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Boyle Heights Community Plan

On December 5, 2023, the City's Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee recommended the adoption of the Boyle Heights Community Plan Update

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Issue Details

Last Modified

December 5, 2023

Development Approval Process

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review

Overview

UPDATE: The Boyle Heights Community Plan Update was recommended to the full City Council by the City’s Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee on Tuesday, December 5, 2023. A City Council meeting date is forthcoming.


The Boyle Heights Community Plan Update is in the adoption phase. The City Planning Commission recommended approval of the Plan in April 2023. Next steps include recommendations for approval by the Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee and final approval from the full City Council.

In July 2022, the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Boyle Heights Community Plan was published and circulated for public comment. A Virtual Information Session and Public Hearing for the Community Plan Update was held by City Planning on October 27, 2022 and the recording can be viewed here. On December 1, 2022 10:00 a.m., City Planning staff provided an informational presentation on the Boyle Heights Community Plan Update to the Cultural Heritage Commission.

The Boyle Heights Community Plan is one of the City of Los Angeles’s 35 Community Plans and sets goals and policies for the future of Boyle Heights. The Boyle Heights Community Plan Update was initiated in 2006 and has been shaped by City Planning with local community input.

Boyle Heights, a comparatively dense, urban neighborhood, is one of the City’s most transit-accessible communities. The update to the Plan encourages specific growth around transit hubs and commercial corridors while conserving residential areas’ existing varied densities and historic character.

At a high level, the Boyle Heights Community Plan aims to:

  • Address the housing needs of current and future residents
  • Maintain the rich cultural history and neighborhood identity of Boyle Heights
  • Promote local jobs and small businesses
  • Address community health and environmental justice
  • Address climate change

Community Plan Updates offer an opportunity to incentivize and plan for proactive protections for historic resources.

Boyle Heights is among the oldest neighborhoods in Los Angeles and its historic properties are particularly at risk given the low percentage of designated historic resources and increased levels of new and proposed development.

Additionally, 89% of all units in Boyle Heights were built before 1978, with about 71% of all multi-unit properties being built before 1978. The City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) applies to multi-unit properties built before 1978 which makes a high percentage of the housing stock in Boyle Heights subject to the RSO.

The Conservancy has engaged in the Boyle Heights Community Plan Update for over a decade and recently submitted comments on the DEIR. While we appreciate new zoning regulations for the Brooklyn Avenue Neighborhood Corridor (HCM #590), legacy corner stores in residential neighborhoods, and some SurveyLA residential historic districts, we urge the City to analyze and plan for historic resources throughout the community plan area. Among some of our concerns are the need to balance new growth and development with the retention of existing resources through expanded strategies and tools, including anti-displacement strategies.

We appreciate the creation of the Community Plan Implementation Overlay (CPIO) Historic Preservation Subarea aimed at protecting some historic districts not currently designated by treating the demolition of eligible historic resources in certain areas as a discretionary action. The Conservancy provided additional recommendations, including adding demolition and permit delays for projects where an existing structure is 45 years of age or older, and ensuring historic multi-family residential, commercial, and industrial neighborhoods benefit from similar regulations.

On April 20, 2023 the Community Plan was recommended for approval by the City’s Planning Commission, and will be considered by the Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee in early December before full adoption by the City Council sometime next year. The Conservancy has been pressing for more policies to ensure historic places in Boyle Heights are protected while allowing for growth and change. You can view our public comments to the Commission here.

Council District 14, the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council, and the Department of City Planning cohosted an Open House on November 7, 2023 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Boyle Heights City Hall to share information about the Boyle Heights Community Plan update and collect community input on how the plan could impact the neighborhood’s future, including addressing housing, neighborhood identity, environmental justice issues, and more.

To learn more about the Boyle Heights Community Plan, go to https://planning.lacity.org/plans-policies/community-plan-update/boyle-h…

About This Issue

There are 35 Community Plans within the city and each is a guiding document for land use and development over the next 20 years. Tailored to the area being served, each Community Plan provides goals, policies, and programs for implementation. The Boyle Heights Community Plan was last updated in 1998. Since that time, there have been shifting housing needs and new infrastructure investment. The current Boyle Heights Community Plan update began in 2012. City Planning has conducted outreach and engagement for the past several years with residents, stakeholders, and community organizations. L.A. Conservancy has met with City Planning and has organized meetings with City staff and community members to ensure historic preservation policies were an important part of the plan.

The Boyle Heights Community Plan will be the second community plan to incorporate the City’s new zoning code known as re:code LA. The City of Los Angeles first adopted its zoning code in 1946. For over 80 years the City has used this code, tweaking it here and there with ordinances, but overall it remains the zoning code as laid in the 1940s. For over a decade, the City has worked to create a new zoning code for the 21st century. Re:code LA introduces new and important contextual based tools we hope will encourage compatible new development in existing older and historic neighborhoods.

To learn more about the Boyle Heights Community Plan, go to https://planning.lacity.org/plans-policies/community-plan-update/boyle-h…

Our Position

The Boyle Heights Community Plan Update was recommended to the full City Council by the City’s Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee on Tuesday, December 5, 2023.

Many of the Conservancy’s recommendations to strengthen protections for historic resources to date have been integrated into the current plan update, including policy language, standards, and agreements related to the Legacy Small Business Special Use Program proposed in the Industrial Mixed Use (IX6) District.

To view our public comment letter to PLUM click here.

The most updated information related to the City’s approval of the Boyle Heights Community Plan (Council File No. 23-0861) can be found here.

The community plan will now move forward to full City Council for final adoption. We will provide meeting information once it becomes available.


In April 2023, the Conservancy submitted the following key amendments to the City’s Planning Commission:

  • Expand Community Plan Implementation Overlay (CPIO) district Historic Preservation Subarea B, to broaden its effectiveness as a strong model for conserving historic residential neighborhoods. To provide consistency in the plan area, CPIO Historic Preservation Subarea B should be further expanded to include all local, state, and National Register eligible and identified historic districts, planning districts, and bungalow court properties in the CPA. This includes, but, is not limited to Wyvernwood Garden Aparttments and Stone Street Residential Historic District, which remain vulnerable to redevelopment and degradation.
  • Add demolition and permit delays for projects where an existing structure is 45 years of age or older in CPIO Subareas A and B, to address affordability and displacement concerns.
  • Retain existing longtime small businesses through new zoning regulations and use districts. Use CX2 and CX5 to feature a maximum size limit to ground story commercial to support existing and future small and longtime neighborhood-serving business. To enhance this strategy, we recommend Character Commercial I Frontage be applied to commercial properties in the RX2 and CX5 Use Districts. Apply CX5 Use District to a portion of First Street between Mathews and Fickett Streets where there is a concentration of small legacy businesses.

To read our full comments to the City’s Planning Commission, click here.

On October 11, 2022 the Conservancy submitted comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Boyle Heights Community Plan.

How You Can Help

UPDATE:

On December 5, 2023, the City’s Planning and Land Use (PLUM) Committee recommended the adoption of the Boyle Heights Community Plan. The plan now moves to the full City Council for final approval, date TBD. We will provide meeting details when they become available.

To view our public comment letter to PLUM click here.

The most updated information related to the City’s approval of the Boyle Heights Community Plan (Council File No. 23-0861) can be found here.

Your questions and comments about the Boyle Heights Community Plan may also be directed to:

Ernesto Gonzalez, City Planning Associate
City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning
200 North Spring Street, Room 667
Los Angeles, CA 90012
E-mail: ernesto.a.gonzalez@lacity.org