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Artist's rendering of Phase 1 of the proposed HLC project overhead view from Beryl and Flagler.
COMMENT on the Redondo Beach Draft General Plan by April 15
SUPPORT the proposed max. 0.75 FAR for public land that limits the size and density of development on public land and protects residents and open space.

BCHD is making a BIG DEAL about the Redondo Beach Draft General Plan. Their issue focuses on land use, specifically for what can be built on public land.


What’s the issue?


BCHD claims they are being singled out for a floor area ratio (FAR) of 0.75 by the City of Redondo Beach. Tom Bakaly, CEO of BCHD states if the FAR is approved "as is" in the General Plan, they will not be able to build their HLC as planned (e.g., Phase 1 includes a nearly 300,000 sq. ft. privately owned RCFE structure). This FAR limit for public institutional land has been in the Draft General Plan since 2022.


The Draft General Plan sets the development standards of the City, for now and for future decades. The plan clearly shows that instead of being singled out, BCHD is pushing hard to be the exception for their overdevelopment plans.


The 0.75 FAR applies to all Public Institutional (PI) land parcels. Only two exceptions exist: the City of Redondo Beach City Hall and Annex. (On those two city-owned public properties the City has the ability to build to a maximum 1.25 FAR). Approximately 20 parcels are zoned Public Institution (PI) and are under the same 0.75 FAR.


Importantly, all are subject to the Planning Commission Design Review. (See excerpt below from Table 2-1 Land Use, page 2-11 of the Draft General Plan.)


Why Comment?


The City has solicited and will take into consideration public comments until April 15, 2024. The Draft General Plan will go to the Planning Commission and then the Redondo Beach City Council for review and approval, and must then be put on a ballot for a public vote. YOUR comment is very important.


Information to consider for comments

  • The proposed maximum FAR of 0.75 for public land sets reasonable limits on the size and density of development on public land and protects residents and open space.

  • The state mandated "objective" standards in planning and design requirements and removing to the extent possible "subjective" standards. General plan updates on FAR for PI land are comply with the mandates.

  • Increasing the FAR would set a damaging precedence for overdevelopment on public land now, and for the future. No single public entity should be given an exception to the limit.

  • BCHD’s development plans have always been in conflict with Redondo Beach municipal code in scale, mass and compatibility with the surrounding neighborhoods that encompass the site.

  • The Public Institutional 0.75 FAR limit has been in the plan since 2022 and was subject to review for three GPAC meetings between 2022 and 2024. The Chair of the GPAC, who is also a paid consultant to BCHD, approved the plan in 2024. 

  • Public land is designated to serve the residents, not private developers and a majority of non-residents.

  • The plan includes an Adjacent Planned Land Use consideration that requires an awareness of relationship to uses in adjacent cities. The Torrance neighborhood directly to the east of the BCHD site is subject to the Torrance Hillside Ordinance (click for details).




What is Floor Area Ratio (FAR)?

FAR measures the ratio of a building’s floor area in relation to the size of the lot/parcel it’s on. It’s the amount of building divided by size of lot. It determines the bulk or mass of building volume on a development site. Higher FARs indicate greater building volume.For instance, a FAR of 0.75 means 75% of the lot can be developed with a single story.


General Plan and GPAC

In 2016, the City initiated a focused General Plan update to shape the goals and policies that serve as the City’s foundation for growth and development over the subsequent 20-30 years. The effort has been informed by community input and guided by a General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC) . The GPAC was comprised of 27 Redondo Beach residents appointed by the Mayor and City Council who have provided input throughout the planning process, concluding with their final meeting in January of 2024. 


The focused General Plan update consists of four (4) elements: Land Use, Open Space and Conservation, Safety, and Noise.


How is the General Plan used?

  • As a Tool used for decision making: Goals and Policies for what can be developed in the city

  • Covers all areas and uses within a city and includes:

    • Plan diagrams (maps)oGoals (general, broad)

    • Policies – action-oriented, represents city commitment, focused

    • Implementation Programs – actions carrying out policies


Redondo Beach General Plan Vision 2050 & Guiding Principles (Ref: presentation on Draft General Plan – 3/27/25)

  • Quality of Life & Beach Culture

  • Small Town Feel

  • Community & Family

  • Preservation of Neighborhoods

  • Mobility

  • Beach, Harbor & Waterfront

  • Culture & Education

  • Business & Technology

  • Civic Engagement


Adjacent Planned Land Use (Ref: presentation on Draft General Plan – 3/27/25)

  • Awareness of relationship to uses in adjacent cities

  • Transitions between land uses in Redondo Beach, such as:

  • Commercial Corridors to multifamily residential and single-family residential neighborhoods.


To find out more, visit PlanRedondo.

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