City Holding Hearings on Green Planning Ordinance for LA River

12_10_08_river.jpg
The City’s Vision for the LA River in the Coming Decades

The Los Angeles Department of City Planning will be holding hearings this Friday and Monday  on an ordinance that would provide new guidelines for development on both public and private land adjacent to the river.  If approved, the new River Improvement Overlay District would include all of the neighborhoods within the City of Los Angeles that are adjacent to the Los Angeles River.  The exact boundries aren’t set yet.

While it’s encouraging to see the city embrace a more green development strategy, the RIO District restrictions don’t tackle some of the largest concerns that most people have with developments.  For example, there is no restriction on size or parking.  Instead new developments in the RIO District will have to comply with certain green standards and comply with green transportation programs.

The RIO also provides guidelines for new “complete” streets and includes a mobility strategy to ensure that the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and vehicle drivers are considered when major projects or street improvements are undertaken.

I will say, any development plan that is going to create streets that feature the amenities pictured above, especially those pedestrian amenities, is a welcome site regardless of any shortcomings in the proposed ordinance.

For greater detail about what the RIO District will mean for the area, please read Joe Linton’s post at Creek Freak from earlier this fall.  If you can’t make the meetings and want to add your two cents, leave a note in the comments section and I’ll forward it to City Planning.  If you are free either Friday or Monday morning, here is the meeting information.

Friday, December 12              Monday, December 15
12:00 pm                               8:00 am
Room 1B, Braude Building      Room 1020, City Hall
6262 Van Nuys Boulevard      200 N Spring Street
Van Nuys                                Los Angeles

Image: City of LA via Creek Freak

  • Joe

    Thanks, Streetsblog for meandering into Creek Freak territory now and then… clearly transportation has lots of tie-ins to water issues.

    Your account is in line with my perceptions of the RIO. While it’s a good step in the right direction, it doesn’t quite get to some big issues like parking.

    There’s one additional point that I would want Streetsblog readers to be aware of – and I think this is an important precedent for transportation planning in Los Angeles. This is more implicit in the plan than explicit, but it has been stated by the LA City Planning Department’s Claire Bowen. The RIO includes pedestrian and bicycle improvements (and green space, water quality, etc.) in the public right-of-way as possible mitigations for development. Currently the process is pretty much that development does a traffic study and widens the road… the hope is that, in the RIO, instead of widening the road, development could pay for streetscape, bike lanes, etc.

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