After eight years and mixed results, the City of Los Angeles is moving forward with a proposal to update zoning rules for Cornfield-Arroyo Seco Specific Plan (CASP) area.

Last week, the Planning Department issued a notice announcing the preparation of an environmental impact report for the update, which will impact the zoning for sections of a 660-acre area centered on the Los Angeles River and Los Angeles State Historic Park.  Neighborhoods covered by the CASP - including portions of Lincoln Heights and Chinatown - are currently home to more than 6,200 people in approximately 1,800 households.

"The intent of the adopted CASP is to guide the transition of an underserved, vehicular-oriented industrial and public facility area into a cluster of mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods," reads a description included with the notice of preparation.  "However, since the CASP’s adoption, housing production of any kind has been extremely limited. Among the projects proposed and approved, all involved discretionary actions from the City Planning Commission or Area Planning Commission to deviate from the CASP, with less than one percent of total units reserved for low-income households."

Current zoning in the CASP areaCity of Los Angeles

According to the Planning Department, low household income in the CASP zone, compounded by an apartment vacancy rate of less than 1 percent, has led to increased displacement pressure on existing residents and rent increases that outstrip neighboring communities.  These impacts fall disproportionately on communities of color, which make up a majority of residents in plan area.

The proposed update to the CASP, which was initiated in 2018 by City Councilmember Gil Cedillo, calls for tweaking or removing several zoning requirements that have been identified as impediments to new developments within the plan area. 

One of the changes proposed in the update is an expansion of the residential Urban Village zone to more parcels within the plan area, making a more even split with the commercially-focused Urban Innovation zone.  Additionally, the update would drop a requirement that 10 percent of floor area in new developments be dedicated to non-residential uses within the Urban Village.

The update would also allow 100 percent affordable housing developments in parts of the Urban Innovation and Urban Center zones where they are not currently permitted, and establish new affordable housing zoning incentives for new projects seeking bonus floor area rights.

The CASP update would also update standards relative to building form, urban design, open space, parking, and signage, while also removing parcels that lack CASP zoning from the plan's boundaries.

For more information on the plan update, a public scoping meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 22 at 4:00 pm.  To join, visit:

  • Meeting ID: 849 9379 3018
  • Password: 912684
  • Instructions for joining by telephone:
  • Dial by your location +1 213 338 8477 US (Los Angeles)
  • +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
  • Meeting ID: 849 9379 3018