New land use regulations could bring updated zoning and opportunities for new housing to unincorporated communities in the South Bay, according to a notice distributed this month by the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning.

The South Bay Area Plan, described in the notice as a new community-based plan, would establish new zoning rules for 11 communities which fall under Los Angeles County's land use authority:

  • Alondra Park/El Camino Village;
  • Del Aire/Wiseburn;
  • Hawthorne Island;
  • La Rambla;
  • Lennox;
  • West Carson; and
  • Westfield/Academy Hills

These areas, which border incorporated cities such as El Segundo, Inglewood, Long Beach, Torrance, Gardena, Hawthorne, and Los Angeles, are home to an estimated 68,000 residents, with an average age of just under 37 years. An estimated 56 percent of those residents are homeowners, while the remaining 44 percent are renters.

The new plan is intended to establish new areawide and community goals relating to land use and development, while also implementing zone changes required by Los Angeles County's new housing element. This would result in changes to certain residential and commercial areas to facilitate greater housing construction, such as the West Carson Transit Oriented District Specific Plan area, with an expected horizon year of 2045.

Housing element sites in Los Angeles County South Bay Area PlanLos Angeles County

A community presentation on the South Bay Plan given earlier this year highlights several sites designated for rezoning in Wiseburn, Alondra Park, La Rambla, and Lennox, including stretches of Crenshaw Boulevard to the north of El Camino College and along Hawthorne Boulevard to the north of the C Line. Some of these areas could see the introduction of Los Angeles County's Mixed-Use Zone, which has already been implemented in areas such as East Pasadena and Florence-Firestone.

In addition to rezoning for new housing, the South Bay Plan also includes provisions intended to preserve naturally occurring affordable housing, while also encouraging new commercial activity by promoting "accessory commercial units" and mobile food vending. Similar elements have also been included in the pending update to the Boyle Heights Community Plan in the City of Los Angeles.

Starting from a kick-off point in July 2023, implementation of the South Bay Area Plan is expected to occur over a roughly 20-month period, with adoption by the Board of Supervisors expected by late 2024.

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