Updated Hollywood Community Plan unveiled

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Los Angeles planners are taking a second stab at an update of the aging Hollywood Community Plan that sets standards for new buildings, transit, and parks in Hollywood, a neighborhood that has seen explosive growth since the plan was last updated 29 years ago.

As the Los Angeles Business Journal notes, the new plan relies on an updated population estimate of 226,000 residents by 2040—down from the 250,000 residents projected in a 2012 update that was shot down in court.

It also puts a bigger emphasis on historic preservation and stricter limitations on building height in lower-slung parts of the neighborhood. Right now, nearly 50 percent of Hollywood is zoned and planned for housing, both single-family and apartment and condo buildings—and that won’t change, senior city planner Conni Pallini-Tipton tells Curbed.

“Where we’re directing change is not in that 50 percent,” she says. In residential areas, she says, “We’re maintaining or adding new rules for historic preservation and height limits. We’re really trying to accommodate most of the change in the core of Hollywood.”

These are the proposed land use zones in the draft update of the Hollywood Community Plan.

In 2012, the City Council approved an updated version of the plan that allowed for greater residential density in the Downtown Hollywood area, particularly in close proximity to the Red Line—which had yet to open when the plan was last updated in 1988.

But the La Mirada Neighborhood Association sued the city, arguing (among other things) that the plan relied on inaccurate population estimates. A judge agreed, striking down the new plan in December of 2013.

The 2012 plan, “was very focused on the part of the Hollywood that was growing. It was more silent on the things that we were preserving,” Conni Pallini-Tipton says.

“What we’ve tried to do is be more explicit about our goals to maintain our neighborhoods, preserve our historic resources, and really celebrate what’s great about Hollywood,” she says.

Given the added protections for Hollywood’s single-family neighborhoods, most new housing development under the new plan would occur around transit stops. The authors of the plan predict this will help prevent traffic congestion in the area simply by bringing more people within easy access of public transit.

New offices, mixed use developments, and affordable housing would also be encouraged around Central Hollywood, with office space being prioritized around the Hollywood/Highland and Hollywood/Vine Metro stops.

Alongside those overarching changes, the plan also calls for some detailed changes, including:

  • Supporting a proposal to build a park with pedestrian and bike paths over the 101 Freeway.
  • Linking bike paths by the Los Angeles River to bicycle hubs in central Hollywood.
  • Studying the closure of Hudson Avenue, between Hollywood Boulevard and Yucca Street, to create a public plaza.
  • Beautifying segments of Hollywood Boulevard (between Gower Avenue and the 101 Freeway), Western Avenue (between Franklin Avenue and Melrose Avenue), and Cahuenga Boulevard (between Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard), among others.
  • Discouraging peak hour parking restrictions on streets with high volumes of bicyclists.
  • Studying the garden apartments in the block bounded by Prospect Avenue on the north, Rodney Drive on the west, Lyman Place on the east, and the alley north of Hollywood Boulevard on the south for potential historic significance.
  • Studying new height limits on portions of Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue that abut designated or eligible historic neighborhoods.

As a feature of the new plan, its authors have included an interactive map that residents can use to determine how zoning requirements for their properties (and the properties of others) might change, should the new plan pass muster with city officials and local residents.

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