Wed08052015

Last updateMon, 03 Aug 2015 9pm

LOS ANGELES Wednesday, August 5th 2015 1:26

 LA'S UPSET NEIGHBORHOODS

People are Pissed! Can a Revolution be Far Behind

Dick Platkin and George Abrahams
LA IN MOTION-Throughout LA’s vast 500 square miles are many self-identified neighborhoods. Ninety-six of them have formed official Certified Neighborhood Councils (CNCs), as established by the Los Angeles City Charter. But, the real number of neighborhood groups is much larger, and they reflect tremendous differences in concerns, demographics,…

Exposed: Guess Who’s Leading the LAUSD Witch Hunt Against Teachers

Leonard Isenberg
CONSIDER THIS-How is it that the LAUSD's go-to outside law firm Sedgwick L.L.P. (that was embroiled in the Miramonte scandal and sanctioned for covering up evidence) is running teacher investigations, teacher jail, and the current witch hunt against nationally acclaimed teacher Rafe Esquith? As CityWatch has previously reported, LAUSD's latest…

DWP Ratepayers Facing Billions of $$$ in ‘Taxes’ Over the Next Five Years

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-Over the next five years, the Ratepayers of our Department of Water and Power will be hit up for over $3.7 billion in taxes by City Hall as a result of the combined 20% levy on the power portion of our DWP bimonthly bill. And this does not include the billion dollar-plus price tag associated with the IBEW Labor Premium and its overly…

Politics: Let's Say Goodbye to the Snark

Ken Alpern
POLITICS FOR GROWN-UPS--It's been so long since the terms "liberal" and "conservative" were considered decent and honorable that probably most readers don't even know that they once were perfectly fine labels to bear with pride and respect. Ditto with respect to "Democrat" or "Republican". Yet after not one but two presidential eras where the…

Gang Wars: Don’t Just Send Cops to South LA

Ken Stone
URBAN PERSPECTIVE--With stepped-up police patrols continuing in South Los Angeles, community groups and clergy called on city and county officials Friday to bolster resources for gang-intervention programs and services for at-risk youth and adults. Twitter meme about Los Angeles gang violence.The groups spoke out in response to a wave of violence…

They Love Us This Much

Rick Risemberg
LA’S NEIGHBORHOODS--Yes, the photo is of a hole. Specifically, an incipient sinkhole on Hauser Boulevard where it runs through Park La Brea. It is about eight inches deep. It has been guarded for over a year by its faithful traffic cone. A companion pit behind it suffered the usual indignity of a half-baked cold-patch repair, and is now itself…

Latinos: More Concerned about the Environment than Average Americans

Fred Mariscal
LATINO PERSPECTIVE-Yes it’s true, according to recent polls, Americans of Latino descent are more worried about the quality of our air, water and the alarming effects of climate change already impacting our country, than the average American. Anyone who says that Latinos are only concerned with immigration doesn’t understand the complexity of…

Hey, Councilman Koretz … Westwood is for Bikes Too!

Joel Epstein
DEAR PAUL--LA City Councilman Paul Koretz that is. Say it ain't so! How sobering to read in the LA Times and The Daily Bruin that you now not only oppose bike lanes on Westwood Blvd but also want to strike the planned lanes from the City's Mobility Plan. Such a move would be totally unprecedented and would reverse nearly a decade of bicycle…

Could Molly Knight Be Vin Scully’s Successor?

Tony Castro
TONY CASTRO’S LA-For almost four decades, my summers have been passed listening to Vin Scully religiously, bemoaning the cutback in his announcing schedule and, I suppose, unconsciously preparing myself for that day when Vinny calls it a career. I am also one of those baseball fans who wears headphones and listens to Scully call a game on the…

 

Reynolds Rap Video: Korea Was Made in China.





Art or Ad? LA’s mural law written in gray ink

Escape the Room-Conan goes for the record … and the laffs


LADWP Rates Overview

 

 

  

 

 

 

The Mayor’s Kill Shot on Suburban LA

MAILANDER MUSINGS - "It is better to raise children with backyards than on condominium balconies," urbanist Wendell Cox said in a Wall Street Journal article entitled "California Declares War on Suburbia" this past week.

But even as Cox pronounced the problem with Los Angeles’s urban development over the past decade, lame duck Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is moving in for the kill shot on the concept of a suburban Los Angeles.


