August 30, 1992 - From the August, 1992 issue

Inside Planning: Around L.A. and the Region

TPR presents latest urban planning news in L.A. and the region.

New Planning Commissioner

Mayor Bradley has appointed David Louie to the L.A. City Planning Commission, replacing Bill Luddy (see interview here). Louie is a Vice President in Brokerage for CB Commercial, where he has spent the last six years. Though he has been active locally in the United Way and the National Conference of Christians and Jews, he has not previously been involved in planning or public affairs issues.

Louie is a fourth generation Chinese-American with a degree in business administration from Cal. St. L.A. Louie’s appointment came about at the suggestion of Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, a longtime friend of Louie.

“I bring an analytical approach to the Commission.” said Louie. “I’m able to analyze issues from an economic standpoint.” The dates for Louie’s confirmation hearings had not been set at press time.

Transit Funds from Feds

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation has approved $110 million for extensions of the Metro Red Line project. Earlier action by the House also recommended the $110 million, making it likely that this will be the final level approved by Congress for Los Angeles next year.

The $110 million includes $50 million to be used to complete construction on Segment 2. Metro Red Line extensions to North Hollywood, East L.A., and Mid-City will each receive $20 million.

Housing Opportunities

L.A. County’s Community Development Corporation is seeking applications from community-based housing developers and cities as part of an affordable housing production program. For more information on this program, call (213) xxx-xxxx.

Nonprofit housing organizations are invited to submit applications by August 31st for the Great Western Financial Corporation’s 1992 Leslie N.Shaw, Sr.Memorial Award. This award is designed to support non­profit organizations for innovative solutions in low-cost housing and solutions that can serve as a model for other communities. For more information, phone (818) xxx-xxxx.

And the Los Angeles CRA is seeking proposals for the construction of affordable housing in Watts. The program is aimed at transforming vacant lots into affordable houses and small apartment complexes. 

Rebuilding Los Angeles

Rebuild L.A., now officially called RLA, has formed a dozen Action Task Forces of RLA Board members, staff, and community experts. These task forces include one on housing, one on transportation, and a real estate/land use/urban planning/environment committee.

A planning solution may be in the works to L.A.’s contentious liquor store debate. Many community groups have opposed the rebuilding of liquor stores destroyed during April’s unrest, citing their social impacts. The Planning Commission has approved an incentive process that would allow the rebuilding of liquor stores under the existing FAR, but allow a doubling of FAR (under a conditional use process) if the property owner chooses to build another use on the site.

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Whither Our Downtowns?

A battle for the soul of downtown L.A.’s historic core is shaping up as the garment district seeks to push westward… As downtown Long Beach awaits a return to economic revival, the Pike Project — a partnership of the Ratkovich Company and Enterprise Development Corporation — is on hold due to lack of financing.

A Planning Trust Fund

If the homeowners’ coalition PLAN/LA and Assemblyman Richard Katz get their way, we may soon see the first voluntary check-off box on local property tax forms — and it could go toward planning. Katz’s AB 1246 would allow voluntary contributions to a Long Range Planning Trust Fund for Los Angeles, aimed at generating a stable funding source for planning.

The voluntary contribution would be similar to the check-off boxes already found on federal and state income tax returns. Though Katz’s office is still ironing out the logistics with L.A. County, it still hopes to pass the bill in this session.

People on the Move

Christine Essel, a Vice-President at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, has been named to the Board of the L.A. Community Redevelopment Agency. Essel has been heavily involved in Hollywood redevelopment issues and brings to the board an emphasis on economic development and the entertainment industry.

Barbara Blanco, a Legal Aid attorney, has been named to the L.A. City Affordable Housing Commission. She replaces Chuck Elsesser (a former aide to Sen.David Roberti and the housing director for Santa Monica) who is leaving Southern California.

Marcella Howell has joined Mayor Bradley’s office as a liaison with Rebuild L.A. and the City Council… Robert Chick has been re­elected as president of L.A.’s Board of Airport Commissioners.

Clare Bronowski, a land use attorney with Christensen, White, Miller, Fink, and Jacobs, has been elected president of the city’s Convention Center Commission… Bill Christopher has left AHT Architects to form his own architecture/planning consulting firm, Urban Concepts.

Mayoral Race Kicks Off

From now until next spring, the planning process in L.A. will be deeply colored by mayoral politics. Already taking steps toward candidacy are Michael Woo, Nate Holden, Richard Katz. and Joel Wachs. And the list is soon to grow…

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