The City of Los Angeles is a year and a half into its five million dollar, five-year plan to overhaul its nearly 70 year-old zoning code. An in-depth evaluation of the current code is complete and key issues to be addressed have been identified, but both code structure and process are still under debate. To create more certainty in the present and allow for future flexibility, a structure that disassociates use from form has been proposed. With this approach, development standards for different use/form combinations are to be inflected by context, allowing a single code to be applied in neighborhoods of diverse current and prospective character. This method should allow a wider range of projects to be built by-right, hopefully reducing the number of discretionary approvals required to develop forward thinking projects.

Is this the right approach for the new zoning code? Does it address the city’s most pressing needs? Will it encourage investment in locations and ways that will transform Los Angeles into a more sustainable, livable and healthy city? Gain perspective on these questions and more from three members of the 20-member Zoning Advisory Committee, the first line of critique for planning staff and the consultant team on the re:code LA project.