Los Angeles Metro has been focusing more and more on housing recently, moving to put more affordable housing land near transit and singling out good opportunities to build more residential developments near rail lines, in order to keep housing affordable for the people who are most likely to use public transit. Now Metro's selected seven sites around LA County where it's hoping to see more affordable housing and commercial developments that link up with transit, KPCC says. Metro is looking beyond transit-oriented development to "transit-oriented communities," a kind of upgraded version of the former that focuses more on integrating transit into neighborhood life so that the two mutually benefit each other.
Metro's using MacArthur Park and Hollywood as examples of how TOCs look in real life, and they're going to try and nurture that mix of transit-accessible affordable residential and other destinations in the area around seven parcels they own near transit hubs and stations in Burbank, North Hollywood, Willowbrook, Crenshaw, Duarte, and El Monte, plus at Union Station in Downtown LA. Metro has already committed to making sure that 35 percent of the housing that rises on Metro land is classified affordable, but this shift to transit-oriented communities "aims to expand that effort further into neighborhoods beyond Metro's properties."
As a Metro introduction to the concept explains, their TOC effort is "a comprehensive approach to creating compact, walkable and bikeable places in a community context" that would also, in theory, help boost ridership and hopefully prevent people who live around transit from getting gentrified out as transit-close locations become more desirable. These seven sites were selected as "demonstration" locations because they have the best potential to showcase the new TOC approach.
Metro will need to seek zoning changes for many of the lots and, oh yeah, it doesn't have funding yet to develop the land, but agency officials emphasize that zeroing in on these sites is just "the beginning of a years-long process to tie together transportation and communities and ensure people who rely on transit have easy access to it." Metro plans to work with local governments, private developers, and local stakeholders to "expand development goals in a two-mile radius of transit stations."
A more detailed look at each site follows: