During the biggest recession since the Great Depression, Councilmember Huizar was hard at work bringing our local economy back. In initiatives he created to improve the main thoroughfares throughout Council District 14, he has helped lead community resurgences on Broadway and Downtown Los Angeles, York Boulevard in Highland Park, Huntington Drive in El Sereno, First Street in Boyle Heights and Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock.
Bringing Back Broadway and Downtown Los Angeles
Councilmember Huizar launched the groundbreaking 10-year Bringing Back Broadway initiative in 2008 to revitalize one of Los Angeles’ most historic streets. The initiative is comprised of a number of different policies and efforts including economic development; reactivating historic theaters and commercial space (including one-million square feet of empty space on the upper floors); historic preservation and policy that creates a sense of place; an innovative streetscape plan and bringing the beloved streetcar back to Downtown Los Angeles. Under the initiative, thousands of new jobs have been created as the area has experienced a surge in new retail and restaurants, and is becoming a focal point for creative office and boutique hotel development.
New Historic Commercial Reuse Guidelines
Five years in the making, Councilmember Huizar worked diligently with LADBS, LAFD, private sector developers and code experts to create the Historic Commercial Reuse Guidelines, which streamline the City’s former archaic and often-conflicting processes to restore historic buildings.
City’s Largest Road Diet Encourages Pedestrian Activity
The award-winning Broadway Streetscape Master Plan creates wide sidewalks and pedestrian plaza areas along Broadway. This innovative plan also includes business loading zones, additional parking spaces, pedestrian head start crosswalks, as well as red City tables, chairs and umbrellas that are loaned to businesses.
Bring Back the LA Streetcar!
Councilmember Huizar currently leads an effort to bring the beloved Streetcar back to Downtown Los Angeles. Modern streetcars provide residents, workers, and tourists a convenient way to connect to public transit and reach destinations. The Downtown L.A. Streetcar is expected to return massively on its investment, creating 26,000 jobs in the region, $1.6 billion in new development and $303 million in new tax revenue for the City, County and State.
Recode: LA – Overhauling L.A.’s Archaic Zoning Code written in 1946
As Chair of the Planning & Land Use Management (PLUM) committee, Councilmember Huizar is working directly with the City’s Planning Department on re:code LA, an initiative to overhaul the City’s outdated zoning code guidelines. The current code was adopted in 1946 as a simple, 84-page pamphlet but has turned into an unwieldy, 600+ page book that inadequately realizes a 21st Century vision of a better Los Angeles for all residents. The new code will be a document ready to advance Los Angeles forward now and in the future. It will be developed over the next three years and include:
Dynamic Web-Based Zoning Code — Clear and predictable Code that better meets the City’s current and future needs, and that also provides an interactive on-line experience.
Guide to Zoning — Quick reference, easy-to-read guide to the new Code’s land use and development regulations.
Unified Downtown Development Code — New zoning tools customized for the heart of Los Angeles.
Streamlining Sidewalk Dining Permitting
Acknowledging the cumbersome and costly sidewalk dining permit process, Councilmember Huizar introduced legislation to create an easy over-the-counter process for new outdoor dining permits, eliminating the need for on-site inspections and reducing the time and costs it takes to get a permit. It will be piloted in the Historic Core Downtown and eventually expanded district and Citywide.
Regulating Street Vending
Councilmember Huizar is committed to finding an appropriate regulatory process for street vending to ensure safety of consumers, address impacts on brick-and-mortar businesses and allow vendors who follow the rules to participate in the local economy and create regulations to effectively enforce against those who operate illegally.
Building Hotels Downtown
In order for the Los Angeles Convention Center to keep pace with other convention center cities, Downtown Los Angeles needs thousands more hotel rooms. Hotels bring jobs, revenue and much-needed services to the area, which benefits CD14 and the City. With projects like the new Wilshire Grand Hotel – a $1 billion development, 73-story, 900-room hotel with 400,000 square feet of office space – Councilmember Huizar has been at the forefront of expanding hotel and hospitality service in Downtown Los Angeles.