At the October 25, 2021 City Council Meeting, the City Council adopted an Ordinance approving a Zoning Code Amendment, which amends a section of the Culver City Municipal Code (CCMC), pertaining to Nonconforming Oil Use. This amendment terminates Nonconforming Oil and Gas Uses in the City of Culver City, including within the Culver City portion of the Inglewood Oil Field (City IOF) by November 24, 2026. Because oil and gas activities remaining today were established prior to the time those activities were prohibited, such previously established oil and gas uses have been allowed to continue operation as a nonconforming use per the CCMC and when compliant with the provisions of the CCMC pertaining to Oil, Gas and Hydrocarbons.
“Monday night’s City Council action affirms the City Council’s leadership, along with the tireless efforts of our City Council Oil Drilling Subcommittee, City staff, and community members, for this significant undertaking. It’s imperative that the City Council consider continued adoption of these types of policies, which lead to environmental protection and public safety on a large scale,” said Culver City Mayor Alex Fisch.
The City will continue to work with the affected oil operator(s) to ensure compliance with the adopted ordinance and that nonconforming oil activities cease operations and are fully removed by no later than the November 2026 deadline. In addition, the City will continue its study of factors addressing the “just transition” of matters related to the five-year phase out of the nonconforming oil and gas uses.
- June 20, 2018 – The City Council, based on a recommendation from the City Council Oil Drilling Subcommittee, requested staff move forward with an informational study outlining options for addressing the potential amortization and termination of nonconforming oil-related activities.
- October 26, 2020 – The City Council adopted a Resolution declaring its intent to evaluate the establishment of an approximate five-year phase-out period for the termination of nonconforming oil and gas uses within the City, with emphasis on phase-out of the active oil and gas uses located within the City IOF, which is the only remaining area within the City where nonconforming oil and gas activities have actively continued.
- October 18, 2021 – A public hearing was held, during which the City Council reaffirmed its intent to terminate nonconforming oil uses over a five-year, phase-out period.
Brief History of Oil Drilling in Culver City
Oil drilling within Culver City was first established during the 1920s. Today, active oil drilling remains only within the current 78-acre land and surface facilities for the Inglewood Oil Field that are located within City boundaries. For at least the last 60 years, oil and gas uses have been prohibited throughout the City, including within the City IOF, by the CCMC.
After decades’ culmination of periodic operational issues and growing concern for the health, safety and general welfare of the Culver City community and residents, the City Council, in June 2018, set in motion a process and succession of studies, reports and public meetings spanning more than three years, to evaluate and define an amortization program intended to resolve incompatible, nonconforming oil-related activities within the City limit. Such efforts culminated in the adoption of the Oil Termination Ordinance approving a Zoning Code Amendment terminating nonconforming oil and gas uses in the City of Culver City, including within the City IOF, by no later than November 24, 2026.
About Culver City
Culver City is a five-square-mile, urban community of 39,000 residents surrounded mostly by the City of Los Angeles but also shares a border with unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. It is centrally located on the Westside near Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Los Angeles International Airport. Culver City is particularly known for its well-run public school system, “small town” charm, growing high-tech and creative economies, and a dynamic downtown that is regionally known as a destination for restaurants, live theater, and art galleries.