LA councilman pushes back on state bill to allow tall, dense resi construction

Council member Paul Koretz and a Metro train at Union Station
Council member Paul Koretz and a Metro train at Union Station

Los Angeles elected officials are starting to push back against a sweeping statewide bill that would allow dense residential development near transit in order to alleviate the housing crisis.

Senate Bill 50 would allow four- to five-story multifamily buildings within a half-mile of a rail station or a quarter mile of robust bus access. Councilman Paul Koretz opposes the bill and is asking the full City Council to do the same, according to Curbed.

“We could look forward to seeing tall, narrow four- to five-story buildings towering over single-family homes until they are squeezed,” Koretz said.

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Koretz represents a mostly low-density district that stretches from the southwestern San Fernando Valley to Westwood, which hugs Beverly Hills. Elected officials who represent low-density regions and their constituents tend to oppose bills that could affect the single-family character of those neighborhoods.

Proponents of denser residential development say it’s the only way to solve the state’s housing crisis, but Koretz says the city can address its own housing problems and should be exempt from Senate Bill 50.

Koretz has a good chance of getting the City Council to oppose the bill. The City Council rejected a version of the bill from last year, then called SB 827. Councilmembers said it stripped the city of its planning power. Mayor Eric Garcetti also said it threatened neighborhood character.

SB 827 died in its first committee hearing after months of preliminary debate. [Curbed] Dennis Lynch