The Real Deal Los Angeles

Activists don’t buy Garcetti’s plan to update zoning blueprints

Mayor plans to hire city planners to revise city's 35 community plans
April 14, 2016 10:30AM

(credit: L.A. Mayor)

(credit: L.A. Mayor)

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Those outdated zoning rules have led to a trend of haphazard development, he said.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

  • SZwartz

    This story is in the right direction but the author may not realize the depth of the problem. One fact may spur the author to dig even deeper. When Garcetti pursued these same pro-density strategies while he was councilman for District 13, he drove so many people out of his district that it ceased to be a legal council district. Overall, Hollywood had a net loss of people of about 12,000 pp between 2000 and 2010. The loss in Garcetti’s CD 13 in the Flats swamped the increase in the other part of Hollywood, CD 4 in the Hills.

    The only reason CD 13 still exists is that LA has a 1925 Law which requires it to have 15 council districts. Thus, the city has to take parts of CD4 and Koreatown and add them to CD 13 to give it enough people to qualify as a legal district.

    Garcetti’s protege Mitch O’Farrell [MOF] has continued Garcetti’s policies. Koreatown iss nearing revolt, and the main impetus of the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative comes from CD 13 and CD 4, which has been seriously harmed with horrible traffic and a crime wave in the wake of Garcetti’s reign of densification.

    Los Angeles as a whole is showing the same demographic signs of deterioration which rose in CD 13 before it ceased to qualify as a council district.

  • scrubjay

    The General Plan and the Community Plans need to updated but the updates needed are not an increase in zoning but in many cases a decrease in zoning. The last Hollywood Community Plan update tried to change the variances into by-right zones. Several state laws have corrupted the planning process by allowing an increase in zoning over the plans and forcing a decrease in the parking requirements. These skewing factors are part of the cause of the planning mess we are in. The (il)logic of decreasing parking to encourage a transition to mass transit is like buying shoes that are too small to encourage your feet to shrink.