As part of its proposed update of the Florence-Firestone Community Plan, which governs land use in the unincorporated territory and Huntington Park, Los Angeles County officials are proposing to rezone a portion of Florence Avenue to encourage new investment along the corridor.

The proposed zone changes would affect an approximately one-mile segment of Florence, bounded by Central Avenue on the west and the City of Huntington Park on the east.  The street is currently characterized by a mix of one- and two-story commercial buildings, shaped by the existing zoning laws that allow retail and restaurant uses by-right, but not multifamily residential.

The new community plan aims to change this by introducing a "Mixed-Use Development Zone" along the length of the corridor.  This designation would allow for taller, multi-use buildings featuring apartments or condos above ground-level retail space.  Residential density under the MXD zone is capped at 150 dwelling units per acre, with a maximum floor area ration of 3:1.  Individual projects could exceed some density and height standards by consolidating multiple parcels into larger development sites.

Although little ground-up construction has occurred along this stretch of Florence in recent years, one project on County-owned land could serve as a catalyst.  Earlier this year, AMCAL Multi-Housing revealed plans to construct a 116-unit senior affordable housing complex at the current site of the Florence Library - which would relocate into the ground-floor of the proposed development.  The proposed five-story development matches the scale and density which is entailed in the community plan update.

The Florence-Firestone neighborhood is also notable in that it includes three stations on Metro's Blue Line, which travels north-to-south along the eastern side of the community.  L.A. County has introduced transit-oriented specific plans for other stations in unincorporated communities - such as Willowbrook and Vermont/Athens - but has yet to do so for any in the Florence area.

The Florence-Firestone Community Plan was reviewed by the L.A. County Regional Planning Commission earlier this month and is still subject to approval by the Board of Supervisors.

Image via L.A. County Department of Regional Planning