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LAX Northside Plan Update
Los Angeles, CA


Bob Hale
Jennifer Schab
Andy Lantz
Michael Martinez
Elisa Read


The LAX Northside site is 340 acres, 3 miles long and half a mile wide. It descends 25 feet on average from the residential neighborhood of Westchester on its northern border to the north runway of LAX at its southern border. Within the half mile between the western border of the site and the Pacific Ocean, lies a preserve of buckwheat that supports the native Blue El Segundo Butterfly.

In the 1960’s, with grants from the FAA, LAWA purchased the single family homes that today comprise the LAX Northside site. The land was razed with the understanding that the area would eventually be put to productive use for the community and introduce measures to mitigate noise between the airport and intact residential areas. In 1989, design guidelines were developed for the site that would entitle 4,500,000 square feet of mixed use development.
At the same time, a specific plan for airport expansion was developed and eventually released in 2004. Based on traffic and other mitigating factors, the LAX Specific Plan reduced the allowable development of LAX Northside by half, thus prompting this update of the original 1989 guidelines. Audits are currently underway at airports across the country, including this one, to repay the FAA grants by monetizing the vacant land with viable development. The LAX Northside Design Guidelines Update present a clear set of new land uses and implementation strategies designed to make the best use of an urban site for economic development, while supporting the interests of its stakeholders including: LAWA and the FAA, Westchester BID, environmental stewards, future developers, and above all, residential communities that tolerate the on-going expansion of an international airport.