What is a General Plan?

The General Plan is the City’s governing document for decision making related to community development, including land use, transportation components, and essential facilities.  The City’s General Plan identifies the Gateway District as a major activity center that “will be transformed from an industrial area into a retail, entertainment and transit-oriented mixed use District that serves as the visual gateway to South Gate.” The South Gate Gateway District Specific Plan will be consistent with the General Plan and will provide a framework for the implementation of goals, objectives, and policies outlined within the General Plan.

What is a Specific Plan?

A Specific Plan is a comprehensive planning document used to implement a city’s General Plan and to guide development in a specific area or “district”. While the City’s General Plan is the primary guide for overall community development, the Specific Plan is geared towards a specific zone such as the Gateway District.  To ensure the plan reflects the communities’ future vision for the study area, the development process is completed in collaboration with local residential and business communities.  Specific Plans currently being developed in other areas of the City include the Hollydale Specific Plan and the Tweedy Boulevard Specific Plan.

What is Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)?

Transit-oriented development is compact, urban development typically within ½ mile radius (10-minute walk) from a transit station, that includes a mix of uses like housing, offices, retail, restaurants, and entertainment designed to maximize access to public transportation. Uses are integrated into a pedestrian-friendly setting that enables people to live, work, and play within walking distance of a transit center. Opportunities are provided for people to access the transit (train or bus) station in a variety of ways, making walking, biking, taking the bus, or driving to the station practical and highly usable. TODs locate people, retail, and services near transit to make life more convenient, affordable, and active. Each place is unique, and the combination of uses within South Gate should be designed to meet the needs of South Gate residents. The types of retail, services, commercial area, housing and open space will be determined through the Specific Plan process and input of residents like you.

What are some benefits of TOD?

There are numerous benefits to TOD.  TOD creates walkable vibrant, communities that are conducive to active and healthier lifestyles.  Because TOD is developed in conjunction with a transit system, congestion and air pollution are lessened and access to jobs and economic opportunities is increased. 

How will TOD improve the environment?

Transit-oriented development is a proven means for reducing carbon emissions as it minimizes the amount of vehicles on the road.  Reducing carbon emissions is crucial to ensuring residents continue to enjoy a healthy environment. 

What is Eco-rapid Transit?

Eco-Rapid Transit is a transit system that will link economic development and transportation via a 40-mile corridor from Bob Hope Airport to the City of Artesia.  The corridor is broken up into two sections: 20-miles from Bob Hope Airport to Downtown Los Angeles and 20 miles from Downtown Los Angeles to the City of Artesia; the latter portion is known as the West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor (WSAB).  Transit via the WSAB, which runs through South Gate, is expected to carry up to 70, 000 daily passengers by 2040. 

What are the benefits of Eco-Rapid Transit?

The Eco-Rapid transit system will connect 4 million residents to the Los Angeles regional transportation system, including Metrolink.  This system would link the cities of Artesia, Cerritos, Lakewood, Paramount, Bellflower, Norwalk, Lynwood, Downey, South Gate, Cudahy, Bell, Bell Gardens, Commerce, Hunting Park, Maywood and Vernon to Metro’s Red, Purple, Blue and Gold Lines.  Because the system is environmentally friendly and energy efficient, it will significantly reduce our carbon footprint. The system will create almost 60,000 jobs during construction and thousands more long-term positions once the system is fully integrated.

What is South Gate’s role in planning the future rail system?

The City of South Gate is one of 12 cities that make up the Members Agency along with the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority. Although the project is in the planning stages, the current alignment crosses the city of South Gate along with Artesia, Cerritos, Bellflower, Paramount, Downey, South Gate, Cudahy, Bell, Huntington Park, Maywood and Vernon.  The rail transit project in in the planning stages with advanced conceptual engineering design and environmental clearance scheduled to begin in 2016.

Where will stations be located?

Currently, there are up to 16 Eco-Rapid Transit stations being considered within the corridor section south of Downtown Los Angeles.  Some cities within the corridor have identified station locations and design while others, like South Gate, are still in the planning stages of their station location. Generally, the station is planned to be located along the rail line within the Specific Plan boundary, north of Firestone Boulevard.

How long before the Eco-Rapid system is operational?

The 40 mile system will need to undergo a full environmental assessment and subsequent engineering and design phases.  The WASB portion of the system is expected to be operational by 2027.

Why do we need TOD in South Gate when Eco-Rapid Transit might not be built for another 10 plus years?

Even where a transit system may not be present for many years, the design and function of TODs make for good neighborhoods. TODs support housing, shopping, and employment along a network of walkable and bikeable streets, within a short walk of a transit station, which can include a bus depot or stop.

How much will the Eco-Rapid Transit service cost to build and how will it be paid for?

The project is in the feasibility phase and a preliminary cost estimate will be developed and refined as part of separate study.  The WASB portion of the corridor has an initial allocation of $240 million from the voter-approved Measure R. 

How can residents get involved in the Specific Plan process?

There are several ways South Gate residents and business owners can get involved in the planning process.  You can access project information via the City of South Gate website as well as the Facebook page and Twitter handle.  The City will also be hosting three public meetings for residents and business owners.