Since Fall 2016, the City of Paramount has been working to address the elevated levels of hexavalent chromium found by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). Aside from partnering with SCAQMD and other regulatory agencies to lower these levels, the City also began researching the most effective methods to preemptively ensure this situation did not occur in the future. The City, with the help of the Air Quality Sub Committee, came to the conclusion that its most powerful tool for improving air quality in the longterm was its zoning code.
Zoning is the process of dividing land in a city into zones, in which certain land uses are permitted or prohibited. The last major overhaul to Paramount’s municipal code was in 1985. During 2017, City staff met with metal companies to receive their professional input on potential operational regulations that could be applied to Paramount companies. Staff compiled potential regulations that would provide an appropriate amount of local authority over metal industry operations while being fair to those companies subject to the changes.
The Sub Committee was tasked with reviewing and finalizing a complete draft of the recommended changes. The proposed amendments will affect five parts of the City’s zoning code: M-1 zone, M-2 zone, Nonconforming Buildings and Uses, Conditional Use Permits (CUPs), and the Planned Development-Performance Standards (PDPS) Zone.
The finalized recommended changes were presented to the City Council in December 2017 and are now being reviewed by the Planning Commission. Currently, the Planning Commission is in the process of addressing community comments and making additional modifications to this draft.
A matrix of the proposed changes can be reviewed here: Zoning Matrix with Proposed Changes (August 2018)
Once the Planning Commission finalizes its own recommendations, the draft of potential modifications to the zoning code will be taken back to the City Council. The Council will then vote to adopt or deny the amendments.
If adopted, the new zoning code will drastically change course on the type of business allowed in Paramount moving forward, as well as better regulate existing metal-related businesses in the City.