Frequently asked questions


What is OurLA2040?

OurLA2040 is citywide effort to comprehensively update the City’s General Plan in order to address the changing needs of a diverse population and geography. This is the first major General Plan update in almost 50 years, providing Angelenos a momentous opportunity to shape the City’s most vital planning document.

What is a General Plan?

The State of California and the Los Angeles City Charter require the City to create and adopt a General Plan. The General Plan must include certain mandatory topics, called Elements, but each city has the ability to reorganize or include additional topics based on needs and values. Each Element contains a declaration of goals, objectives, and programs that guide and establish the future form and development of the City.

As  the heart and foundation of the City’s long-range planning endeavors, the General Plan provides guidance on where and how the city responds to and prepares for change. It is the foundation upon which City Departments and the City Council rely on to determine policy priorities and make informed decisions on projects.

Additional background information on the City’s General Plan can be found here

The city recently adopted three General Plan elements. Will those elements also be updated?

The Housing Element 2013-2021 (adopted 12/3/13), Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles (adopted 4/1/15), and Mobility Plan 2035 (adopted 1/20/16) are not a part of the OurLA2040 effort though there might be instances where some policies will be revisited.

What is the relationship between the General Plan, Community Plans, and the Zoning Code?

The General Plan frames an overarching vision and sets citywide policies, while Community Plans establish complementary local policies unique to each community. The zoning code establishes the variety of zones available to each Community Plan to identify the appropriate form and use at the district and parcel level, based on neighborhood scale and context.

The City of Los Angeles is geographically divided into 35 Community Plan areas (and two Special Purpose Districts: Port of Los Angeles and Los Angeles World Airports). The City has embarked on a separate, but related, effort to update these plans. Additionally, re:code LA is preparing a new zoning code that will be available for Community Plan to use in their update efforts and to help implement the vision of the updated General Plan.

What is CEQA and how does it relate to the General Plan?

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) helps cities determine if a project will have adverse environmental impacts and defines procedures required for each project to complete the CEQA process.

How long will it take to update the General Plan?

The General Plan update process is estimated to conclude in 2020. Please refer to this project website for regular updates and details on the timeline.