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The Cornfield Arroyo Seco Specific Plan and introducing: The Cornfield Arroyo Seco Redevelopment Project Area Frequently Asked Questions FAQ Sheet - Nov 2010 C R A / L A

Proposed Cornfield Arroyo Seco Project Area and Specific Plan Dorris Pl Elementary

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The Cornfield Arroyo Seco Specific Plan (Plan) is an ordinance that, once adopted by the City Council, will establish new zoning requirements for a 660+ acre area northeast of Downtown Los Angeles and includes portions of Lincoln Heights and Cypress Park. The purpose of these new requirements is to: increase access to open space; promote a mix of uses; provide economic growth opportunities; reduce energy and water consumption; promote a healthy watershed; facilitate pedestrian and bicycle mobility; and provide access to a variety of transit options including frequent light rail and bus connections, shared vehicles and bicycles, and taxis.

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What is the Cornfield Arroyo Seco Specific Plan?

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The Plan establishes four new zoning districts that will replace the current segregated industrial and public facility zoning types. The new districts will encourage living, working, shopping, education, open space, and recreational activities all within a short distance of each other. The Plan will lessen dependence on automobiles, and thereby vehicle emissions, while enhancing the personal health of residents, employees and visitors and creating a safe and stable community. The Plan will also establish standards that will reduce the use of energy and potable water, capture stormwater, improve the ecology and hydrology of the Los Angeles River. Watershed and Arroyo Seco, create connections from the community to the River and Arroyo Seco, and support the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan (LARRMP). The open space requirements established in the Plan will provide places for people to socialize, including parks, sidewalks, courtyards and plazas that are combined with shops and services as well as provide adequate public recreational open space within walking distance of residents and employees.

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PREPARED BY CRA GIS TEAM ERO Kim Pfoser, Principal PlannerY AVE Tom Weisenberger, GIS Analyst Ron Wagner, GIS Analyst (D&W Consulting)

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11/8/2010

L.A. Plaza Park

How has the community been involved in the development of the Plan?

The Cornfield Arroyo Seco Specific Plan (Plan) is the result of several years of planning and community engagement that involved community workshops, meetings and conversations with residents, employers, property owners, and community, business and environmental organizations, as well as staff input from numerous city, county, state, and federal departments. The first efforts got underway at a workshop at the Goodwill Center on San Fernando Road in September 2007. During this first workshop, that was led by volunteer facilitators from the Western Justice Center, over a 100 members of the community articulated a keen interest in seeing the Plan provide for safe and accessible passageways for pedestrians and bicyclists, additional open space, and access to the Los Angeles River and Arroyo Seco. The community also stressed the importance of providing for a mix of uses especially near the transit stations and the State Park that included affordable housing, along with community and employment uses. They also identified key industrial quarters that they wanted to protect, primarily along Main Street and the area currently defined as the Lincoln Heights Industrial Business Improvement District. Since that first workshop there have been numerous meetings and conversations punctuated by three additional workshops held between December 2007 and November 2008. Each of these community events provided an opportunity for the community to meet, discuss ideas, and provide suggestions all of which have helped continue to shape the Plan. Following the November 2008 workshop a draft Plan was released in March 2009 along with a Notice of Preparation that initiated the environmental review process. A Scoping Meeting, which is part of the environmental review, was held on March 16, 2009 at the Goodwill Center. The Scoping Meeting provided the opportunity for Planning Department staff and the consultant ARUP, who is preparing the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to provide an overview of the Plan and the environmental issues which would be analyzed in the EIR, as well as listen and record any comments and concerns from the public.


March 2009 was over a year ago, what happened?

Typically, EIR’s take about a year to complete and we had originally expected to release the Draft EIR (DEIR) for public comment in the Fall 2010 but this Summer the City Council and the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) both approved a motion to study the Plan area as a future Redevelopment Project Area (Project Area). Typically the development of a Project Area can take upwards of two years but, in this case, as the Project Area’s goals and boundaries are identical to the Plan’s it was realized that the Plan and Project Area could utilize the same DEIR. Therefore, instead of moving ahead with the release of the DEIR for the Plan it seemed more prudent to spend some additional time to make the technical changes to allow the DEIR to be used by both the Plan and the Project Area.

How does the Plan benefit from being established as a Redevelopment Project Area?

The Proposed Project Area would share the same boundaries and is an implementation tool to carry out the goals of the Cornfield Arroyo Seco Specific Plan. By establishing the new Project Area, CRA/LA, in partnership with the Department of City Planning and the community, can tackle the many challenges facing the industrial, commercial, and residential areas of these neighborhoods, including polluted industrial sites, incompatible land uses, disrepair of buildings and structures, inadequate infrastructure, and contamination while simultaneously spurring reinvestment in public amenities such as the Arroyo Seco River and Los Angeles State Historic Park.

What is Redevelopment?

Redevelopment was established by California state law to revitalize urban neighborhoods and help them become healthy, safe and thriving places for residents to live and work. Today, almost 400 California cities and counties have successfully used redevelopment to leverage public resources and attract private investment in areas that have been unable to foster development on their own.

Who is the CRA/LA?

The Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles, known as the CRA/LA, was established in 1948 to bring housing, jobs and economic development to the City of Los Angeles. Currently, there are 32 Redevelopment Project Areas in the City.

How is a Redevelopment Project Area Established?

Before a Redevelopment Project Area can be formed, the City Council must adopt a Redevelopment Plan. The Redevelopment Plan governs the Project Area by specifically establishing the Project Area boundary, land use designations, long-term goals and objectives, rights of property owners and tenants, and financial and legal tools for implementing the Plan as required by California Redevelopment Law. In addition, community stakeholders serve as key partners in helping draft the Redevelopment Plan that reflects a shared vision for the proposed Project Area.

