General Plan, Zoning Code Amendments Discussed

The City Council received an update on the Draft General Plan and Zoning Code Framework from Planning and Development Director Mark Muenzer and his staff. The General Plan Update was initiated in 2019 and is planned for completion in Fall 2024. The process, which was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and staff vacancies, studied existing conditions to identify issues and opportunities to be addressed by the Plan. An extensive community outreach and visioning program resulted in the project's Vision, Values, and Guiding Principles document that was used to direct development of the plan. Staff conducted numerous in-person and virtual open houses to receive feedback from the community, which provided diverse opinions and suggestions.

The General Plan, which sets the 20-year vision and land use regulations for the City, includes the introduction of residential and mixed uses on all commercial and industrial corridors. It would also increase multi-family residential unit densities to meet the City's Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) allocation of 3,341 units. Staff noted in the presentation that there are approximately 2,500 dwelling units currently under application review, of which 500 are affordable units.

The City is also in the process of adopting residential objective design standards and updates to local density bonuses in order to facilitate housing production. There is also "Designation of Special Study Areas" including Fox Hills and Hayden Tract Specific Plans (2025), Inglewood Oil Field, Ballona Creek and Baldwin Hills. The Zoning Code Framework includes proposed zoning districts that correspond with the Draft General Plan 2045 land use designations, high-level development standards, the list of uses to be permitted in each zone, and the Draft Zoning Map.

Prior to Monday's meeting, the Planning Commission provided feedback to the City on the General Plan and Zoning Code Framework. Among the summary suggestions, the Commission suggested more discussion on residential densities proposed along the mixed-use corridors, the Inglewood Oil Field's future usage, reviewing building height limits, more extensive community engagement in the planning process, as well as climate change and sustainability. The City, as part of future work plans, will be further studying the current building height limit, as well as how to best accommodate increased residential densities.

The City Council's feedback included requests for a more comprehensive look at the financial impacts to the budget with an increase in residential population and the introduction of residential uses in areas currently zoned for commercial development. Council Members also noted their direction to generally reduce housing and rental costs and to investigate revising the zoning of the Inglewood Oil Field to open space.

City staff and the consultant project team are preparing responses to the comments received on the Public Draft General Plan and a response to all community comments will be posted on the project website in March 2024. The project team is also preparing the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) which will analyze the impacts of the General Plan Update and its implementation through the Zoning Code Update. The EIR is anticipated to be released for public review in March 2024.

Staff anticipates holding final Planning Commission and City Council adoption hearings for the General Plan Update beginning in July 2024, with Zoning Code Update hearings to follow in September 2024. The City must adopt the General Plan and Zoning Code Update by October 15th, 2024 in order to remain in compliance with the previously approved Housing Element. A summary of the Public Draft outreach community input is available for review on the project website.


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