Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning



Significant Ecological Areas (SEA):

SEAs are officially designated areas within the County identified for their biological value. These areas warrant special management because they contain biotic resources that are considered to be rare or unique; are critical to the maintenance of wildlife; represent relatively undisturbed areas of County habitat types; or serve as linkages (see General Plan, Chapter 9, p. 132)

The SEA Program:

The SEA Program is the name given to the regulations, policies and maps the County used to guide development within SEAs. As stated in the General Plan: "The objective of the SEA Program is to conserve genetic and physical diversity by designating biological resource areas that are capable of sustaining themselves into the future. However, SEAs are not wilderness preserves. Much of the land in SEAs is privately-held, used for public recreation, or abuts developed areas. The SEA Program must therefore balance the overall objective of resource preservation against other critical public needs. The General Plan goals and policies are intended to ensure that privately-held lands within the SEAs retain the right of reasonable use, while avoiding activities and developments that are incompatible with the long-term survival of the SEAs." The County relies on the SEA Program to balance preservation of the County’s natural biodiversity with the development rights of property owners located within the SEAs. There are 3 main components of the SEA Program:

The General Plan establishes the location of the SEAs, the description of SEA (habitat types, unique resources, etc.), and program policies. The SEA Ordinance, a component of the County Zoning Code (“Title 22”) is the implementation tool of the SEA Program which establishes the permitting standards and process for development within SEAs.

GIS Web Mapping Application:

The Department's interactive map program, GIS-NET3 is used to map important information about individual properties in the County, such as zoning or land use. To check if your property is in a proposed or adopted SEA click here for GIS-NET3.

SEA GIS-NET3 Tutorials

How to use GIS-NET3 to look up properties in SEAs - view Help document here

GIS Data

Click here for our GIS Data Portal. To download GIS data about Significant Ecological Areas, just type in "SEA" in the search box in the upper right-hand corner. NOTE - you need GIS software in order to view this downloaded data.

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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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