On February 10, 2016, the Los Angeles City Council adopted the “HI” Hybrid Industrial Live/Work Zone Ordinance, which creates a new zone classification in the City of Los Angeles, the Hybrid Industrial (HI) Zone, with accompanying land use and development standards.  The Ordinance becomes effective March 30, 2016.  Generally, the purpose of this new zone classification is to permit the development of residential live/work units, hotels and other specified commercial uses on property within an existing current industrial zone and designated as Hybrid Industrial in the General Plan.

The newly adopted HI Zone is the first industrial zone of its kind in the City. In addition to permitting a mix of residential and commercial uses on industrial land, projects sited on land zoned as HI may exceed a Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 1.5 up to a maximum of 6:1 with the provision of public benefits and other development commitments like below-ground parking as specified in the Ordinance.  The Ordinance includes development incentives in exchange for affordable housing, additional non-residential floor area, public art and public open space, among other commitments.  In addition, the HI Zone includes an FAR exemption for the reuse of existing structures.  The new zone also includes stringent requirements regulating the size and layout of the permitted live/work units to promote productive work spaces compared to traditional residential developments.

The Ordinance was hotly contested among stakeholder groups regarding the density bonus program and other development incentives. It should be noted that the Ordinance, although adopted by Council, has not taken effect as of the date of this blog and may be subject to legal challenge prior to its effective date.