Downtown Los Angeles Community Plan Update

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Los Angeles City Planning partnered with the Downtown community to update the Central City and Central City North Community Plans. The Downtown Community Plan describes a collective vision for Downtown’s future and includes policies, plans, and implementation programs that frame the City’s long-term priorities. Downtown is the first Community Plan in the City to apply new zoning tools developed as part of the comprehensive update to the City of Los Angeles’s Zoning Code.

The update of the Downtown Community Plan takes cues from the City’s General Plan, particularly from its Framework Element, which describes the City’s long-term growth strategy. The Framework Element lays out goals, objectives, and policies for the range of land uses throughout the City, including Downtown, and guides the development of Community Plans. The Framework Element describes Downtown as “the principal government and business center of the region, with a worldwide market,” “the highest-density center of the City,” and a “hub of regional transportation.”

The Plan builds on Downtown’s concentration of transit options. With support from Metro’s Transit Oriented Development Grant Program, the City is promoting Downtown’s role as the convergence point of regional transit lines that connect multiple cities across Los Angeles County.

What is a Community Plan? Why do we need to update it?

Click the button below to watch a short video about Community Plans.

video link

Purpose

The ambition of the Downtown Community Plan is to create and implement a vision of the future for Downtown Los Angeles. Downtown is the birthplace of Los Angeles and the primary center of urban activity in the region. It remains the City's commercial, entertainment, cultural, and civic heart. Downtown is home to a diverse range of industries and a patchwork of distinct neighborhoods that sit at the center of an expanding regional transportation network. According to regional projections, by the year 2040, Downtown will be adding approximately:

+ 125,000 people

+ 70,000 housing units

+ 55,000 jobs

The Plan will strive to support and sustain the ongoing revitalization of Downtown, while thoughtfully accommodating this projected future growth.

A strong core is important to the health of the City.

The Plan will promote a dynamic, healthy and sustainable Downtown core that is tightly connected to its surroundings and supports the City of Los Angeles and the region.

The following core principles represent the long-term priorities for the Downtown Community Plan:

  • Accommodate anticipated growth through 2040 in an inclusive, equitable, sustainable, and healthy manner, while supporting and sustaining Downtown's ongoing revitalization

  • Reinforce Downtown's jobs orientation

  • Grow and support the residential base

  • Strengthen neighborhood character

  • Promote a transit-, bicycle-, and pedestrian-friendly environment

  • Create linkages between districts

  • Create a world-class streets and public realm
     

Spring 2023 Updates

What happened at the City Council meeting?

The Los Angeles City Council (City Council) at its meeting on May 3, 2023, voted unanimously to approve the Downtown Community Plan and the New Zoning Code with a few amendments. The City Council also recommended a number of follow up items including studies and reports that were requested in the motions from Council Districts 1-Hernandez, 9-Price, and 14-de Leon. The requested reports were transmitted to the City Clerk (CF 22-0617) on May and September, 2023 and can be found below.

What happens next?

The City Council will consider the above reports and may recommend amendments to the Downtown Plan and the New Zoning Code. The amended Plan and the code, along with the implementing ordinances will be reviewed and finalized by the City Attorney, to ensure clarity of regulations and consistency with state law, which can take approximately six months to a year. After this Form and Legality process is complete, the Plan and new Zoning Code will be brought into effect by the City Council.


For details on the approved Plan and to view the zoning click the “Approved Plan

To sign up for future updates or contact staff with questions click the "Contact" tab above.

Los Angeles City Planning is pleased to share:

Approved Plan and Zoning Documents

* Please note that some of the materials included here were recommended for approval by the City Planning Commission on September 23, 2021. The Plan has since been considered by the PLUM Committee and City Council, which have recommended modifications to the Plan and the New Code. For a list of modifications please see here and here. The materials on this page are currently undergoing updates to reflect these changes.

Other Informational and Summary Materials

A crucial component of the Downtown Community Plan update has been to acknowledge historic inequities in the planning process, and their ongoing impact on communities of color, and facilitate meaningful dialogue with the Downtown community. This work is the culmination of years of integrating input on issues that touch the lives of everyone in the Downtown L.A. community, from housing affordability and access to economic opportunity, to mobility choice and public space. All of you have put in countless hours to provide feedback to City Planning on this Plan.

City Planning strives to provide time and flexibility for everyone to engage with us at all stages of the project. Please see the timeline below that shows the project process as a whole, and the many opportunities that were available for input and participation. To see materials from previous outreach events visit the resources page.

To recognize the impact of COVID-19 and to ensure broad participation, the engagement strategy focused on the following considerations and associated tools:

  • Extended timelines
    • Expanded Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) comment period from 45 days to 75 days
    • Expanded Comment period on Public Hearing Plan drafts
  • Educational Opportunities
    • Planning 101 webinar: Planning 101 webinar: This webinar introduces the basics of community planning in Los Angeles
    • Downtown Community Plan and code webinars: These webinars cover a technical and in-depth description of the proposed Downtown Community Plan
  • Material accessibility
    • Key materials were made available in Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese
    • Simultaneous translation for Spanish during Webinars as requested
    • All webinars included phone access to provide engagement opportunities for those without internet or computer access

 

Timeline & Outreach Activities

  • 2014 - The Downtown Plan was launched. Between 2014 and 2021 the Downtown Planning team has held and participated in hundreds of community events to garner feedback on the draft plan. Conversations were held with property owners and representatives throughout the Community Plan Area.
  • October 2016 - Released the Draft Plan concepts with a weeklong public Open Studio event.
  • February 2017 - The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) scoping meeting was held.
  • From 2017 to 2019 - Community engagement and outreach was conducted at community events, neighborhood council meetings, meetings of community based organizations and continued refinement of the Downtown Plan.
  • July 2019 - Released the draft Downtown Plan.
  • October 2019 - Released the draft new Zoning Map and Downtown Plan zones.
  • November 2019 - Conducted community engagement and outreach at public open house events.
  • January/February 2020 - Conducted community engagement and outreach at office hours events.
  • February 2020 to July 2020 - Preparation of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
  • August 2020 - Released the Draft EIR and Preliminary Draft of the new Zoning Code, refined draft Downtown Plan (policy document, zoning map, General Plan Land Use map, and Community Plan Implementation Overlay).
  • Fall 2020 - Held the Downtown Plan “Recap” Webinar (introduced the basics of planning in Los Angeles and the concepts of the Downtown Community Plan; allowed learning opportunities for those who joined around this time to learn about the planning update process).
  • Fall 2020 - Held “Office hours” opportunities for public one-on-one meetings with planning staff to ask questions and provide feedback. These events did not include presentations or plan overview materials.
  • Fall 2020 - Conducted small group engagement (available on request) with the public.
  • Fall 2020 - Refined Plan II “Public Hearing Draft” which incorporated edits from Downtown Stakeholders and public feedback.
  • Fall 2020 - released the Public Hearing Draft of the new Zoning Code, which will be City Planning’s proposed draft of the New Zoning Code.
  • September 2020 - Held Virtual Office Hours community outreach events.
  • December 2020 - Public Hearing1 for the Downtown Plan was held.
  • June & August 2021 - The Refined Plan III “CPC Draft” Downtown Plan and new Zoning Code, which incorporated edits that Downtown Stakeholders provided at the Public Hearing in December of 2020, was heard at the June 17, 2021 and August 26, 2021 City Planning Commission meetings. City Planning Commissioners voted to continue deliberation of the Downtown Community Plan and new Zoning Code to September 23, 2021. No decision was made at this time.
  • September 2021 - The Downtown Plan and new Zoning Code was heard at the September 23, 2021 City Planning Commission meeting2. City Planning Commissioners voted to recommend approval of the Downtown Community Plan and new Zoning Code.
  • April 2023 - Refined Plan IV “Planning & Land Use Committee Draft” & Planning and Land Use Committee Meeting (PLUM). Draft IV incorporated edits from CPC & informed by public comment at CPC hearing (2021-2022).
  • Spring 2023 - Refine Plan V “City Council Draft” & Full City Council. Draft V incorporates edits from PLUM informed by public comment at PLUM hearing.
  • May 3, 2023 - Plan Adoption by City Council.

