The first stop in the Downtown Community Plan (DCP) discussion tour will be the April 26 Planning Commission meeting for an introductory overview of the city’s latest zoning document.

As agendized, the discussion this week is framed as an overview of the final plan and adoption of some technical/administrative paperwork necessary to facilitate the larger process.

Staff said the goal of the first meeting is to provide some high-level policy discussion and outline the process for future meetings that will have a more specific focus. That said, it’s a public meeting and all input will be taken.

“This being a democratic process and people having limited time to participate, they may bring any manner of comment to us on Wednesday and we’re in listening mode still and invite people to present their point of view,” said Principal Planner Peter James.

The DCP, formerly known as the Downtown Specific Plan, creates specialized zoning rules for the Downtown area between Wilshire, the freeway, Lincoln and the beach. City Hall has previously revised its zoning code and the Land Use and Circulation Element but Downtown was specifically excluded from the citywide standards to allow for an area specific plan. All new construction will have to adhere to the DCP’s standards for mobility, height and density.

Officials describe the plan as a results-oriented document that will make downtown more accessible while promoting sustainability but some critics have already voiced concern over development standards.

The April 26 meeting is the first of six Planning Commission meetings scheduled in the coming months. The Commission will also meet on May 10 (Arts/Culture, Open Space, Housing Strategy, and Historic Preservation), May 11 (Part 1 of Development Standards), May 17 (Part 2 of Development Standards), May 18 (Mobility and Infrastructure) and May 31 (Vote on Planning Commission recommendations for amendments to the LUCE, CCSP, Zoning Ordinance and Final Draft of the DCP/Final EIR).

James said the upcoming meetings will allow for more detailed discussion of the plan’s specific points and by doubling up on the Development Standards discussion (May 11 and 17), staff hope to be able to use the second meeting to present thoughtful answers to questions posed during the first discussion.

The plan is available online at visit downtownsmplan.org and the website also houses staff reports, presentations, meeting videos and other information related to the document.

Planning Commission will meet at 6 p.m. in City Hall, 1685 Main St. on Wednesday, April 26.

A second night of discussion could be added on Thursday, April 27 depending on the length of the Wednesday debate.

editor@smdp.com

 

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