Endowment Funds California In-Fill Development Survey
The Los Angeles County East Chapter of the Building Industry Association of Southern California has surveyed 32 cities in Los Angeles County about infill development to determine how the industry can work better with the local jurisdictions to reduce impediments to infill development.
The survey was conducted to assist the industry in:
- Working with local jurisdictions focused on site identification for infill development
- Learning how to plan, implement and succeed with mixed-use projects
- Gaining the inside track on available land through special previews
- Cultivating mutually valuable relationships within industry and government
- Creating awareness among funding agencies and resource entities
- Changing legislation to create new opportunities
The survey was funded with a $5,000 grant from the National Housing Endowment, the philanthropic arm of NAHB, through its Challenge/Build/Grow Initiative.
The survey focused on the status of the Southern Califormia cities’ general plans and their development interests and issues. Survey results indicated that:
- 42% of the cities completed general plan updates (comprehensive or by specific element) between 2000 and 2004.
- 66% have considered, or already have, a mixed-use element ordinance in effect.
- 3% have general plans that require frequent amendments on a project-by-project basis.
- 38% of the cities had moratoriums in effect when surveyed.
The cities also were surveyed to determine the various strategies they employed for transit-oriented and mixed-use development, site identification for affordable and low- to moderate-income housing, land-use issues, city zoning mechanisms and affordable housing discussions.
The research suggested that land use and zoning policies will focus equally on urban and suburban growth in the future. In addition:
- Legislation will be needed to remove land use barriers and create new opportunities.
- Model ordinances will be needed for new types of infill development projects.
- Further efforts will be needed to inventory underutilized sites for development.
- Access to new sources of capital will become more common.
- More recognition of infill and its unique characteristics as a new way of doing business is needed.
- There is an increasing need to learn how to plan, implement and succeed with mixed-use projects.
For more information, e-mail Pamela Hemann, executive director of the Los Angeles County East Chapter of the Building Industry Association of Southern California.