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Executive Directive 1 (ED1) Project Breakdown

About this post: Mayor Karen Bass implemented the Executive Directive 1 (ED1) Mandate to address the growing issue of housing affordability in LA. While ATC has analyzed application growth, it’s time to delve into the composition of ED1 projects. How many units are being proposed? What types of units? And at what affordability level?

 

Executive Directive 1 (ED1)

Understanding the ED1 Mandate

LA Mayor Karen Bass has implemented Executive Directive 1 (ED1) to address the growing issue of housing affordability in the city. Under ED1, LA city departments must complete the pre-construction review process for all 100 percent affordable housing developments within 60 days and issue building permits within five days.

Eligible projects receive expedited processing, clearances, and approvals through the ED1 Ministerial Approval Process. These projects are exempt from discretionary review as long as they do not require any legislative action (e.g., General Plan Amendment, Zone Change, or Height District Change) or entitlements (outside of Density Bonus or Transit Oriented Communities) to modify otherwise applicable objective standards (e.g., an adjustment, variance, or specific plan exception).

Under ED1, a “100% affordable housing project” is defined as a project with five or more units where:

ATC Analysis

ATC arrives at its findings using publicly available data from the City of Los Angeles based on biweekly case reports from Los Angeles City Planning.

ATC’s analysis only covers Administrative Review (ADM) planning cases submitted from December 2022 to the end of February 2024 (including some projects legacied into the process). Not all of these projects have been approved. ED1 applications also submit a pre-application review (PAR) to check for eligibility before an ADM as part of the LA City Planning review process.

Numbers may vary slightly depending on whether an application has been terminated or withdrawn since the publication of this data. Also, some projects do not include project plans with unit or affordability breakdowns; instead, we have noted the total number for those analyses.

Interested in the number of approved ED1 applications and the average approval timelines? We’ve undertaken that analysis here.

A Permanent ED1 Ordinance

In Fall 2023, Los Angeles City Planning prepared a proposed Affordable Housing Streamlining Ordinance to amend the Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) and codify the ED1 review process.

Read more from the City of LA here. The ordinance introduces new limits on the type of waivers and incentives that may be requested under ED1, including a limit on the number—a maximum of 5 on-or off-menu incentives and up to one waiver. Requests for decreases in required open space and bicycle parking beyond 50 percent have also been eliminated. The limitation on floor area ratio (FAR) increases in residential zones was increased to a minimum of 3.5:1. The new ordinance also prohibits single-family zones from using the ED1 entitlement pathway, which was not explicitly forbidden in the original order. As a result, a revised order was issued earlier this year. Before the announcement, several applications for ED1 projects in single-family zones had been submitted for approval.

In a 5-1 vote, the Los Angeles City Planning Commission approved on November 16 a draft ordinance that would provide permanent streamlining for eligible affordable housing developments. It will go to the LA City Council for approval in Spring 2024.

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