As new transit lines and subway stations take shape in our part of the city, the Department of City Planning has launched a long-range effort to create new “Transit Neighborhood Plans” for areas within a half mile of the new stations. The goal of the new plans, according to David Olivo, a city planner who spoke at last night’s Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council’s Land Use Committee meeting, is to create “compact, walkable” neighborhoods near the stations. Olivo and Senior City Planner Patricia Diefenderfer, who also spoke at the meeting, said the new plans will work in concert with existing Community Plans, Specific Plans, HPOZs, ICOs, CDOs and other regulations, and should not affect specifically single-family neighborhoods.
The plans may, however, include new zoning designations and/or re-zoning of certain other areas, with the overall goal of helping guide development near transit stations in ways that “decrease sprawl,” improve walkability and public spaces, and create “supportive” parking.
More information is available on the Los Angeles Transit Neighborhood Plans website, which says:
“The focus of the Plans will be the establishment of new development regulations that better support transit ridership, such as allowing some increased development intensity near stations where appropriate, requiring the design of new buildings to be pedestrian-oriented, and improving the configuration and condition of streets to better promote pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular circulation.”
Although the Transit Neighborhood Plan process is new to our area, the effort to create the new plans actually started in 2012, when Metro first provided funding to the Planning Department. Planning efforts have been focused on other areas first, however, and are only now coming to our Purple Line neighborhoods, as construction of that project kicks into high gear.
According to Diefenderfer and Olivo, the creation of the Transit Neighborhood Plans for the Wilshire-La Brea and Fairfax station areas is currently in the very early, exploratory stages, and the Planning Department is looking for people who live, work or own property in the affected areas who would like to be part of “interest groups” to discuss ideas for the Plans over the next few months.
If you would like to receive updates on the Transit Neighborhood Plans, or are interested in being included in one of the interest groups, you can sign up at http://www.latnp.org/ (Information about current land use patterns and current existing zoning for the affected areas is also available on the website.)