Related Plans & Programs

About Related Plans & Programs

The Land Use Element provides the framework within which the city makes all of its development decisions. Because the Land Use Element scope is necessarily broad, addressing the entire city over a 20-year planning period, the city adopts detailed plans and ordinances to set forth specific standards for development and project design. These regulatory documents, described below, include the city's zoning ordinance, specific plans which encompass limited geographic areas, and redevelopment plans.

Because the land use decisions that Monterey Park makes affect surrounding jurisdictions, and in turn, the choices and policy stances adopted by neighboring cities impact Monterey Park, regional governance agencies have prepared plans focused on addressing issues of regional concern, including land use, air quality, transportation, and affordable housing.

Zoning Ordinance

The city's zoning ordinance, which is part of the Municipal Code, divides the city into areas, called zoning districts, and establishes regulations for each district with respect to permitted uses, allowable density, building height, development character, etc. The zoning ordinance consists of a map that delineates the zone district boundaries, plus text that explains the purposes of each district, specifies permitted and conditional uses, and establishes development and performance standards.

The zoning ordinance serves as the primary implementation tool for the Land Use Element and the goals and policies it contains. Under California law, the zoning ordinance must be consistent with the General Plan.

Specific Plans 

A specific plan can be prepared for any defined geographic area which might benefit from special land use regulations and development standards. Specific plans can be used to concentrate (or prohibit) particular types of land uses, establish distinctive design themes, provide for phased development, or provide incentives for privately initiated redevelopment activity.

In the 1980s, Monterey Park adopted specific plans for four commercial areas: North Atlantic Boulevard, Mid-Atlantic, Garvey / Garfield, and South Garfield. Each plan set forth land use policies, design standards, and development incentives for these focus areas. The Land Use Plan section of this Element discusses these plans.

Design Guidelines

The city has adopted design guidelines for new construction and redevelopment within the commercial and industrial business districts. By requiring development projects to adhere to standards of quality design, the city looks to improve the overall character and function of these important business areas. The guidelines are written as a user-friendly "kit-of-parts" intended to reinforce specific design themes of the various business districts. The guidelines define common design elements that property owners choose from when planning rehabilitation efforts or designing new projects. Elements include lighting, building / shape form, awnings / eyebrows, materials, screening / landscaping, color, signage, storefront system / windows, and roof / parapet. The city's Design Review Board meets regularly to review and act on development applications subject to design review.

Redevelopment Plans

Since 1972, the city has adopted and amended several redevelopment plans, with the goal of encouraging investment in key commercial areas and employment centers. Virtually all nonresidential properties in Monterey Park lie within a redevelopment project area.

Regional Comprehensive Plan and Guide

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) undertakes regional planning efforts for the six-county SCAG region which includes Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, and Imperial counties. SCAG's efforts focus on developing strategies to minimize traffic congestion, protect environmental quality, and provide adequate housing throughout the SCAG region. The Regional Comprehensive Plan and Guide - developed with active participation from local agencies, elected officials, the business community, community groups, private institutions, and private citizens - sets forth broad goals and objectives intended to be implemented by participating jurisdictions and agencies such the South Coast Air Quality Management District and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Air Quality Management Plan 

The federal Clean Air Act requires preparation of plans to improve air quality in any region designated as a non-attainment area. (A non-attainment area is a geographic area identified by the Environmental Protection Agency and / or California Air Resources Board as not meeting state or federal standards for a given pollutant). The plan must outline specific programs and strategies ?and timelines for bringing the area into compliance with national and / or state air quality standards. The Air Quality Management Plan prepared by the South Coast Air Quality Management District, first adopted in 1994 and updated on a three year cycle, contains policies and measures designed to achieve federal and state standards for healthier air quality in the South Coast Air Basin. The assumptions and programs contained in the Plan draw directly from regional goals, objectives, and assumptions contained in SCAG's Regional Comprehensive Plan and Guide.