(Added by Ord. No. 168,153, Eff. 9/13/92.)
A. Purpose. This section sets forth procedures, guidelines and standards for establishment of Pedestrian Oriented Districts within commercially zoned areas throughout the City. The purpose of the Pedestrian Oriented District is to preserve and enhance existing areas or create new areas where pedestrian activities are common, to encourage people to walk and shop in areas near their workplaces and/or residences thereby reducing multiple automobile trips, to reinforce and stimulate high quality future development compatible with pedestrian uses, to reflect the characteristics of a particular area and to encourage pedestrian use during evenings and weekends, as well as weekdays.
B. Establishment of District.
1. Requirements. (Amended by Ord. No. 173,268, Eff. 7/1/00, Oper. 7/1/00.) The procedures set forth in Section 12.32S shall be followed except that each Pedestrian Oriented District (POD) shall include only lots which are zoned either CR, C1, C1.5, C2, C4 or C5. No District shall contain less than one block or three acres in area, whichever is the smaller. The total acreage in the district shall include contiguous parcels of land which may only be separated by public streets, ways or alleys, or other physical features, or as set forth in the rules approved by the Director of Planning. Precise boundaries are required at the time of application for or initiation of an individual POD.
2. Pedestrian Oriented Streets. Pedestrian Oriented Streets shall be identified as part of the adoption process of a specific POD. The following shall be utilized to identify such streets: A Pedestrian Oriented Street is a public street where the Director of Planning finds that the street has, or will have in the case of an undeveloped area, at least two of the following characteristics at sidewalk level:
(a) The street has, or in the case of an undeveloped area will have, a variety of commercial uses and activities;
(b) A majority of the structures on the street are, or in the case of an undeveloped area will be, of a similar size and incorporate architectural details such as the location of windows, courts, building interiors and pedestrian entrances which enhance a pedestrian atmosphere;
(c) The street has, or in the case of an undeveloped area will have, amenities, such as street furniture. outdoor restaurants, open air sales, arcades and the like, which are integrated with the public sidewalk in such a way as to be conducive to pedestrian activity.
C. Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following words and phrases are defined:
Blank Wall. A blank wall is any exterior building wall, including a garage opening or door which fronts on the street and which is not enhanced by architectural detailing, artwork, landscaping, windows, doors or similar features.
Building Frontage. Building Frontage is the maximum length of a line or lines formed by connecting the points representing projections of the exterior building walls onto a public street or onto a courtyard that is directly accessible by pedestrians from a public street, whichever distance is greater.
Cultural Resource. Cultural resource is a structure officially recognized to have local, state, or national significance or deemed eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places with respect to its architectural and/or historical characteristics and which is designated as such in the establishment of an individual Pedestrian Oriented District.
Financially-Oriented Services. Financially-Oriented Services are the provision to the public of financial or real estate services including, but not limited, to those offered by banks, savings and loan associations, thrift associations, real estate offices, insurance companies, brokerage firms and escrow offices.
Ground Floor. Ground floor is the lowest story within a building which is accessible to the street, the floor level of which is within three feet above or below curb level, which has frontage on or is primarily facing any Pedestrian Oriented Street, and which is at least 20 feet in depth or the total depth of the building, whichever is less.
Neighborhood Retail. Neighborhood retail uses shall be limited to retail sale of goods needed by residents and patrons of a Pedestrian Oriented District, including:
Books or cards:
Bicycle sales and repairs:
Clock or watch sales and/or repair:
Computer sales and repair:
Fabrics or dry goods;
Food/grocery stores, including supermarkets, produce, cheese and meat markets and delicatessens:
Household goods and small appliances:
Photographic equipment and repair;
Sit Down Restaurants, excluding drive-through service
Other similar retail goods as determined by the Zoning Administrator.
Neighborhood Services. Neighborhood services are those services used by residents and patrons on a regular basis, including:
Barber shop or beauty parlor;
Child care facility;
Club or lodge, bridge club, fraternal or religious associations;
Laundry or self-service laundromat:
Other similar services as determined by the Zoning Administrator.
Project. A Project is the erection or construction of any building or structure, on a lot in the CR, Cl, Cl.5, C5, C4, and CS Zones, or addition of floor area to the Ground Floor of any building on a CR, Cl, Cl.5, C2, C4 or C5 Zoned lot(s), unless the building is used solely for residential dwelling units.
D. Application. The district shall apply only to CR, Cl, Cl.5, C2, C4 and C5 Zoned lot(s) within a POD. In establishing any individual Pedestrian Oriented District, the City Council may adopt all of the regulations contained in Subsection E below, however, one or more of the standards set forth in these regulations may be superseded by development standards established in the individual Pedestrian Oriented District ordinance. An individual Pedestrian Oriented District ordinance shall apply to a particular geographical area. In the event that ordinance does not include new standards pertaining to development, all of the standards set forth in Subsection E, hereof shall apply. The regulations contained in this section are in addition to the use and area regulations applicable to the underlying commercial zone. If the provisions of this section conflict with any other city-wide regulations, then the requirements of this section shall prevail.
