May 30, 1992 - From the May, 1992 issue

Inside Planning: Around the Region and State

State Redevelopment Bill

Assembly Speaker Willie Brown’s AB 3700, a reform of state redevelopment law, has been approved by the Assembly Housing Committee and has been sent to the Ways and Means Committee.

The bill toughens requirements for replacement housing (requiring replacement of 100 percent of lost units) and specifies procedures for the formation, election, and retention of Project Area Committees (PACs). The bill has met with the opposition of the California Redevelopment Association, and a compromise bill is possible during May.

Westside Housing Grant

The consulting firm Hamilton, Rabinovitz and Alschuler has been awarded a $75,000 grant from the Westside Urban Forum to produce a model affordable housing program for the cities of the Westside. The five Westside cities joined Kaiser Permanente and the Urban Forum in funding the grant.

The report, to be completed by August, will include an analysis of economics, design, community issues and political issues. HR &A. which was selected out of 11 proposals, will direct a team of specialists that also includes the L.A. Community Design Center.

Westside cities intend to utilize the report’s recommendations as a prototype for the production of new affordable housing. 

CEQA Workshop

The L.A. County and UCLA chapters of the Association of Environmental Professionals will present a Professional Workshop on Thresholds or Significance under CEQA on Friday, June 19th. The event will be held at UCLA from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.; workshop fees arc $85 for non-members. For reservations, contact Steve Gerhardt at (213) xxx-xxxx.

New L.A. Mailing Procedures

The City or Los Angeles’ Planning Department began contracting out the mailing of hearing notices during April, much to the surprise and frustration of many applicants.

The contractor — Better Technology Company (BTC), created by Engineering Technology Inc. (ETI), charges 85 cents per label for applicants who bring their own labels or $1.20 for BTC to create labels from applicants’ lists. Many planning consultants were grumbling last month about the hassle of having to make a separate stop at BTC’s offices (102 S. Main downtown, or 14141 Covello Street in Van Nuys).

Further information about the new system is available from BTC at (213)xxx-xxxx or (818) xxx-xxxx.

L.A. EIR Reforms

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A Los Angeles EIR Task Force, consisting of developers’ and homeowners’ representatives, has issued its recommendations. Melanie Fallon, while Acting Planning Director, had formed the task force after considerable opposition developed to her policy directive creating new walls between applicants and their consultants.

The report would soften the earlier directive, recommending that city staff, applicnnts, and consultants shall “work collaboratively on the preliminary draft documents.” The Planning Department’s Environmental Review Section (ERS) would control the writing of the final preliminary draft. All technical material would be sent simultaneously to the ERS and the applicant.

The report also recommends that city officials, applicants and consultants should develop a time line for each project, with a turnaround goal of 12 months. Failure of the applicant or consultants to meet the timeline may result in new fees; failure by city agencies to adhere to the timeline may result in the EIR moving through the process without their input at that time.

The report will be considered by Planning Department staff and the Planning Commission in the coming weeks.

High Court Decides Yee Case

The U.S. Supreme Court on April 1st unanimously rejected a challenge to a mobile home rent control ordinance. In Yee v. Ciry of Escondido, the park owners had asserted that they suffered a physical taking because the ordinance caused a transfer of wealth from the park owners to the mobile home owners.

The Supreme Court held that the government effects a physical taking of property only where it requires a landowner to submit to the physical invasion of his land. But Justice Sandra Day O’ Connor’s opinion left open the possibility that such ordinances could constitute a regulatory trucing, leaving this issue for the California courts, and leaving the door open for future legal challenges to mobile home rent control.

Musical Chairs

Chris Robert, formerly an aide to Councilwoman Rita Walters, has returned to the LACTC, as a project manager for the agency’s Special Strategic Team. Diana Webb has been named as Chief Deputy Administrator of the Community Redevelopment Agency.

Pig Bites Supervisor

The recent consideration of the “Potbellied Pig Ordinance” by the County’s Regional Planning Commission had been long awaited for its humor potential by jaded urbanists around the Hall of Administration. But the humor at the hearing surpassed expectations when a pig came along to the hearing.

Supervisor Mike Antonovich, who came to testify on behalf of farmers in the more rural portions of his district, waited his turn to speak by feeding the pig popcorn. But the unthankful pig literally bit the hand that fed him, apparently sending Antonovich to the doctor for a tetanus shot.

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© 2022 The Planning Report | David Abel, Publisher, ABL, Inc.