The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has adopted a resolution which approves an update to Florence-Firestone community plan.

Florence-Firestone, located roughly six miles south of Downtown Los Angeles, is an unincorporated community bounded by the cities of Los Angeles, Huntington Park, and South Gate, as well as the fellow unincorporated community of Walnut Park.  The approximately 3.6-square-mile area developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries due to the presence of several large manufacturing centers.  The area's deindustrialization during the mid-20th century proved devastating to its economy. The decline in manufacturing jobs was compounded by long-term segregation and disinvestment in Florence-Firestone, culminating in the 1992 riots which saw significant damage to many commercial areas along Florence and Central Avenues.

Today, Florence-Firestone is home to approximately 64,334 people - almost all of whom are persons of color - and is one of the most densely populated areas of Los Angele County.  It is bisected by Metro's Blue Line - now being rebranded as the A Line - which has three stops in the community and provides connections to both Downtown Los Angeles and Downtown Long Beach.

The update to the community plan, which has been in the works for nearly a decade, has several overarching goals, including:

  • addressing land use conflicts between industrial and residential areas; 
  • improving active transportation facilities and streetscapes; 
  • improving access to transit, public spaces, and community facilities; 
  • promoting mixed-use and transit-oriented development; 
  • increasing housing opportunities; 
  • supporting pedestrian-oriented development; and 
  • increasing economic development opportunities.

The clearest changes brought through he community plan update are slated for Florence Avenue, the community's main east-west commercial corridor.  Approximately 150 lots between Central Avenue in the west and the City of Huntington Park in the east have been rezoned to allow for the development of multi-story structures featuring housing and street-level commercial space.  The mixed-use zone allows for up to 150 housing units per acre and a maximum floor area three times greater than lot size, tough certain projects could exceed density and height limits by consolidating multiple parcels into larger development sites.

Other noteworthy changes to the community plan include an update to the allowable uses in industrial zones to encourage biotechnology and clean technology businesses - including medical laboratories and research facilities - and permitting breweries with certain development standards.

The update will go into effect in 30 days, according to Susan Tae of the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning.

Separately, the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning is now pursuing a separate effort which would establish a "transit oriented communities specific plan," for Slauson Station, which serves Florence-Firestone as well as the cities of Los Angeles, Huntington Park, and Vernon.