Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

GWNC Land Use Committee Recommends Support for Condo Conversion; Discusses City’s Zoning Recommendations to Meet Housing Element Targets

Members of the GWNC Land Use Committee at the October 25 meeting.


At the October 25 meeting of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council’s Land Use committee, there was only one specific item up for a vote, which left committee members time for a brief introduction to the city’s efforts to find places for new housing to meet its new state-mandated housing production targets, which require almost half a million new homes to be built here in the next eight years.


124 N. Manhattan Pl.



Currently, there are two duplexes under construction at this address, but the developer, Thomas James Homes (which has several similar projects underway in other parts of the Greater Wilshire area), has now applied for a parcel map that would divide the lot and turn the four new rental units into four individually sold and owned condominiums.  Committee discussion on this item was brief, with several members agreeing with project representative Nick Leathers that owner-occupied units will likely be good for the neighborhood, and at least one other member praising the fact that – unlike at one of the developer’s other sites – they did preserve the existing street trees at this location. The committee voted unanimously to recommend that the GWNC board support the parcel map application.


Housing Element Zoning Recommendations


This map shows, in dark orange, all the “Adequate Sites” that may be eligible for some kind of new development under the new Housing Element and its state-mandated housing production requirements. Note that areas with Historic Preservation Overlay Zones (many of the neutral-colored areas above) are exempted from these designations and discussions.  Different areas and different kinds of parcels would be eligible for different kinds and densities of housing…which are more clearly illustrated in the color-coded maps below.


Earlier this year, the LA City Council adopted a set of “targeted amendments” to the Housing Element of the city’s General Plan.  The amendments are designed to outline where and how the city can create 456,643 new housing units over the next eight years, including 184,721 units that “must be affordable to lower income households (Very Low and Low).”  The next step is for the Department of City Planning to create a strategy for which kinds of housing would fit best in which parts of the city.

Catching up with this process for the first time at their October meeting, Land Use Committee members took their first look at a series of interactive maps created by the Planning Department to identify “Adequate Sites” for new housing – places that are both suitable and available for housing construction – as well as a breakdown of which kinds of housing could potentially be built on which of the adequate sites. (In other words, the maps show sites where new housing could potentially be built…not sites where it definitely would be built.)

The map of all the potential “adequate sites” identified so far is shown above.  Further maps in the sequence, below, color code each type of potential development that might be allowed on the different parcels.


The different colored areas on this map (with the Greater Wilshire area outlined in red) show more specifically the different kinds of new housing development the city is considering allowing in different areas. Each of these housing/development types is broken out more specifically in one of the five separate maps below. Again, note that areas covered by Historic Preservation Overlay Zones (neutral color above) are exempt from these new zoning proposals, so would not be included in the city’s rezoning discussions.


The dark blue areas on both this map and the multi-colored map above show where new “Corridor Strategies” may be proposed.  These are areas along busy streets near transit that are currently zoned for residential or commercial uses, but which could be re-zoned to allow more new housing and/or greater density, in exchange for the inclusion of low-income units.


Areas in olive green and light blue are places where the city might consider expanding existing density incentive programs, such as Transit Oriented Communities (blue) and the Density Bonus program (olive), both of which allow developers to build additional units if they reserve a certain percentage for low income tenants.


Properties owned by Faith-Based organizations (brown) and publicly-owned facilities (gold), which could potentially be re-zoned to allow up to 100% affordable housing development.


Areas that could potentially be re-zoned for “missing middle” housing, by allowing up to two units per lot (dark purple) or the addition of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) (light purple) to single-family lots.


Commercial areas that could potentially be re-zoned to allow adaptive re-use of existing buildings (light green), or the creation of micro units (blue), as well as parking areas (dark teal) that could be re-zoned to allow residential construction.


Land Use Committee members at this month’s meeting took their first look at these maps, but did not yet discuss them in depth.  They did, however, agree to agendize – at a future meeting – the appointment of a subcommittee to learn more about the city’s rezoning process to meet its housing targets, and to figure out how the GWNC might best get involved in the discussions.

The next meeting of the GWNC Land Use Committee will be held, via Zoom, on Tuesday, November 22, at 6:30 p.m., and the next meeting of the GWNC board will be held on Wednesday, November 9, also at 6:30 p.m. and also via Zoom.


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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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