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Los Angeles May Relax Flat-Topped Skyscraper Policy [UPDATE]

(Photo by djjewelz via the LAist Featured Photos Pool on Flickr.)
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The skyline of Los Angeles may get a little more interesting, if Jose Huizar has his way. L.A. City officials announced plans yesterday to shift away from an old policy that mandates flat-topped skyscrapers in the city.

Huizar is teaming up with the LAFD to reform the 1958 policy that required flat roofs so helicopters can land on them in case of an emergency. Los Angeles is currently unique in its policy against tall buildings with spired or narrow roofs that are commonplace among other big-city high-rise buildings in the U.S., according to City News Service.

The shift was announced in part because modern technology has improved over the years, allowing firefighters great rescue access via reinforced elevator shafts and stairwells.

"This important policy will contribute to a more inspired and creative urban design and iconic skyline in the City of Los Angeles," Huizar told CNS.

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The plan coincides with the building of the new Wilshire Grand Hotel in DTLA that is poised to dominate the downtown skyline. Korean Air, who is behind the building's construction, wants to add a spire to top off the massive structure. The building is set to be completed in March of 2017.

UPDATE 5:30 P.M.: Huizar's spokesman Rick Coca told LAist that the policy will not be completely changed, but restrictions will be relaxed to allow for more flexibility in building design. Helipads will still be required, but not under the '50x50' rule that had been previously mandated. The Wilshire Grand Hotel will be the first building to implement the new standard.

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