Category Archives: Governmental

Los Angeles Business Portal

The City of Los Angeles developed The LA Business Portal, which provides all of the information you need to plan, start, manage, and grow your business.  This is a good resource for business owners moving into the city limits. There is guidance on zoning, compliance, employees, registration, etc…

Minimum Wage Hike & the L.A. Garment Industry

Interesting article in the LA Times and how the California and Los Angeles minimum wage increases will affect the Los Angeles garment manufacturing sector. Quote “In the last decade, local apparel manufacturing has already thinned significantly. Last year, Los Angeles County was home to 2,128 garment makers, down 33% from 2005, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. During that period, employment also plunged by a third, to 40,500 workers.”


Hybrid Industrial Live/Work Ordinance Adopted

On February 10, 2016, the Los Angeles City Council adopted the “HI” Hybrid Industrial Live/Work Zone Ordinance, which creates a new zone classification in the City of Los Angeles, the Hybrid Industrial (HI) Zone, with accompanying land use and development standards. The Ordinance becomes effective March 30, 2016. Generally, the purpose of this new zone classification is to permit the development of residential live/work units, hotels and other specified commercial uses on property within an existing current industrial zone and designated as Hybrid Industrial in the General Plan.

The newly adopted HI Zone is the first industrial zone of its kind in the City. In addition to permitting a mix of residential and commercial uses on industrial land, projects sited on land zoned as HI may exceed a Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 1.5 up to a maximum of 6:1 with the provision of public benefits and other development commitments like below-ground parking as specified in the Ordinance. The Ordinance includes development incentives in exchange for affordable housing, additional non-residential floor area, public art and public open space, among other commitments. In addition, the HI Zone includes an FAR exemption for the reuse of existing structures. The new zone also includes stringent requirements regulating the size and layout of the permitted live/work units to promote productive work spaces compared to traditional residential developments.

The Ordinance was hotly contested among stakeholder groups regarding the density bonus program and other development incentives.

– See more at:

L.A. Zoning Code update

The City of L.A. continues to make progress on it’s re:code project. Here is an excerpt from the draft report several months ago. I’m glad to see they are not neglecting industrial zone issues.

Los Angeles, as is true of many modern cities, is
losing industrial acreage to both fragmentation
and alternative uses. Some of the challenge lies
in the modest value of many industrial areas, and
their appealing large-scale, open floor plan buildings,
which attract uses as varying as churches,
indoor trampoline parks, and artists of all kinds.

The Mayor’s office and Planning Department
have been working to protect industrial land since
2003, including studying the issue (Los Angeles’
Industrial Land: Sustaining a Dynamic City Economy,
2007), and issuing new staff direction in 2008.

In 2007, the industrial sector in Los Angeles employed
one-quarter of the City’s total workforce
and created an estimated $219,000,000 annually
in City tax revenue-more than 410,000 persons
were employed in the industrial sector.
As recently as 2007, 26% of Los Angeles’ industrial
land was already used for non-industrial
purposes, leaving just 6% of the City’s total land
area available for active industrial uses.

It is difficult to retain industrial uses where financial
pressure from allowed retail, stand-alone office
and residential uses extends into existing industrial
areas. Thinking specifically about those industrial
areas designated by the City for retention, it is important
to restrict incompatible uses that drive land
costs for industrial users up.
MR1 and MR2 are the most restrictive existing
zones with regard to allowed uses, but they apply
to about 12% of all industrially-zoned land. These
zones were created in 1974 to protect industrial
uses, but have not been applied to enough land
area to meaningfully impact retention of industrial
The more common M1 and M2 zones apply to
41% of all industrially-zoned land. These zones
continue to allow “any enclosed C2 use,” creating
competition by industrial users for land sought
after for retail and office purposes.
In order to achieve true industrial protection, a
more restricted use list must be applied to those
properties with existing industrial uses intended to
be protected.

The existing industrial zones are one example of where the “cascading” or “pyramidal” approach to regulating use (allowing the uses from a previous zone, and then adding a few new uses) leads to frustration for the average code user. For example, the M1 Zone allows any use permitted in the MR1 Zone and any use permitted in the C2 Zone. When the user turns to the C2 Zone, it allows any use allowed in the C1.5 Zone or C1 Zone. Turning back to the C1 Zone, it allows any use in the CR Zone. The user of the code must review the use lists from 5 other zones to find all of the allowed uses for the M1 Zone. Flipping back through the zoning code to determine whether a proposed use is allowed should be remedied in by providing a comprehensive allowed use table.

Map of LA Industrial Zones.