E. Development Regulations. The Department of Building and Safety shall not issue a building permit for a Project within a Pedestrian Oriented District unless the Project conforms to all of the following development regulations, or to the regulations in a specific Pedestrian Oriented District ordinance, if applicable. The Department of Building and Safety shall not issue a change of use permit for any use not permitted in Paragraph 2 of this subsection. (Added by Ord. No. 168,153, Eff. 9/13/92.)
1. Building Frontages shall conform to the following regulations:
(a) Blank Walls. Blank walls in excess of 10 feet in width shall not be permitted. Blank walls shall be relieved by transparent windows, doors, recessed entryways, recessed courtyards, planters, murals, mosaic tile, public art and/or other means of creating visual interest.
(b) Openings in Exterior Walls of Buildings or Between Buildings for Vehicles. Any opening in an exterior wall of a building or between buildings for purposes of vehicular entry shall not be permitted, except where it is determined by the Department of Transportation that the location of these driveways cannot be practicably placed elsewhere. Garage or parking lot entrances shall not be permitted on Pedestrian Oriented Streets unless the Department of Transportation determines that there is no other alternative to the location of the garage or parking lot entrances.
(c) Openings in Exterior Building Walls Not for Vehicles. On Pedestrian Oriented Streets, openings in exterior building walls or building setbacks which are used for plazas or courtyards with outdoor dining, seating, water features, kiosks, paseos, open air vending or craft display areas shall be permitted. Building setbacks not used for the above listed permitted purposes shall be fully landscaped.
(d) Pedestrian Access. All new developments fronting on Pedestrian Oriented Streets shall provide at least one entrance for pedestrians to each Ground Floor.
(e) Pedestrian Views Into Buildings. At least 75 percent of the building frontage at the ground floor of a building adjoining a Pedestrian Oriented Street shall be devoted to entrances for pedestrians, display windows or windows affording views into retail, office or lobby space. Non reflective glass shall be used to allow maximum visibility from sidewalk areas into the interior of buildings.
(f) Second Floors. Building frontage on the floor immediately above the ground floor shall be differentiated from the ground floor by recessed windows, balconies, offset planes, awnings or other architectural details, as determined by the Department of City Planning.
(g) Building Continuity With Openings. In the event a building opening of 15 feet in width or greater is permitted pursuant to 1 (b) and 1 (c) of this subdivision, continuation of an architectural feature of the ground floor building facade shall be required to retain continuity of a building wall at the ground floor, as determined by the Department of City Planning.
(h) Requirement for Ground Floor. Each building on a lot fronting on a Pedestrian Oriented Street shall have a ground floor.
2. Uses Permitted Along The Ground Floor Building Frontage. Any use permitted by the underlying zone shall also be permitted on the Ground Floor, except that uses on the Ground Floor along the Building Frontage shall conform to the following:
The floor area on the ground floor of a commercial building along at least 75 percent of the Building Frontage, excluding the frontage used for vehicular access to on-site parking, shall be devoted to neighborhood retail and/or neighborhood services, except that any Financially-Oriented Service may occupy only up to 50 percent of the Ground Floor along the Building Frontage on each street frontage.
3. Uses Permitted Above The Ground Floor. Any use permitted in the underlying zone shall be permitted above the ground floor.
4. Yards. Yard requirements shall be as required by the underlying zone, unless otherwise specified in an individual Pedestrian Oriented District ordinance.
(a) The height of a building shall not exceed 40 feet. If the underlying zone otherwise permits a height in excess of 40 feet, then any portion of the building above 40 feet in height, including the roof and roof structure, shall be set back from the front lot line at a 45 degree angle, for a horizontal distance of not less than 20 feet.
(b) The height of a building adjacent to one or more cultural resources shall not exceed a height that is within five feet of the weighted average height of the adjacent cultural resource(s) or 30 feet, whichever is greater. If the underlying zone otherwise permits a height above 30 feet, then any portion of the building above 30 feet in height shall be set back from the lot line at a 45 degree angle, for a horizontal distance of not more than 20 feet.
(a) No surface parking shall be permitted within 50 feet from any Pedestrian Oriented Street right-of-way. The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply if the Department of Transportation determines that there is no other feasible alternative to the location of the parking.
