Archive for the ‘2013’ Category

Event Summary – “Remaking The Figueroa Corridor”

April 9, 2014 in 2013 | Comments (0)

Southern California Planning Congress
Event Summary – October 2013

Remaking the Figueroa Corridor
Downtown’s First Complete Street



The Southern California Planning Congress and guests heard a presentation on the Figueroa Corridor from Melani Smith, AICP (President, Director of Planning and Urban Design, Melendrez), and Tim Fremaux, P.E. (Project Manager, Bikeways Section, LA Department of Transportation).

Following a mixer, our guests were formally introduced by Julianna Delgado, AICP, the SCPC President, and the presentation by Melani and Tim began.


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The goals of the project, as explained during the presentation, are to promote economic development, improve the pedestrian, bike, and transit experience, and beautify some of Los Angeles’ most diverse communities within the corridor.


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Melani Smith, AICP introduced the project as a Complete Streets project that, once built, will transform Figueroa Street into a safe and beautiful street for all, where people want to shop, live, work and play.  It will tie together the Financial District of Downtown, a redesigned 11th Street corridor, close-in neighborhoods to the south of the Downtown area, and Exposition Park and the USC campus. 

Funding will be provided by Proposition 1C, and many improvements should be implemented within the year 2014.  The improved infrastructure will support a substantial growth of market-rate and affordable mixed-use housing units and other land uses within the corridor. 

Some segments of the corridor will have a revolutionary transportation element, the cycle track (a fully separated bike facility, which is basically a cross between a bike lane and a bike path), which will potentially include dedicated traffic signal bicycle phasing and special striped bicycle box areas at intersection approaches, to assist with driver visual awareness of bicyclists.  Bicyclists would travel in a separated lane next to the sidewalk, protected from vehicle traffic by transit platforms and physical barriers outside of those areas.  Where pedestrian traffic is high, such as in the vicinity of LA Live, painted but buffered bike lanes would be provided to minimize barriers to pedestrian travel.


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Tim Fremaux, P.E. then discussed the details of the transportation elements of the project and how City review, outreach, and the road to approval had progressed.  The benefits of the project in terms of new multimodal travel options were discussed, with new real estate within the public right-of-way for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users.  Also discussed, however, were the compromises made along the way, including allowing for more vehicle travel lanes than initially envisioned, provide for some improvements to other modes while still providing capacity for this major Downtown artery. 

All told, the transformation of Figueroa Boulevard as a historic vehicle corridor with little room for other modes into a more comfortable roadway for all modes will be amazing and will be first of its kind within the Downtown area.  It will be the first Complete Streets-type project to be implemented there.

We learned so much about this upcoming corridor project that will literally connect disparate areas of the City.  It is yet another piece of good news for the future of Downtown Los Angeles and nearby neighborhoods.



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We look forward to its implementation, and wish Melani and Tim well as they work to implement the Plan!


See you again soon at Taix!


Project updates can be found at:







SCPC invites friends and colleagues – Annual Holiday Mixer on 12/8!

November 23, 2013 in 2013 | Comments (0)

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Join the Southern California
Planning Congress for the



Sunday, December 8th, 2:00 pm



Castle Green print

The SCPC invites friends and colleagues to our annual holiday mixer by touring one of Old Pasadena’s most historic residential buildings, Castle Green, and holiday cheer at The Otis Bar, La Grande Orange Cafe, a part of the Gold Line’s Del Mar Station.

Join us outside the Castle Green entrance, at 99 South Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, where we will gather before the tour, and immediately after for a short walk to La Grande Orange Cafe, at 260 South Raymond Avenue, to continue our “no host” festivities.

Download the event flyer for more information.

Ticket and other tour information is available at




SCPC Event Summary – “Parking Reform Made Easy”

November 22, 2013 in 2013 | Comments (0)

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Southern California Planning Congress
Event Summary – July 2013

Parking Reform Made Easy



After the initial meet-and-greet at Taix French Restaurant, Dr. Richard Willson, Chair of Cal Poly Pomona’s Department of Urban & Regional Planning, presented at dinner his recently released book, entitled Parking Reform Made Easy.


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His presentation focused on the reform ideas he discusses in the book, and the basis for how changes in parking codes can be beneficial to the environment. The typical regional shopping mall and office complex were discussed in terms of requirements and typical land dedicated to parking in such developments.

Within commercial districts especially, with multiple on-street and off-street parking options, searching for a space even with an oversupply of parking spaces wastes valuable land, damages the environment, and actually deters development and revitalization due to land costs.

He also discussed the outdated nature of minimum parking requirements, along with the potential to reform them to support planning goals to create vibrant cities. Dr. Willson’s talk also focused on the process of codifying regulations and how to work with stakeholders to avoid political conflicts.


