In 2013, Los Angeles incorporated a voluntary approach to inclusionary housing in its new, transit-oriented land use plan for an up-and-coming industrial area of the city where the Los Angeles River and Arroyo Seco converge. The Cornfield Arroyo Seco Specific Plan (CASP) offers significantly higher density for predominantly residential developments that include a percentage of affordable rentals or for-sale housing.

The CASP sets baseline floor area ratio (FAR) limits at 1.5 for predominantly residential developments with more than 15 units, but increases the maximum FAR in most areas to 3.0 or 3.15 (depending on the district), if the developer reserves five percent of the units for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI, 11 percent for households earning less than 50 percent of AMI or 20 percent for households up to 80 percent of AMI.

This decision to set baseline FAR limits at 1.5 was motivated by a third-party pro-forma analysis that found that density incentives applied to higher baseline FARs would be unappealing for developers.

As of January 2015, no new developments had been built under the CASP, a year and a half into its implementation, but senior city planner Claire Bowin reported that two mixed-income projects were moving forward with plans that included affordable housing.

For More Info:

Claire Bowin, Los Angeles Department of City Planning
Email: [email protected]