January 30, 1989 - From the January, 1989 issue

Insider Planning


February 1 is the date the Planning Department is expected to return with the modified interim sewer hook-up ordinance. The ICO will include some suggestions from the Freilich Stone Consultants report such as point evaluations to demonstrate city priorities for affordable housing and air quality… There is still space on the sewer hook-up list for residential projects, and a one month wait for commercial projects.

The public/private task force established by the CRA to determine an equitable price for the transfer of floor-area ratio has yet to create a magical formula. As a result, several downtown projects have stalled. The CRA had proposed increasing the cost of transfers to $48.25 per square foot--almost twice the market rate.

Good news is possibly on the way for Santa Monica low-income tenants. An inclusionary housing program will go before the city's Rent Control Board early this month which will allow landlords to raise their rents for $300-$500 more than current rents if they set aside an equal number of apartments for low-income tenants

The AQMD decision, which was delayed 2 1/2 months past the December 16 Board vote, means that both sides still have time to argue the controversial long-range plan to bring the Southcoast into compliance with federal clean air standards within the next 20 years. Before the scheduled vote, both sides were waging a rancorous media debate. A SCAG-USC study said that the plan would cost Southern California $10 billion in the first five years while wiping out $200 million in local tax revenues. AQMD's response?: a press conference to charge that business and industry opponents were distorting the facts with a hastily prepared study… Meanwhile, air quality officials reported that 1988 has had one of the worst smog seasons of the decade.

In a sign of CPR's to come, the Council approved the Hollywood Plan Revision(see TPR, Dec, 1988) which restricts commercial and residential development. The new plan cuts residential growth by one-third and commercial growth by two-thirds… The City Council also approved a Specific Plan for Westwood Village which will maintain the character of the area, provide for more parking in new development, and place a three-story height limitation on new construction… In more Westwood news, was the Westside Pavilion the straw that broke Zev's back? First, the City Council's Planning and Environmental Committee discarded the advice of the Planning Commission and the Planning Department when it rejected Westfield Inc.'s plan to expand the Westside Pavilion. Instead, P & E approved Zev Yaroslavsky's alternative which reduced expansion by 60,000 square feet and added 1,000 additional parking spaces. First set to Zev. Subsequently, after Zev agreed to a compromise which left ambiguous the possibility of retail development on the Pavilion 's bridge, the Mayor challenged this compromise with a veto threat, and Zev acquiesced… At the same time, Mayor Bradley was attempting to outflank the Councilman by stressing the necessary air quality sacrifices to be made—including charging for parking and more car pool lanes.

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The Planning and Environment Committee recently acted on one of the Notification amendments. P & E recommended approval for an ordinance which would keep the public hearing notification radius for zone changes and conditional use permits at 300 feet, and the committee continued for two weeks an ordinance to consider a suitable means to notify homeowners and residents within the radius of a project.

User fees getting you down? The BIA is now looking for cases to apply AB 1600 which requires a nexus between any fee charged and the service provided to the project that is paying the fee.

Despite all slow growth and no growth perceptions to the contrary, real estate lending in Los Angeles continues to rise. Lending in the County rose to $16 billion for the first 9 months of 1988, up a considerable 30% from the same period last year.

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