The Little Tokyo CDO process started in 2006 with the goal of promoting pedestrian-friendly developments while also preserving the historical and cultural identity of Little Tokyo, one of the oldest ethnic enclaves in the city.
The proposed CDO includes extensive design and function guidelines, from entrance orientation to exterior materials and colors. Nearly every exterior change to a Little Tokyo building will be required to submit an application to the CDO staff for review.
The city already has 19 CDOs; the Little Tokyo would be the 20th and is the only draft CDO currently under development.
The proposed CDO has already gone through several rounds of public meetings and approvals, including an endorsement from the City Planning Commission in August. But since the CPC approval, the Planning Department has modified the boundaries of the CDO to reflect public input.
Comments received on the Little Tokyo CDO guidelines at a Planning Department public hearing last February were "almost exclusively in support" of the changes, according to the staff report. It was at that hearing where many supporters of the CDO asked that the boundaries be expanded to include significant Japanese historic and cultural institutions such as the Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, Zenshuji Soto Mission, and St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church.
The modified map adds most of the block east of Alameda Street between Temple and 1st streets. It also proposes to remove most of the parcels on the south side of 3rd Street between Los Angeles and Alameda streets.
The proposed CDO still needs support from the City Council and Mayor's office before it can be enacted.
Limited Public Hearing notice: Feb. 4
Draft Little Tokyo Community Design Overlay District
City Planning Commission report