West Hollywood also has inclusionary zoning laws governing development. The city established the Affordable Housing Trust Fund in 1986 requiring developers to either provide affordable housing in new projects or pay a fee in-lieu to the city which it directs towards other affordable housing projects.
With a socially minded population, West Hollywood adopted one of the nation’s first mandatory green building ordinances on October 1, 2007. The ordinance ensures that new buildings will be healthier for residents and use energy and resources more efficiently.
Traffic congestion, public transport and parking are critical issues in the city due to its location between access to areas such as Greater Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley to the east and the area of the Los Angeles West Side, with the Hollywood Hills creating a natural impediment to the north. Santa Monica Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard are critical east-west arteries in the metropolitan area, and Laurel Canyon Boulevard is a popular shortcut through the hills. Nearly 600 employees and 260 buses in the District 7 fleet of the LACMTA are based in a large facility on prime real estate near San Vicente Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard. The development of a “pink line” subway through the city, providing a connection between the Metro Red Line and a proposed Metro Purple Line along Wilshire Boulevard is currently under study.
In 1985, West Hollywood was the first city to create a same-gender domestic partnership registration for its residents, as well as to offer same-gender domestic partner benefits for city employees. West Hollywood’s comprehensive Domestic Partnership Ordinance allows those couples that are prohibited from marrying (same-sex) and those who can marry but choose not to (heterosexual), to register their union with the city. These unions are treated on an equal basis with legal marriages with respect to city-level benefits and services. In California as a whole, same-sex couples may enter domestic partnerships which offer them all of the state rights of marriage.
In 1993 the West Hollywood City Council voted for West Hollywood to become the first official pro-choice city in America.
Legislation prohibiting discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation is widely recognized as the toughest in the nation. The city is also one of 92 jurisdictions in the country where it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender identity or expression.
City legislation also bans the sale of handguns, prohibits smoking in public places, and restricts the city from doing business directly or indirectly (via vendors) with any country known to violate human rights. Also, the city is one of 19 in California that has banned the use of gas-powered leaf blowers.
The city designed a law that pets are to be called “companions,” and their owners “guardians” and was the first city in the country to outlaw the de-clawing of cats.
In 2011, West Hollywood became the first city in the United States to ban the sale of clothing with animal fur.