  1. The Public Hearing is a formal opportunity for stakeholders to provide comments on the plan to a public hearing officer. These comments are documented and summarized in a report submitted to the City Planning Commission.

  2. City Planning Commission is a regularly scheduled meeting where commissioners make decisions or recommendations on Department of City Planning recommendations. These decisions and recommendations are informed by the public comments provided at the commission meeting.

  3. The Planning and Land Use Committee meeting is a regularly scheduled meeting where a selected group of City Council members make recommendations. These decisions are informed by the public comments provided at the committee meeting.

DTLA Timeline

Draft Documents

Here you can view draft documents and outreach materials as they become available.

May 3, 2023 City Council Meeting

      Click here to listen to the video recording (the Downtown Community Plan and new Zoning Code agenda item begins at 02:01:30).

      Click here to view comment letters from the public and elected officials.

April 24, 2023 Planning and Land Use Management Committee Meeting

      Click here to listen to the video recording (the Downtown Community Plan and new Zoning Code agenda item begins at 02:01:30).

      Click here to view comment letters from the public and elected officials.

September 23, 2021 City Planning Commission Meeting

      Click here to listen to the audio recording

      Click here to view a PDF of the staff presentation

      Click here to view the CPC Staff Recommendation Report and Exhibits

      Click here to view the Technical Modifications/Corrections to the Staff Recommendation Report (September 2021)

      Click here to view the Technical Modifications/Corrections to the Staff Recommendation Report (June 2021)

      Click here to view the Supplemental Staff Report

      Click here to view comment letters from the public and elected officials

June 17, 2021 City Planning Commission Meeting

       Click here to listen to the audio recording

       Click to view the staff presentation and Staff Report,

       Click here to view comment letters from the public and elected officials.

       Click here for Technical Modifications/Corrections to the Staff Recommendation Report

Proposed Plan & New Zoning Code Presentation - Summer 2021

      Click here to view the Proposed Plan & New Zoning Code Presentation

      Click here to view the Proposed Plan & New Zoning Code Supplemental Presentation

Downtown Community Plan Overview Handout

       Click here to view the Downtown Community Plan Overview Handout

Summary of Plan policy and zoning updates made since December 2020

        Click here to see document

DTLA 2040 Public Hearing December 8, 2020

        Click here to listen to the Public Hearing

        Click here to view documents submitted for Public Comment

        Click here to view videos submitted for Public Comment

Downtown Fall 2020 Webinar Presentation

        Click here to view the Downtown Community Plan and New Zoning Code Overview Video

        Click here to view the Downtown Community Plan and New Zoning Code Presentation (PDF Slides)

Draft Concepts from the 2019 Open Studio
Sustainability
Sustainability

 

Plan Background Information
Plan Background Information

 

General Plan Land Use Designation Map
General Plan Land Use Designation Map

 

Housing
Housing Orientation

 

Jobs
Jobs Orientation

 

Community Character
Community Character

 

Streets and Open Space
Streets & Open Space

 

Draft Zoning Map
Draft Zoning Map

 

Form Frontage Use Overlay
Form Frontage Use Overlay

 

Community Benefits 1
Community Benefits 1

 

Community Benefits 2
Community Benefits 2

 

EIR Scoping Meeting

The documents below were shared at the Environmental Impact Report Scoping Meeting for the updates to the Downtown Community Plans & Amendments to the LAMC.

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Downtown Community Plans EIR Scoping Meeting Presentation

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Environmental Impact Report - Overview

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Project Introduction & Background Information

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Draft Downtown General Plan Designations


Draft Concepts from the Open Studio

The documents below reflect draft policy concepts that will continue to be refined throughout the Plan development process. To learn more about the Open Studio & Design Charrette visit our News & Events page.

