 units of housing during 2021-2029. Seehttps://planning.lacity.gov/odocument/3d0775b4-6e54-4294-ad5a-85df6b8eaf82/Executive_Summary_(Adopted).pdf


In accordance with Southern California Coalition of Government’s (SCAG's) Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) Allocation Plan, adopted in March 2020, the City's 2021-2029 Housing Element must accommodate a total of 456,643 units, of which 184,721 units must be affordable to lower income households (Very Low and Low). Through the RHNA process, The City must show that it has the regulatory and land use policies to accommodate housing needs, but the actual development of housing is largely conducted by the private market. The Housing Element was required to demonstrate potential sites where housing can be accommodated, it found that there are insufficient sites and capacity to meet the RHNA allocation which obligated the City to adopt a rezoning program to create the required capacity. The City is currently working to develop rezoning programs to accommodate at least 255,415 units in the next three years and is seeking public input on how best to accomplish this ambitious goal. In March 2023 the Department released three Ordinances aimed at meeting this goal including the Citywide Housing Incentive Ordinance. To learn more about program please visit https://planning.lacity.gov/plans-policies/housing-element-rezoning-program#draft-ordinances 


If the housing is not built, developers may exercise the "Builder's Remedy". A  builders remedy can only be imposed if the City’s Housing Element is deemed non-compliant by the State which would occur if the CHIP program is not adopted by the February 2025 deadline or if the program was found not to meet the legal requirements, including affirmatively furthering fair housing. 


The effort to promote housing construction before 2029 has three main prongs:  - Application of State Density Bonus Programs  - Mixed Income Incentive Program (Transit-Oriented Incentives; Opportunity Corridors)  - Affordable Housing Incentive Programs (Opportunity Based; Faith Based Organizations; Parking and Public Facilities)Go to the Concept Explorer and maps:(https://planning.lacity.gov/plans-policies/housing-element-rezoning-program)to find out what is contemplated for your neighborhood. The maps may take time to load.In addition, the City Council will be asked to enact the Mayor's Emergency Directive 1 ("ED-1") in the form of an ordinance (Council File 23-0623). ED-1 seeks to facilitate construction of "all affordable" housing projects using a combination of incentives, waivers and exceptions.

WEST SIDE COMMUNITY PLAN UPDATE

The Update to the Housing Element obligated the City to adopt a rezoning program to create the required housing capacity. The City is currently working to develop rezoning programs to accommodate at least 255,415 units in the next three years and is seeking public input on how best to accomplish this ambitious goal through updating the West Side Community Plan. 


The Palms Mar Vista Del Rey (PMVDR) Community Plan was adopted in 1997 and has not been updated, although Del Rey has been commenting on the proposed update since 2009. The update effort will resume after the Housing Element Rezoning Program (above) has been completed. The PMVDR's existing plan specifies which properties are zoned for residential,commercial and industrial use, and until a new plan is adopted, the existing use zoning will still apply. However, more housing density will be allowed in residential and commercial areas.


CITY ZONING CODE

The current Zoning Code dates from 1946, and it will apply in Del Rey until the updated PMVDR Community Plan is enacted. Whereas the existing zoning focuses on how land is used – residential, commercial, industrial new zoning code is more modular and includes clearer standards focused on better design outcomes, and will regulate uses as well. 



COMMUNITY OUTREACH

The Del Rey Neighborhood Council (www.delreync.org) has tentatively scheduled a public meeting with the Planning Department for Thursday, July 18, at 7pm so that residents and stakeholders can hear the Planning Department's initiatives and provide feedback.

The Planning Department is continuing their community engagement throughout the summer and planning liaisons from the Planning Department are available to serve community members and can be reached at Planning.liaison@lacity.org for questions and answers. 


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