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After his presentation, Dr. Willson signed copies of his book . He also brought along to display some of his oil paintings, done in the plein air style, all based on Los Angeles urban environments and transportation.


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We thank Rick for the presentation and discussion, both highly valuable to local agency planners and consultants alike, and wish him well with distribution of his new book! 





SCPC Event Summary – “Here Comes the LA Streetcar!”

in 2013 | Comments (0)

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Southern California Planning Congress
Event Summary – March 2013

Here Comes the LA Streetcar!
Heading into Downtown’s Future


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Carol Schatz and Shiraz Tangri presented the latest news on the LA Streetcar project in the Art Deco-themed Bar Fedora room of First & Hope, an upscale Downtown restaurant.


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Carol and Shiraz focused on the detailed framework for the local property tax funding source and the related political campaign, as well as the burgeoning downtown residential population, growing local commercial economy, and the need to complement future development with the Streetcar. Carol is President & Chief Executive Officer of the Central City Association of Los Angeles and Downtown Center Business Improvement District, and is a Member of the Board of the Community Facilities District. Shiraz Tangri is with the legal firm Alston & Bird, and is the general counsel for LA Streetcar Inc.


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In December 2012, the Downtown Los Angeles community voted to approve a Community Facilities District (CFD) to provide matching funds to finance the proposed LA Streetcar Project. The Streetcar will link the Civic Center to the Historic Core along Broadway and the LA Live Entertainment District. The project’s goal is to help transform Downtown into a lively live, work, and play destination.

After an introduction to the project and our speakers by Bob Fazio of the Southern California Planning Congress Board, Carol presented an in-depth overview of the growth in downtown since a revitalization of various neighborhoods began in the early 1990s. The growth in residential units, and the ongoing permitting of new residential projects, was very informative and quite astounding. The foundational anchors of the downtown area, the new burgeoning cultural icons, and how the LA Streetcar will tie them altogether, were the motivational high-notes of Carol’s presentation.


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Shiraz discussed the nuts-and-bolts of the project: how it was funded, how the local tax initiative was spearheaded and championed, and how it will be built in terms of new technologies and the intricate route to be woven through existing downtown roadways. The project would link the Civic Center, the historic Broadway corridor, and the LA Live entertainment complex. Special technology, if feasible with final project engineering, would allow the Streetcar to operate without overhead wires. The project would be the first Los Angeles transit project to be owned and operated by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, and future extensions could provide direct service to the Music Center.


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All in all, it was an extremely informative evening, rich with highly motivational subject matter for any champion of the future of Downtown Los Angeles.




Streetcar project updates can be found at:



A Big Thank You to Tony Perez for “The State of the Art – Form Based Codes” event

May 1, 2013 in 2013 | Comments (0)

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SCPC would like to give a big thank you to Tony Perez,
for an entertaining and informative presentation and discussion. 




The State of the Art –

Form Based Codes


Do They Work? How Do We Adopt Them?

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Meet and Greet at 6:30 p.m., Dinner at 7:00 p.m.

Taix French Restaurant:
1911 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Download the Event Flyer



Form based codes embody an expressive power.  Exceeding the influence of traditional zoning, this artful place-making tool applies principles and regulations to shape a place’s character, whether neighborhood or city. The resulting high quality urban fabric is achieved by a public process that articulates a community’s unique vision by identifying regulations representing the building blocks of community: form, scale and massing, streets, and public space. 

Planners, architects, urbanists and all those who value well-designed places should attend this event.  The presentation and discussion, led by one of the nation’s leading practitioners of form based codes, will focus on the following topics:


  • Where have form based codes helped shape city place-making?
  • Where do form based codes provide benefits beyond zoning and specific plans?
  • What are the key steps for successful adoption and implementation?


Our guest speaker:

Tony Perez

Director of Form-Based Coding, Opticos Design, Inc.
Instructor, The Form Based Code Institute, CFD District




Dinner entrees include fresh French baguette, Soup of the day,
Organic greens with house vinaigrette dressing, Fresh vegetable,
and Rice or potato.


With one of the following selections:

Coq au Vin –
Traditional French dish of chicken cooked in a red wine sauce with mushrooms.

Beef Bourguignon –
Tender pieces of beef in Burgundy wine mushroom sauce.

Pasta Monegasque –
Penne paste with tomatoes, garlic, basil and olive oil.


All with Sherbet and Coffee or tea.



** On-line registration has closed. **

Registration at the event is available (via checks only), for an additional $10 and is not guaranteed.

Registration refunds or credits will not be provided.

Download the Event Flyer
(If you did not receive the event email)



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