Thu05282015

Last updateThu, 28 May 2015 9pm

LOS ANGELES Thursday, May 28th 2015 11:09

TIX FOR TAX

  • WHO WE ARE-Earlier this month, I arrived in San Diego following five days of driving across the country from Wisconsin. I pulled into my friend’s driveway, brought my things inside, and went back to my car to park it on the street. Almost immediately, a cop’s siren and flashing lights went off. I’d left my license in my friend’s apartment, so I…
  • The Hunting Ground: Human Truths of Campus Rape

    Susan Rose
    CALIFORNIA MOVES AGAINST RAPE-On May 13, California moved aggressively against rape on campuses, issuing a directive to all state colleges to “notify authorities when a sexual assault is reported.” Attorney General Kamala Harris and U.C. president Janet Napolitano jointly issued a set of guidelines to encourage collaboration between campuses and…
  • Santa Barbara Spill Underscores Why We Can’t Allow Arctic Oil Drilling

    Ryan Schleeter
    PLANET WATCH-Last week, a major oil spill in Santa Barbara County made headlines after a ruptured pipeline dumped as much as 105,000 gallons of crude oil on the California coastline. The spill stretches across roughly nine miles of state beach with tens of thousands of gallons entering marine protected areas in the Pacific Ocean. The spill took…
  • How Will David Ryu Honor His Campaign Pledges?

    Jack Humphreville
    LA WATCHDOG-In a race that focused on local issues, outsider David Ryu (photo) outpolled City Hall insider Carolyn Ramsay by almost 10 points (54.8% to 45.2%), representing a margin of over 2,300 votes. Yet, since less than 16% of Council District 4’s 153,000 registered voters bothered to vote, Ryu was supported by less than 9% of those eligible…
  • $15 an Hour: If This Ain't Socialism, Then What SHOULD We Call It?

    Ken Alpern
    CONSIDER THIS-Funny how when you accuse, or even suggest, to a liberal (or is it "progressive"? or is it "reformist"?) that he/she is socialist, they get all bent out of shape. One reason that Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is so respected is that he says it like it is--he's a sincere socialist who means what he says and says what he means. One…
  • California Dreaming: Booms to Busts, the Optimists are Still Searching for the Gold

    James Preston Allen
    AT LENGTH-At a meeting I attended recently with the management of the Port of Los Angeles, a civic leader voiced his enduring optimism for a bright and successful future. I gave the unsolicited reply, “an ounce of skepticism is worth a pound of optimism.” Others at the meeting said aghast, “Oh, no. How would anything ever get accomplished?”…
  • LA’s Homeless: Not a lost Cause

    Denyse Selesnick
    MY TURN-I was both surprised and rather pleased about the reaction to my recent article. Apparently, many people in Los Angeles are realizing that the Homelessness isn’t just City Hall’s challenge but affects all of our neighborhoods. Even more important, it doesn’t just affect us economically but impacts our sense of humanity and fair play. Yes,…
  • Senate Race: Choosing Kamala or Loretta Comes Down to North vs. South … California

    Joe Mathews
    CONNECTING CALIFORNIA-Are you a Kamala or a Loretta? Attorney General Kamala Harris and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez—the two leading candidates for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat next year—confront Californians with a choice. But it’s not a choice about competing policies or political visions. Californians don’t have political arguments about…
  • From Tragedy, Healing

    Mike Newhouse
    GUEST WORDS-In the days after Brendon Glenn was killed, in the heart of Venice, I was starkly reminded of one of our community's biggest challenges. But, my perspective may surprise you. What first came to mind was not how we police. It was not about racism or homelessness. It was not about mental illness, or the insidious nature of drug or…

 

  • Can Strawberries Help Fight Cancer?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-There have been a number of studies over the years that could show evidence of strawberries fighting off cancer. Tong Chen lead a study…
  • Study: The Best Way to Quit Smoking … Bet On It

    Francie Diep
    WELLNESS-Oftentimes, money speaks louder than words. Apparently, that aphorism applies to cigarettes too. A new study finds that money incentives…
  • Exercise Can Help Anxiety … Here’s How

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-Statistics show that over 3 million American adults suffer from anxiety and there is no evidence that number will be declining any time…




Alert! World’s 10 most dangerous animals

Smashing good job. World’s leaders beating each other up

Trevor Noah warming up for takeover of the Daily Show

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

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