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  • Writer's pictureKristina Smith

2021 Update on Density Bonus Project Processing

The Department of City Planning has undertaken new efforts to facilitate the production of affordable housing units and help address the local housing crisis. From here on out, new projects requesting on-menu Density Bonus incentives will be processed ministerially, consistent with State law. This procedural change will also apply to qualifying projects that are currently in the pipeline.

In addition to providing more housing, the ministerial review of on-menu Density Bonus projects is intended to encourage applicants to propose projects closer in scale with the surrounding neighborhood. To be eligible as a ministerial project, the applicant can only request on-menu incentives as defined under the State’s Density Bonus Program. It is important to note that these projects will continue to go through planning review, receive a Letter of Determination, and will still be subject to an appeal process.

It is important to note that the procedures for projects requesting off-menu Density Bonus will remain unchanged. These projects will remain subject to CEQA and consideration by the City Planning Commission. Similarly, projects located within a plan overlay will still need to undergo discretionary review, regardless of whether they are requesting on- or off-menu incentives, as well as on-menu Density Bonus applications requesting multiple planning entitlements.

For additional information, contact the Housing Services Unit at

About the Density Bonus Program

The Density Bonus is a State-mandated housing incentive program created to promote mixedincome housing with on-site affordable units. A developer who meets the requirements of the State law is entitled to receive Density Bonus and other benefits as a matter of right. Over the years, Los Angeles’s Density Bonus Program has helped incentivize affordable housing units, along with the City’s Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) Incentive Program.


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