Next year is going to be a big year for the city of Los Angeles. The city’s planning commission recently unveiled a draft of the Downtown Community Plan, which gets rid of parking requirements for future multifamily developments, rezones several areas within Downtown Los Angeles and creates more transportation mobility and connectivity.
The planning department for the past month has hosted workshops for the community to review the plan. Next year, the department will hold a few more, helping it to retool the plan before it heads to city officials.
“The plan will strive to support and sustain the ongoing revitalization of downtown, while thoughtfully accommodating this projected future growth,” according to the report.
The proposed change comes as cities nationwide are eliminating parking requirements and placing more of an emphasis on creating an efficient public transportation system in their downtown core.
In 2017, Buffalo, New York, became the first major city to eliminate parking requirements for commercial and residential projects, according to CityLab. That same year, Santa Monica, a city about 15 miles west of Los Angeles, got rid of its minimum parking requirements on new development in its downtown.
The following year, Cincinnati removed its parking requirements for new developments. In 2019, the city of Berkeley will discuss eliminating parking requirements on new residential construction, while Downtown Austin, Texas, is also looking to make changes to its parking requirements.
“It’s pretty clear where we are heading,” Rising Realty Partners CEO and co-founder Christopher Rising said.
“We have a downtown that is much more dense and it is a 24-hour city,” he said. “The [proposed] changes to the zoning laws and the parking requirements is reflecting that it is not the Los Angeles of 1975.”
But can car-centric Los Angeles, where residents and visitors are famously reliant on their vehicles, adapt?
“We’re not getting rid of the cars. We’re not getting rid of parking,” Downtown Center Business Improvement District Executive Director Nick Griffin said. “It’s going to be more comparable to New York. We just won’t need as many cars on the street.”