April 14, 1992 - From the April, 1992 issue

Inside Planning: Around the Region and State

The Planning Report presents recent land use news of April 1992.

Warner Ridge De-Published

The Planning Department policy document responding to the Warner Ridge decision (see last month’s issue) has not been finalized by press time. Its urgency was lessened somewhat on March 12th when the California Supreme Court “de-published” the case, which means it cannot be cited as precedent in other cases. But because the city’s “hierarchical” zoning scheme remains tenuous, Warner Ridge-style suits continue to be filed: MCA has filed suit to obtain commercial zoning for property near its Universal City complex.

CRA Budget Released

The Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency unveiled its budget for the 1993 fiscal year during March. The agency proposes to spend $262 million in the year starting July 1st, 1992. The largest slice — $103 million, or a record 39 percent — will be spent on affordable housing.

The ‘93 budget reflects its recessionary background: the agency is proposing to spend 24 percent less next year than in FY ‘92. The agency is also emphasizing its business attraction and retention efforts in areas such as Hollywood and Watts.

CRA commissioners have transmitted the draft budget to the Mayor and City Council for approval. It will then be sent back to the CRA Board for agency adoption later this spring.  

CMP in Limbo

The final contents of Los Angeles County’s Congestion Management Program — Prop. 111’s attempt to link land use and transportation planning — are becoming increasingly difficult to predict. During February, a Commission subcommittee voted to direct staff to cease work on the proposed countywide mitigation fee that had been part of the CMP.

At a March 18th CMP workshop that examined alternatives to the fee, Commission members directed staff to proceed with technical studies, but were not ready to decide among four alternative options for the “deficiency plans” of the CMP. The full Commission validated this course on March 25th.

Meanwhile, the development of an EIR for the CMP proceeds, with a draft scheduled for release in June and final CMP passage mandated by this fall.  

Density Symposium

On April 24th, the Los Angeles section of the American Planning Association, along with nearly 20 other co-sponsoring organizations, will host a Symposium on Density, “Challenging the Dogmas.” The day­long event will be held at the Castaway Banquet Facility, 1250 Harvard Road in Burbank. It will feature stakeholders’ views on density in the L.A. area, new research and case studies on workable models of density, and an exploration of consensus-making on the density issue. Paid reservations are due April 151h. For more information, contact Joe McDougall at (213) xxx-xxxx.

Housing Bond Bill Fails


During March, Sen. David Roberti’s SB 593, a $325 million state bond measure for housing could not muster Assembly support and will not be on the June ballot. The bond, which had been approved by the Senate, had already been whittled down from $1 billion.

The building industry has opposed the bonds, demanding an amendment that would deny bond funds to localities that lack a valid housing element. The legislative leadership will soon open negotiations to place a $6 billion package of bonds, including the housing bond, on the November ballot.

Santa Monica Prop R Suit

The City of Santa Monica is facing a lawsuit challenging the recently-approved implementation ordinance for its inclusionary housing initiative, passed in 1990. Proposition R required that 30% of new multifamily housing units be affordable.

The Santa Monica law firm of Lawrence and Harding is challenging the implementation ordinance, calling it a de facto amendment to the city’s housing element. The firm contends that the ordinance illegally changes the housing element’s 15% inclusionary requirement to 30%, effectively eliminates the option of in lieu fees and off-site provision of housing, and eliminates exceptions for small projects. A preliminary injunction hearing has been set for May 4th.

State Growth Management

Still no word from Governor Wilson on his growth management/regional governance package. Prospects for any legislation during 1992 grow more doubtful by the day.

Wilshire Metro Rail Extension

The continuing effort to return the western extension of Metro Rail to Wilshire Boulevard came up for votes during March. The City Council voted to retain the 2.3 miles Pico/San Vicente extension, but passed an amended motion going on record to aggressively encourage Congress to lift the prohibition against tunneling under Wilshire. The LACTC also took action to declare the Pico/San Vicente route to be the “locally-preferred alternative,” but also approved language urging the next Orange Line segment to return to Wilshire Blvd.

Undaunted, the pro-Wilshire coalition which includes the APA, AIA, the City of Beverly Hills, the Westside Urban Forum, and the County Museum of Art will be staging a demonstration supporting the Wilshire alternative on April 26th at 1:30 p.m. at Wilshire and Fairfax.

Musical Chairs

Rubell Helgeson has left her position as Planning Deputy to Council­woman Ruth Galanter; Jim Bickhart remains on staff as Planning Deputy. Another change in Councilwoman Rita Walters’ office: Charles Dickerson has replaced Willie Washington as Chief Deputy.


© 2024 The Planning Report | David Abel, Publisher, ABL, Inc.