L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti is hoping to gain brownie points with community activists with a new plan to modernize zoning and land use procedures, Southern California Public Radio reported.
The politico, who has been criticized by anti-development activists for an alleged bias toward allowing mega-developments, wants to hire a couple dozen new city planners to update the city’s 35 community blueprints, many of which have remained unchanged for decades as the city has grown.
Those outdated zoning rules have led to a trend of haphazard development, he said.
“When we don’t have updated places where people can build, they just cram into existing infrastructure,” he said. “You can’t find a parking space on your block because there are two families living where one should, and nobody built a new parking place.”
The move by Garcetti is a reaction to anti-development movements, including one led by the AIDS HealthCare Foundation, which wants to see a two-year moratorium on all large development projects in the city. The foundation wants the measure to be an initiative on a March 2017 ballot.
John Schwada, a spokesman for that measure, the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, told SCPR that the mayor’s plan was a “phony reform” and “a desperate effort on the part of City Hall to cut us off on the pass.”
“We want to stop all this special interest zoning,” he said. “Their proposal does not speak to the spot zoning abuse.” [SCPR] –Cathaleen Chen