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The Citywide Adaptive Reuse Ordinance

March 20 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am PDT

AIA|LA Presents…

The Citywide Adaptive Reuse Ordinance: Roundtable Discussion



CLICK HERE FOR YouTube Recording

Los Angeles City Planning just released the second draft of the Citywide Adaptive Reuse Ordinance, expanding adaptive reuse incentives that were once exclusively available in Downtown, Hollywood, Wilshire, Lincoln Heights, the Figueroa Corridor, and Central Avenue to the entire City, significantly expanding the pool of buildings eligible for zoning incentives. The new Citywide Adaptive Reuse Ordinance is a housing policy that aims to address our critical housing shortage, helps to shore up existing commercial properties confronting unprecedented vacancy rates, and provides a sustainable alternative to new, ground-up construction by repurposing existing buildings. 

Please join AIA|LA and LA City Planning’s Urban Design Studio in a conversation about the future of adaptive reuse in Los Angeles and how the design community can help shape the policies as they are being developed.

Please review the draft ordinance and come prepared to share your feedback, ideas, and recommendations for how to ensure a highly effective & feasible city policy.

CLICK HERE to read more on LACP’s website about the newly released citywide Adaptive Reuse 2.0 draft ordinance and how this connects to the larger, more comprehensive Housing Element Rezoning Program.


Current Zoning Code, Ch. 1
New Zoning Code, Ch. 1A
Fact Sheet (March 2024)

Please note:  this will be a virtual roundtable hosted on AIA|LA’s Zoom account.

  • This roundtable was originally scheduled for Thursday, February 29 (10am) – however, it has been rescheduled to better accommodate the scheduled release of the 2nd draft of the AR ordinance.

Featured Speakers:

Ken Bernstein, AICP – Principal City Planner, Office of Historic Resources and Urban Design Studio, Los Angeles City Planning

Ken Bernstein, AICP is a Principal City Planner for the Los Angeles City Planning, for which he leads the department’s Office of Historic Resources. He serves as a lead staff member for the City’s Cultural Heritage Commission, has overseen the completion of SurveyLA, a multi-year citywide survey of historic resources, and has led the creation of a comprehensive historic preservation program for Los Angeles. He also oversees the Department’s Urban Design Studio and has previously directed other policy planning initiatives, including work on Community Plan updates, housing policy, and mobility planning.

He previously served for eight years as Director of Preservation Issues for the Los Angeles Conservancy. He has a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs and Urban and Regional Planning from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, and a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University. He is the author of the book Preserving Los Angeles: How Historic Places Can Transform America’s Cities (2021).

Michelle LevySenior City Planner, Urban Design Studio, Los Angeles City Planning

Michelle is a Senior City Planner with the City of Los Angeles’ Planning Department where she co-leads the City’s Urban Design Studio – an interdisciplinary team of planners, urban designers, and architects creating a more vibrant and walkable public realm and elevating the quality of design throughout Los Angeles. She is passionate about the value of thoughtful, human-centered planning and design in improving the quality of our daily lives, and the importance of interdisciplinary approaches to achieve good design outcomes.

Her current work advances key urban policy strategies including a Citywide Adaptive Reuse Ordinance to help facilitate the conversion of existing buildings for new housing; the Healthy Building, Healthy Places initiative supporting healthy building design and climate-adapted site planning in new projects; and the recent launch of the Low Rise Design Lab to help accelerate small-scale housing development. Before joining the City of Los Angeles in 2006, Michelle worked in New York City and the Bay Area. She holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from Columbia University and an undergraduate degree in Architecture from UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design. Outside of work, Michelle is pursuing graduate studies in Landscape Architecture at UCLA.

Holly Harper, AIAPlanning Assistant, Urban Design Studio, Los Angeles City Planning

Ms. Harper joined Los Angeles City Planning’s Urban Design Studio after fifteen years in the non-profit sector, focused on urban forestry and active transportation. She received her BArch from SCI-Arc, is a licensed architect, and worked to build the City’s first green street (2007), on Oros Street and in Steelhead Park along the Los Angeles River, in collaboration with the City of Los Angeles’ Bureau of Street Services.

Holly is passionate about increasing community resiliency in the face of climate change by enhancing shade and local habitat value, plus infiltrating water within the public realm. She currently lives near downtown in the community of Cypress Park and has been car-free for over fifteen years.




Virtual on Zoom