October 30, 1988 - From the October, 1988 issue

Land Use News in Review

3 New Faces at Planning Commission

The Planning Commission has undergone some changes recently. Members elected William Luddy, a Carpenters union official, as president, to succeed departing member Daniel Garcia. Mayor Bradley has also appointed three new members to the five-person commission: William Christopher, an architect and the head of a coalition of 13 Westside homeowner associations; Theodore Stein, an Encino developer who was recommended by Councilman Hal Bernson; and Carmen Estrada, an attorney at the Western Center on Law and Poverty who served on the RTD board.

Governor Signs Two Clean-Air Bills & Vetoes High-Rise Sprinkler Legislation

Deukmejian’s signature on the Sher & Presley Bills result from pressure to bring California up to Federal Clean-Air Standards. The Sher Bill requires local air quality agencies to take regulatory actions that will bring about a 5% annual reduction in smog. The Presley Bill toughens the State’s motor vehicle inspection program. The High-Rise Sprinkler Bill was vetoed so as not to preempt a stronger L.A. City Ordinance.

Galanter Plan: Eliminate New Traffic

At the first meeting of a special air pollution committee of the City Council, Councilwoman Ruth Galanter proposed a plan to bar any new development projects which increase traffic and air pollution. Traffic mitigation measures, such as widening streets, currently exist in the city, but Galanter’s measure would broaden the conditions needed for building approvals. Under Galanter’s plan, developers would have to either fund van pools and public transit programs, or use clean fuel-burning vehicles to eliminate increased traffic caused by new development.

CRA Raises Statistics, Not Limit

Councilman Ernani Bernardi has indicated that he opposes Mayor Bradley’s program to raise the spending limit form $750 million to $5 billion and to use revenues from the Community Redevelopment Agency for new low-cost housing, street improvements, and an after-school child care program. Bernardi believes the money should go back to the city, the county, and the Board of Education. In a recent study by the Legal Aid Foundation, the Community Redevelopment Agency was accused of grossly inflating its statistics on the amount of low-cost housing they have developed. The study noted that the CRA includes homeless shelter cots and other men-only units under the “family housing” category. Mayor Bradley consequently instructed CRA administrator John Tuite to review the charges within the new two weeks.

Environmental Enforcement

The Los Angeles district attorney’s office has recently been filing criminal charges against firms and individuals for alleged violations of air pollution control regulations. The South Coast Air Quality Management District investigators are credited with bringing cases to the district attorney’s office.

Ban in the Hills?

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City Councilman Michael Woo proposed an interim ordinance to temporarily halt new construction in the Hollywood Hills for one year. The construction ban would include any new homes in the canyons between the Hollywood and San Diego freeways. The ordinance was proposed to limit the increase of traffic in the canyons.

Galanter Endorses Slow-Growther

Councilwoman Ruth Galanter will support slow-growth activist Laura Lake for the fifth councilmanic seat should Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky runs for mayor. Galanter said Lake “does not represent developers or play politics as usual.”

New Transportation Chief

Stephen Edwin Rowe was named by Mayor Bradley to become the permanent general manager of the Department of Transportation. Rowe, the interim chief of the department, was the assistant chief for eight years.

City Truck Ban

Mayor Bradley has detailed a Rush Hour Truck Ban which aims to reduce by 50% the amount of heavy-duty truck travel during peak commuter periods. The proposal calls for a 6 a.m. - 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. ban on heavy trucks on city streets; certificates for exempting other trucks, approximately 30% of truck traffic, would be issued. Trucks not exempt would be cited and fined by police if operated during peak hours. The system, if approved by the City Council, would have a definite impact on shippers and receivers requiring expanded delivery hours.

Mar Vista Apt. Heights Lowered

The L.A. City Council just voted to lower height limits on future apartment buildings along a section of Centinela Boulevard in Mar Vista. The vote follows upon a two-year battle which formerly began with a homeowner petition for a moratorium in early 1987 to then Councilwoman Pat Russell. With now Councilwoman Ruth Galanter's support, the height limits are now a reality. By a 10-0 vote, the Council also reduced zoning along a one-mile stretch of Centinela, running from Venice Boulevard north to Stanwood Drive and including a small section of Bundy Drive. The homeowners assert that new apartment buildings bring parking, crime, and traffic problems in addition to overwhelming the area by creating a towering wall of glass and concrete.

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© 2021 The Planning Report | David Abel, Publisher, ABL, Inc.