For the last couple of years, the city Planning Department has been developing a new Transit Neighborhood Plan (TNP) to help increase residential density and commercial activity in areas within a half mile of the new Purple Line subway extension. (It’s the same kind of plan recently adopted for the Expo Line corridor in May. Similar plans are also in the works for areas near the new Crenshaw/LAX Line, Orange Line and Regional Connector projects.) Last week, the Purple Line TNP moved into the environmental review phase, with a scoping meeting to help determine which aspects of the plan will be included in an upcoming Enviromental Impact Report (EIR) for the project.
At the meeting, planners presented several views of the proposed plan, which would increase allowed heights, floor area ratios and densities on several kinds of parcels along and adjacent to Wilshire, La Brea, Fairfax, San Vicente and La Cienega.
The plan would establish new zones and improved commercial corridors along the transit areas above, using building elements such as form, frontage, use, and density to increase mobility, the mix of uses, walkability, public spaces, and the number of jobs and housing units adjacent to public transit.
In our area, the plan would also be designed to work in concert with local HPOZs and Design Overlay Zones, and would not supersede those regulations.
Of course, however – and as always – the devil is in the details…and the details of just how the TNP areas would be up-zoned, densified or otherwise affected would depend on which version of the Plan the city decides to adopt. Two versions – one with lower impacts and one with more significant impacts – were presented at the meeting, and the coming Environmental Impact Report will look at the potential effects of both versions.
Under the lower-impact TNP proposal (see upper section of the chart below), existing Floor Area Ratios in the densest A1 areas along Wilshire Blvd. would increase from 6/9 (a Floor Area Ratio of 6:1 under standard zoning rules, or 9:1 if Transit Oriented Community guidelines are followed) to 6/10 (a standard Floor Area Ratio of 6:1, or a TOC-area FAR of 10:1). But under the higher impact TNP option (see bottom section of the chart below), Floor Area Ratios would rise to 8:1 under standard zoning…or 13:1 for projects using TOC guidelines.
In some slightly lower-density areas, such as the B1 area from Sycamore to Highland along Wilshire, Floor Area Ratios would rise from 3:1 (or 4.5:1 under TOC guidelines) to 4:1 (or 6:1 under TOC guidelines) in the low-impact version of the TNP, or 5:1 (or 8:1 using TOC guidelines) under the higher-impact version of the plan.
To see how each of the A-I areas on the map would be affected by both the low- and high-impact versions of the proposed TNP, see the other lines on the chart below.
While Planning Department representatives were on hand at Thursday’s meeting to explain the plan and what it encompasses, it’s worth noting – again – that the meeting’s main purpose was not to solicit input on the TNP itself, but to seek stakeholder input on what should be studied in the upcoming Environmental Impact Report about the proposed plan. Currently, the following categories may (or may not) be included:
Verbal and written comments on what the EIR should include were accepted at the meeting, but the comment period will remain open until 5 p.m. on Monday, August 13, 2018. Comments on the appropriate scope and content of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Transit Neighborhood Plan, can be submitted in the following ways:
Online at https://goo.gl/forms/BfZZSJkLywLNlaGs1
Via e-mail to: [email protected]
Or via paper mail (please include name, telephone number, and contact information) to:
City of Los Angeles, Department of City Planning
ATTN: Andrew Jorgensen, AICP, City Planning Associate
Case Numbers: CPC-2018-3731-GPA-ZC-HD-CDO; ENV-2018-3732-EIR
200 N. Spring Street, Room 667
Los Angeles, CA 90012
After the comment period closes, the city will begin working on the EIR, and a draft should be released in early to mid-2019. The overall timeline for the TNP process is shown here:
More information about the general TNP process, and the Purple Line TNP in particular, can be found at http://www.latnp.org/about-the-project/. Full presentation materials from Thursday’s EIR scoping meeting can be found at http://www.latnp.org/purple-line/environmental-review/