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Introduction & Background Information

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Growth Strategies

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Jobs

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Mobility

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Community Character

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Housing

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Streets & Open Space


Additional Policy Documents & Outreach Materials 
DTLA2040 - Fashion District Plan Summary
DTLA2040 - Chinatown Plan Summary
Draft Plan Concepts for the Skid Row Area - June 2019
The Draft Plan Concepts for the Skid Row Area pamphlet provides a summary of the draft zoning regulations for the Skid Row area.
Shaping the Skyline - A Dialogue with AIA
- March 2018

The Shaping the Skyline - A Dialogue with AIA  document provides an overview of existing conditions and draft policy direction for urban form, especially as it relates to Downtown's skyline.
Historic Cultural Neighborhood Council (HCNC) Land Use Committee Meeting - February 2018
The Downtown Community Plan Strategies for HCNC document provides an overview of draft Downtown Community Plan policy direction and strategies for the neighborhoods represented by the HCNC.
 Festival for All Skid Row Artists - October 2017
Thoughtful Growth for Skid Row document provide an overview of draft Downtown Community Plan goals and strategies for the Skid Row community. The consolidated notes provide a summary of the comments received from community members about future goals for Skid Row.
 
 
Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood CouncilMeeting - February 2018
The Downtown Community Plan Strategies for DLANC document provides an overview of draft Downtown Community Plan policy direction and strategies for the neighborhoods represented by the DLANC.
Little Tokyo Community Outreach - November 2017
The Draft Concepts Map provides an overview of draft Downtown Community Plan goals and strategies for the Little Tokyo community. 
Chinatown Community Outreach - October 2017
The Draft Concepts Map provides an overview of draft Downtown Community Plan goals and strategies for the Chinatown Community. The consolidated notes provide a summary of the comments received from community members about future goals for Chinatown.

Central City Association: Committee Meeting - June 2017
Theconsolidated notes provide a summary of the comments regarding draft Downtown Community Plan objectives, draft policy direction, and strategies. 

Neighborhood Vision Workshop: Fashion District - June 2017 
The power point presentation provides an overview of the Downtown Community Plan objectives, draft policy direction, and strategies for the Fashion District. The consolidated notes provide a summary of the comments from the group discussions. 

Neighborhood Vision Workshop: Skid Row Community - June 2017 
The power point presentation provides an overview of the Downtown Community Plan objectives, and draft policy direction and strategies for the Skid Row community. The consolidated notes provide a summary of the comments from the breakout group discussions. 

This document provides highlights from the full Regional Connector Existing Conditions Report July 2016
Regional Connector Existing Conditions Report (Full Document)
This document was prepared as a part of the Metro-Funded Transit Neighborhood Planning Grant
July 2016
General Development Standards Presentation to the re:code LA Zoning Advisory Committee (ZAC)
December 9, 2015
Downtown Progress Report Presentation to the re:code LA Zoning Advisory Committee (ZAC)
September 30, 2015
Downtown Policy Presentation to the re:code LA Zoning Advisory Committee (ZAC)
September 30, 2015
 
Community Vision Documents

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Downtown Development Strategy

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LA River Master Plan

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Park 101

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Innovate DTLA

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DLANC Vision Downtown

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Sustainable Little Tokyo

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Central City East Planning Study

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Arts District Uncommon Ground

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Broadway Streetscape Master Plan

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Los Angeles Downtown Development Strategy

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Figueroa Corridor: Connecting Communities

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Figueroa Corridor Streetscape project

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South Park BID Technical Assistance Panel Report

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Downtown Strategic Plan Los Angeles

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Green Alleys in South Park Visioning Report

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Cleantech Corridor Los Angeles, California

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South Park Development Studies, Sites, and Rehab Opportunities

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South Park Development Strategies & Design Guidelines

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Our Skid Row

Planning Staff Contact Info

Contact the Downtown Community Planning Team for general questions regarding the Plan update, or individual team members with specific questions.

General Inquiries
Downtownplan@lacity.org
   
     
Craig Weber
Principal City Planner & Division Head
Brittany Arceneaux
Senior City Planner & Section Head
 
craig.weber@lacity.org brittany.arceneaux@lacity.org  
(213) 978-1311 (213) 978-1911  
     
Veena Snehansh
Project Manager, Community Plan Update
Dominick Ortiz
dominick.ortiz@lacity.org
 
veena.snehansh@lacity.org  (818) 374-5054  
(213) 978-1294