As part of its proposed update of the Florence-Firestone Community Plan, which governs land use in the unincorporated territory and Huntington Park, Los Angeles County officials are proposing to rezone a portion of Florence Avenue to encourage new investment along the corridor.

The proposed zone changes would affect an approximately one-mile segment of Florence, bounded by Central Avenue on the west and the City of Huntington Park on the east.  The street is currently characterized by a mix of one- and two-story commercial buildings, shaped by the existing zoning laws that allow retail and restaurant uses by-right, but not multifamily residential.

The new community plan aims to change this by introducing a "Mixed-Use Development Zone" along the length of the corridor.  This designation would allow for taller, multi-use buildings featuring apartments or condos above ground-level retail space.  Residential density under the MXD zone is capped at 150 dwelling units per acre, with a maximum floor area ration of 3:1.  Individual projects could exceed some density and height standards by consolidating multiple parcels into larger development sites.

Although little ground-up construction has occurred along this stretch of Florence in recent years, one project on County-owned land could serve as a catalyst.  Earlier this year, AMCAL Multi-Housing revealed plans to construct a 116-unit senior affordable housing complex at the current site of the Florence Library - which would relocate into the ground-floor of the proposed development.  The proposed five-story development matches the scale and density which is entailed in the community plan update.

The Florence-Firestone neighborhood is also notable in that it includes three stations on Metro's Blue Line, which travels north-to-south along the eastern side of the community.  L.A. County has introduced transit-oriented specific plans for other stations in unincorporated communities - such as Willowbrook and Vermont/Athens - but has yet to do so for any in the Florence area.

The Florence-Firestone Community Plan was reviewed by the L.A. County Regional Planning Commission earlier this month and is still subject to approval by the Board of Supervisors.