(b) Any surface parking adjoining a Pedestrian Oriented Street shall be screened by a solid wall having a continuous height of three and one-half feet. In addition, the wall shall be separated from any adjacent public right-of-way by a minimum continuous width of five feet of landscaped area. If an architectural theme has been established for an individual POD, then the wall shall be compatible with that theme. Surface parking lots shall be landscaped with shade trees at the ratio of one tree for each four parking spaces.
(c) All above-grade parking spaces visible from a public right-of-way shall be screened architecturally or with landscaping.
7. Landscaping Standards.
(a) Prior to the issuance of a building permit, the Department of Planning shall approve a landscape plan for new projects and parking areas. In approving this plan, the Department shall find that trees, compatible in size and variety with (b) below, are planted in all landscaped areas at the highest practical density and that planted windows boxes, and hanging plant baskets and flower beds in parking lots are provided, where possible. An overall landscape plan may be developed for each individual POD to enhance a chosen theme or style.
(b) Shade producing street trees shall be planted, where feasible, at a ratio of at least one for each 25 feet of frontage at a distance no greater than 10 feet from the curb. Elevated planters, tree grates and tree guards shall be provided, where needed. Notwithstanding the above, (i) the size, location and variety of trees shall be determined by the Department of Public Works: (ii) where street lights are existing or proposed to be installed, trees shall not be planted within 20 feet of the location of the existing or proposed street light.
(c) An automatic irrigation system shall be provided for all landscaped areas including shade trees and shall be indicated on landscape plans. Property owners shall maintain all landscaping in good healthy condition and shall keep planted areas free of weeds and trash.
8. Special Theme or Other Provisions. A special theme or architectural style may be defined for an individual POD. Special requirements or guidelines directed at preserving such theme may be adopted with the establishment of an individual POD. Such requirements may include, but not be limited to, standards pertaining to uniform theme lighting, art works, sculpture, landscaping, street furniture, sidewalk design, and setbacks.
(a) Notwithstanding any provision of the Los Angeles Municipal Code to the contrary, no person shall erect the following signs as defined in Section 91.6203 of the Los Angeles municipal Code:
(i) off-site commercial signs, except that existing legally erected off-site commercial signs may be replaced on the same or a new site provided that the location and sign otherwise meet all current ordinance requirements of Division 62 (Signs), Section 91.6220 (Off-site signs);
(ii) pole signs,
(iii) projecting signs; or
(iv) roof signs advertising individual businesses.
Signs advertising the entire POD are permitted if approved by the Director of Planning.
(b) Monument signs and information signs for individual businesses may be approved as part of an overall POD plan or design.
11. Utilities. Where possible, all new utility lines for any individual building or proposed within a POD shall be installed underground.
F. Director’s Determination. If a proposed Project fails to meet the development standards in Subsection E above, or the standards in a specific pedestrian oriented district ordinance, whichever are applicable, the applicant may apply to the Director of Planning for a Director’s Determination. Such application shall be filed in the public office of the Department of City Planning upon a form prescribed for that purpose. The filing fee shall be equivalent to that established for “Approval of plan required for Supplemental Use District”, set forth in Section 19.01A of the Los Angeles Municipal Code. The application shall be accompanied by architectural, landscape and structural plans for the Project, or other information, to the satisfaction of the Director of Planning. All ground floor uses for the Project shall be clearly identified.
1. Determination. (Amended by Ord. No. 173,268, Eff. 7/1/00, Oper. 7/1/00.) The Director or the Director’s designee shall make a determination of approval or conditional approval within 25 days of the Department’s acceptance of an application. Notice of the Director’s determination shall be mailed to the applicant, the Councilmember in whose District the project is located, and to all owners and lessees of property within a radius of 500 feet of the project. The determination by the Director shall include written findings in support of the determination. In order to approve a proposed construction project pursuant to this subsection, the Director must find that:
(a) If adjacent to a cultural resource that the project will be compatible in scale (i.e., bulk, height, setbacks) to that resource.
(b) The project conforms with the intent of the development regulations contained in Subsection E of this section.
(c) The project is compatible with the architectural character of the Pedestrian Oriented District where the character is defined pursuant to the ordinance establishing that district.
(d) The project complies with theme requirements or other special provisions when required in the individual Pedestrian Oriented District.
(e) The project is consistent with the General Plan.
2. Appeals. (Amended by Ord. No. 173,268, Eff. 7/1/00, Oper. 7/1/00.) The determination of the Director shall become final after an elapsed period of 15 days from the date of mailing of the determination to the applicant, unless an appeal is filed with the Area Planning Commission within that period. Appeals shall be processed in accordance with Section 12.24B through I of this Code, except as otherwise provided here.
3. Notification to Department of Building and Safety. When a determination of the Director becomes final, the Director or Director’s designee shall send a written notice of the determination to the Department of Building and Safety. If the Director approves the Project, this approval shall be so indicated on the building permit application and building plans.