Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning

Hillside Management Area (HMA) Ordinance

A Component of General Plan 2035 General Plan


Contact Information

For more information about the HMA Ordinance, please call our public counter at (213) 974-6411, or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


The Hillside Management Areas (HMA) Ordinance is a component of the General Plan, which was adopted by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on October 6, 2015.


The new HMA Ordinance became effective on November 5, 2015.

The policies of the Los Angeles County General Plan, and area and community plans where applicable, seek to preserve significant natural features in hillside areas. The Hillside Management Areas Ordinance and the Hillside Design Guidelines implement those policies by ensuring that hillside development projects use sensitive and creative engineering, architectural, and landscaping site design techniques.


Hillside Design Guidelines

Hillside Management Areas (HMAs) are defined as areas with 25% or greater natural slopes. The Hillside Design Guidelines are required for development in HMAs, unless exempted under the Ordinance’s provisions. In hillside areas with less than 25% slope, use of the Guidelines is optional but encouraged.

The Guidelines include specific and measurable design techniques that can be applied to residential, commercial, industrial, and other types of projects. Some design techniques may be more appropriate or feasible than others, depending on the type of project, location, size, complexity, site constraints, and other design techniques incorporated into the project

Applicants are encouraged to consult with staff early in the design process, in order to determine which design techniques are most appropriate for a project to achieve the purpose of the Ordinance.

The Guidelines are divided into five categories:

  • Site Planning
  • Grading and Facilities
  • Road Circulation
  • Building Design
  • Landscaping

Previous Drafts and Public Comments

March 24, 2015 Board of Supervisors Hearing

December 10, 2014 Regional Planning Commission Hearing

August 6, 2014 Regional Planning Commission Public Hearing

June 25, 2014 Regional Planning Commission Public Hearing

2014 – Public Hearing Drafts

Comment Letters on the December 2014 HMA Draft

Comment Letters on the March 2014 HMA Draft


2013 – Draft Ordinance

Comment Letters on the October 2013 HMA Draft


2012 – Draft Ordinance

Comment Letters on the December 2012 HMA Draft


2011 – Preliminary Draft Ordinance

Comment Letters on the HMA Portion of the November 2011 SEA & HMA Preliminary Draft

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Department of Regional Planning
320 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
T: (213) 974-6411 . F: (213) 626-0434
TDD: (213) 617-2292
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