Why is there a need for a Redevelopment Plan along with a Specific Plan?

The Redevelopment Plan is needed in this area to implement the goals of the Specific Plan using the tools available to the CRA/LA. The Specific Plan, when enacted by the City Planning Commission and the City Council, will change allowed land uses, set forth goals and requirements for new developers, and identify a comprehensive plan for the area. The Redevelopment Plan, guided by the Specific Plan, will set forth a work plan consisting of specific projects identified in the Plan. Property tax increment will be used to partially finance this work plan. The work plan will be shaped by public outreach meetings with stakeholders in the Cornfield Arroyo Seco area and surrounding neighborhoods.

What about Eminent Domain?

Would the amendment authorize CRA/LA to use condemnation? As part of the Plan, CRA/LA is proposing to establish eminent domain authority over certain properties in the Project Area. As proposed, eminent domain would only be available to acquire property that is not occupied as a legal residence. Residential properties would not be subject to eminent domain.

How would projects be funded in the Project Area?

Tax increment is the primary source of revenue for most redevelopment project areas. When a project area is formed, the property taxes paid establish the baseline within the area. As property values increase over time, the taxes paid over the base are called “tax increment”. Under California law, “tax increment” generated within a defined redevelopment project must be spent within a project area, with the exception of affordable housing or public improvements when there is a demonstrated community benefit such as a local park.


What is the timeline?

The first step was to align the Plan and the Project Area on the same schedule. So, on November 3, 2010 we released a new Notice of Preparation (NOP) to kick start the environmental review process for both the Plan and the Project Area. This new NOP which, by and large, is identical to the NOP released in March 2009, includes a description of the Project Area. On November 1, 2010 City Planning also released a revised draft of the Cornfield Arroyo Seco Specific Plan. This revised Plan, which incorporates the same goals and objectives as the Plan released in March 2009, is reformatted in a way that, we hope, provides a clearer indication of the regulations and standards required of future projects. On November 16, 2010 City Planning and the CRA held two Scoping Meetings, one at 3pm and a second one at 6pm to offer everyone in the community (e.g. agencies, community groups, residents, employees, property owners) an opportunity to ask questions about the Plan, the Project Area and the environmental analysis. Comments are due December 15,2010. The process to establish the Redevelopment Plan will take approximately 9-12 months, involving many public meetings and preparation of detailed reports, such as physical and economic blight analyses. At the conclusion of this effort, a joint public hearing with be held by the CRA/LA and City Council. If jointly approved, a city ordinance will be adopted recognizing the amended Plan. We anticipate releasing the DEIR on May 1, 2010. There will then be a 60 day public comment period which will extend until July 1, 2010. A public hearing on the Plan, Project Area and DEIR will hopefully be held by the City Planning Commission (CPC) on September 8, 2011. The documents will then proceed together to council comittee and ultimately to a joint hearing by the full City Council and the Community Redevelopment board later in the fall of 2011.

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

Community Engagement Workshop September

Workshop December

Workshop February

Workshop November

Workshop March

Workshop October

Establish Community Advisory Committee January

Workshop for Streetscape Plan tbd

Draft Specific Plan Preliminary Draft November

Revised Draft November

Draft March

Environmental Review 2nd Scoping Meeting Revised Initial Study Notice of Preparation November

Scoping Meeting Initial Study Notice of Preparation March

Draft EIR May

Comments Period closed July

Redevelopment Plan CRA June

City Council July

City Planning Commission Preliminary Plan November

Adoption (Plans) City Planning Comission September

City Council tbd


What happened to the goal of being a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-Neighborhood Development (ND) Plan?

The Plan originally applied to participate in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED-ND pilot program and in order to comply with the deadlines of the pilot we needed to submit an application for Pre-Review (Stage 1) in the fall of 2009. On May 5th of this year we were notified that the application had been successful and that the Plan was awarded Pre-Review Approval at the certified level. This meant that the Plan had submitted sufficient documentation to demonstrate compliance with the LEED-ND rating system’s prerequisites and had received 44 points for the first (of three) stages of certification. A copy of approval letter and rating sheet is included in the Appendix 02 Nov 2010 Draft Plan.

Where can I get more information about the Plan and Project Area?

Plan website : http:// cornfieldsla.googlepages.com/ Project Area website : www.crala.org/Projects/Proposed_Cornfield_Arroyo_Seco facebook : http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cornfield-Arroyo-Seco-Specific-Plan/156243451078937

Where can I find a copy of the Plan to read?

Chinatown Library. 639 N. Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 620-0925 Sun. Closed, Mon. Closed, Tue. 12:30-8:00, Wed. 10:00-5:30, Thu. 12:30-8:00, Fri. 10:00-5:30, Sat. 10:00-5:30 Lincoln Heights Library 530 Workman Street, Los Angeles, CA 90031 (323) 226-1692 Sun. Closed, Mon. Closed, Tue. 12:30-8:00, Wed. 10:00-5:30, Thu. 12:30-8:00, Fri. 10:00-5:30, Sat. 10:00-5:30 A copy is also available to view at City Hall, 200 N. Spring Street, Room 721.

Who should I contact if I have any questions about the Plan? Claire Bowin, City Planner 200 N. Spring Street, Room 721 Los Angeles, CA 90012 Claire.bowin@lacity.org 213.473.9987

Who should I contact if questions about the Project Area? CRA/LA Downtown Region Site Office: Jackie Escobedo 448 South Hill Street, Suite 1200 Los Angeles, CA 90013 T (310) 922-7809 www.crala.org

CRA/LA MISSION

We make strategic investments to create economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for the people who live and work in our neighborhoods

CASP FAQ Sheet  

Cornfield Arroyo Seco Specific Plan Frequently Asked Questions

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