With the need for housing continuously growing in the Los Angeles area, developers in the area have been in a frenzy as they construct mixed-use buildings to meet the demand. While some are happy to see the new developments and housing opportunities, others are not so thrilled with the effect the developments are having on the overall look of Los Angeles. In fact, one group known as the Coalition to Preserve LA has been outspoken in its concerns that the rapid development is a form of “Manhattanization” that transforming Los Angeles into another New York City.
Fighting Developments in Los Angeles
Due to their concerns about the rapid development taking place in Los Angeles, the Coalition to Preserve LA is pushing the city to end its practice of using piecemeal amendments to city codes in order to allow developers to build in ways that typically are not allowed in the city’s outdated zoning code. The dense Hollywood area characterized by its massive developments is one area that the coalition points to as an example of what they consider to be a serious overdevelopment issue. To bring an end to this practice, the organization has proposed a ballot measure called the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative. Under this measure, developers would be locked into the city’s current density restrictions. Some of the specifics that are said to be included in the ballot measure are:
- Stopping all amendments to the city’s General Plan
- Increasing oversight from city planning officials
- Stopping construction on all projects for up to two years if they are not in compliance with the city’s General Plan
- Reviewing the impact that current construction projects will have on their communities before they are allowed to resume
By putting these guidelines in place, the coalition believes it can stop megadevelopments from working around zoning codes through a process they believe boils down to “unlawful favoritism” from city officials. The coalition has also been involved in a very public fight with Palladium Residences regarding the city’s zoning practices and has sued in the past in an effort to prevent the development of more modern planning guidelines in Hollywood.
Digging Out of a Crunch
While the coalition is fighting further development in Los Angeles, City Hall is looking for ways to get more housing built quickly in order to meet the demand. Currently, there is a push to add 100,000 more units by 2020. Mayor Garcetti is reportedly concerned enough about the coalition’s demands that he plans to meet with its members in order to develop some sort of compromise before the initiative is actually included on the ballot in November.
Whether the coalition’s ballot measure goes through are not, most are in agreement that the city’s current panning guidelines are outdated. City officials are concerned that they will be tied to antiquated zoning laws. While changes may be needed, officials are worried that the coalition’s initiative will have unintended consequences such as increasing rent and decreasing the amount of available housing as the city faces a housing crisis.
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(all data current as of 10/19/2017)
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