Chapter 3 - Land Use


Community centers are intended to be identifiable focal points and activity centers for surrounding groups of residential neighborhoods, serving a population of 25,000 to 100,000. They differ from neighborhood districts in their size and intensity of business and social activity. They contain a diversity of uses such as small offices, overnight accommodations, cultural and entertainment facilities, schools and libraries in addition to neighborhood-oriented uses.

Two types of community centers are identified:

1. A multi-use, non-residential center that encourages the development of professional offices, hotels, cultural and entertainment facilities, in addition to the neighborhood-oriented uses.

2. A mixed-use center that encourages the development of housing in concert with the multi-use commercial uses.
Within the centers, the joint development of public and private facilities, e.g., elementary school grades, libraries, or public cultural facilities, in multi-use developments is encouraged.

Generally, community centers range from FAR 1.5:1 to 3:1. The precise designation will be determined in the community plan. Physically, the scale and density of community centers would be greater than the neighborhood districts, generally with building heights ranging from two- to six-stories depending on the character of the surrounding area. In older areas of the City where urban patterns are established, continuation of the exterior building walls will be important to induce pedestrian activity. In newer, more suburban areas, setbacks and larger landscaped areas may be introduced.

Community centers should be planned for both night and day use. Street, pedestrian, and area lighting shall be provided to recognized standards commensurate with planned nighttime use.

Community centers are served by small shuttles and local buses in addition to automobiles and may be located along transit streets. Major transportation hubs (rail, bus, or both) would be encouraged to develop in each community center to facilitate improved access to and from the remainder of the City. Centralized parking structures should be integrated with private and public development, where appropriate.

The integration and mixing of uses in the community centers will increase opportunities for employees to live near their jobs and residents to live near shopping. To the extent that this is accomplished, the length and number of vehicular trips would be reduced and pedestrian/bicycle activity would be increased, which in turn will reduce air pollution.

Community center character: buildings located along street frontage forming a common "wall," pedestrian-oriented amenities and architecture Buildings located along street with parking to the rear, abutted by multi-family housing as transition to single- family residential neighborhood

Pedestrian-oriented, high activity, multi- and mixed-use centers that support and provide identity for Los Angeles' communities.

Objective 3.9

Reinforce existing and encourage new community centers, which accommodate a broad range of uses that serve the needs of adjacent residents, promote neighborhood and community activity, are compatible with adjacent neighborhoods, and are developed to be desirable places in which to live, work and visit, both in daytime and nighttime.

Uses and Density

Accommodate the development of community-serving commercial uses and services and residential dwelling units in areas designated as "Community Center" in accordance with Tables 3-1 and 3-5. The ranges and densities/intensities of uses permitted in any area shall be identified in the community plans. (P1, P18)

Table 3-5

Land Use Designation

Corresponding Zones

Community Center

CR, C4, [Q]C2

3.9.2 Encourage the integration of school classrooms, libraries, and similar educational and cultural facilities within commercial, office, and mixed commercial-residential structures. (P13, P16, P18, P22)
3.9.3 Determine the appropriateness of centralized and shared parking structures, and where suitable and feasible, encourage their development. (P4)

Promote the development of para-transit or other local shuttle system and bicycle amenities that provide access for residents of adjacent neighborhoods, where appropriate and feasible. (P4, P43)

Community Center: Studio City; buildings located along
street frontage, pedestrian-oriented.
Orientation of merchandise to the street to enliven the area

Design and Development
 3.9.5 Promote pedestrian activity by the design and siting of structures in accordance with Pedestrian-Oriented District Policies 3.16.1 through 3.16.3. (P1, P2, P18, P24, P25)
 3.9.6 Require that commercial and mixed-use buildings located adjacent to residential zones be designed and limited in height and scale to provide a transition with these uses, where appropriate. (P1, P18, P24)
 3.9.7 Provide for the development of public streetscape improvements, where appropriate. (P30, P31, P32)
 3.9.8 Support the development of public and private recreation and small parks by incorporating pedestrian-oriented plazas, benches, other streetscape amenities and, where appropriate, landscaped play areas. (P2, P31, P66)
 3.9.9 Require that outdoor areas of developments, parks, and plazas located in community centers be lighted for night use, safety, and comfort commensurate with their intended nighttime use, where appropriate. (P17, P18, P24, P48)

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