City of Los Angeles: Planning Department's ambitious zoning code overhaul will have far-reaching implications for development
by Alex DeGood
June 1, 1946. World War II had been over for nine months, neither Mitt Romney nor Barack Obama was born, and the City of Los Angeles completed the last comprehensive update of its zoning code. In the intervening 66 years, the code has grown from a manageable 84 pages to over 600 nearly impenetrable pages. Over the decades, the City responded to every new issue or situation not covered or contemplated by the 1946 code with layer upon layer of new zones, entitlements, overlays, or property-specific development limitations. The result is a code that satisfies no one, from developers to neighborhood groups, and confuses almost everyone.
In the face of a code that has become unmanageable, the City's Planning Department recently requested funding to embark upon a five year overhaul of the code.