The Mayor is aiming for “a wholesale revision of the regulations that guide [LA’s] build form,” the Mayor's planning chief, Michael LoGrande, told key city administrators on March 27.

Although the citizens of Southern California endure the consequences of shifting planning regulations daily, few realize that even Eli Broad could not have become a maniacal billionaire working with the kind of zoning regulations within the city and most other Southern California counties today.

Indeed, the State as well as the city of Los Angeles has all but abandoned the idea of promoting the development of stand-alone single-family housing, of yards front and back.  Opting instead for “smart growth” developments that make for higher concentrations of people all throughout the State and especially here in Los Angeles throughout the past decade, State and civic leaders have demonstrated a preference for transit hub development and densely-packed mixed-use corridors, even in edge cities and collar counties.

And after ten years of contra-indicated results—with traffic congestion, for instance, worse than ever, even though population has barely climbed at all—Los Angeles’s political power brokers—including Mayor Villaraigosa, Eric Garcetti, and Controller Wendy Greuel—have never second-guessed themselves on their smart growth love affair, even as Los Angeles passed New York City in density earlier in the past decade and brought the Westside of Los Angeles to complete gridlock.

Although they endure the consequences daily, few Southern Californians realize that Eli Broad could not have become the monument-erecting, self-aggrandizing billionaire he is today had some of the zoning laws we have today had been in place when Kaufman & Broad was slamming families into suburban lots in Orange County and elsewhere—as no less than six Southern California counties have laws on the books specifying that at prime locations throughout their counties a whopping 20 homes be developed per acre of vacant land—availing a mere 2,178 square feet per unit, including yard space!

Not only is this inconsistent with the demands of first-time homeowners, it’s also inconsistent with overall American expectations—which is why California is losing so many aspiring homeowners to states such as Arizona, Texas, and North Carolina.

Los Angeles over the past decade "grew" at a quarter of a rate that the state did.  It added 97,801 new citizens --or 9,780 souls a year.

Or--about 00.25% a year.  The State’s population grew by 10%, but LA’s by less than 2.5%.

Four years ago, I asked then city planning chief Gail Goldberg why she was continuing to plan as though the city were growing in population.

Her answer was a bald-faced lie: a lie taught to her by the Mayor’s office and ordained by then Council President Eric Garcetti.  She said the city was growing three ways: by “immigration, copulation, and relocation"—that is, by immigration, natural increase, and by American relocation to Los Angeles.

In truth, no statistics were insisting that LA was growing. The San Diegan city planner Goldberg, who took up planning as a dabbler in midlife, only had it on the authority of the Mayor, who appointed her at a salary $202,000 a year, that LA was growing.

When he knew that LA wasn't growing to any appreciable degree at all.

All through the transit hub projects that have hopelessly skewed the city's renter ratio, and all through the densifications, the City of Los Angeles has been growing at a rate of about 00.25% percent a year. Not even a third of one percent.

Worst of all, when you look at what's been built in Los Angeles over the past decade, you find few places suitable for raising children in the eyes of many middle-class citizens.

All of this modest growth could have easily been controlled in a positive way by legislative fiat.  All it would have taken to make the City of Los Angeles golden was a willingness to say no to out-of-town developers hell-bent on building 40 unit complexes, and a willingness to keep the ratio of homeowners to renters in line with cities like Seattle and Portland.  But our opportunistic, overpaid Council and Mayor chose another path—the path of perdition.  They sold out Los Angeles to absentee landlords, and made the city a town that would ever err on the side of renters.

Their action has only assured a future for Los Angeles of increasingly pricey single family homes and increasingly pricey rentals.  The City’s legislators of the past decade have collectively taken a city that was once poised to set an example for the world, and turned it into a place that cannot even set an example for the County in which it resides.  That is the consequence of the collective political willingness to allow a catastrophic imbalance between owner-occupied homes and rentals.  

The city’s elected officials are all at fault—they are the enablers of the Mayor's kill shot on what's left of suburban Los Angeles.

(Joseph Mailander is a writer, an LA observer and a contributor to CityWatch. He is also the author of The Plasma of Terror. Mailander blogs at street-hassle.blogspot.com.)

-cw

Tags:






CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 30
Pub: Apr 13, 2012

Share