Critics chide Garcetti for plan to cut City Planning jobs

(credit: L.A. Mayor, Adam Janeiro)
(credit: L.A. Mayor, Adam Janeiro)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is in hot water with preservationists again for his alleged bias toward housing developers.

This time, critics are bashing his proposal to cut jobs in the Department of City Planning, a move that they allege would allow more “McMansions” to be built in L.A. neighborhoods.

Detailed in his spending plan released last week, the two position cuts would hit the seven-member Neighborhood Conservation division, which grants historical designations for neighborhoods with unique cultural or aesthetic elements.

The possible cuts come at a critical time for the Neighborhood Conservation division, which is currently gearing up to designate six neighborhoods as Historic Preservation Overlay Zones (HPOZs) before a pertinent protective law expires. The areas slated for designation are Holmby-Westwood, Carthay Square, Oxford Square, El Sereno Berkshire Craftsman District, Sunset Square and Miracle Mile.

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Preservation advocates worry that if work stalls on the consideration of those proposed HPOZs, developers will proceed to build the mansions in the six neighborhoods, L.A. Daily News reported.

Director of City Planning Vince Bertoni penned a letter to City Council and Garcetti’s office last week asking for more funding for his department.

But Connie Llanos, a spokesperson for Garcetti, told the Daily News that the mayor supports preservation.

“If through the budget deliberations the funding for these [Neighborhood Conservation division] positions is found, he would support bringing them back,” she said. [LADN]Cathaleen Chen