In September 2017, the City of Los Angeles adopted the Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) guidelines.  The program, which was created as a result of the passage of Measure JJJ in 2016, allows projects that create affordable housing relief from certain zoning laws, including density and height limits.  

Over the past year, the TOC guidelines proved popular with developers.  Through June 2018, the Los Angeles Department of City Planning reported that the development incentives were used in 19 percent of all entitlement applications - a total of 112 projects and 5,571 housing units.  But moving forward, the TOC program's efficacy may be curtailed in some of Los Angeles' residential development hotspots.

Last June, CRA/LA issued a memo indicating that density limits in six redevelopment project areas supersede the TOC ordinance, thereby preventing developers from taking advantage of the full incentives offered by the program.  A notice since issued by the Department of City Planning seems to concur with this conclusion, recommending that project applicants consult with their case planners for guidance, and stating that the Department "continues to work collaboratively with the CRA/LA on this topic and will provide future updates on the matter as appropriate."

The six redevelopment areas, which include neighborhoods with robust multifamily development pipelines, are:

City Center

Central Industrial


North Hollywood

Wilshire Center/Koreatown


Pacific Corridor


As of September 2014, the CRA/LA estimated that there were 25 projects in which the TOC incentives were in conflict with the redevelopment plans.  They total 1,350 housing units - including 214 affordable units and 59 permanent supportive housing units - and are largely concentrated in the Hollywood and Wilshire Center/Koreatown areas.

Other redevelopment project areas - including the City Center and Central Industrial areas - have yet to see new developments employing the TOC incentives.

A motion introduced in October 2018 by Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell requests a report back on the 25 projects that are in conflict with the redevelopment plans, and what efforts have been taken to resolve the situation.  The item was approved yesterday by the City Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee.