September 30, 1992 - From the September, 1992 issue

Inside Planning: Around the State and the Region

TPR presents latest land use news in California.

State Growth Bills Fail

With Governor Wilson failing to put his weight beyond a proposal, all of the major state growth management legislation died in this legislative session. The coalition bill that gained attention this summer, SB 929 (see here), cleared the Local Government Committee but never got off the Assembly floor. Opposition from the building industry, coupled with no clear support from a preoccupied Governor, apparently doomed the bill.

Budgetary Impacts

In the state budget wars, local governments have taken a $1.3 billion hit, cutbacks that are sure to have far-reaching impacts on community development, redevelopment agencies, and housing. The cuts were spread in the following manner: $550 million from counties; $200 million from redevelopment agencies; $200 million from cities; and $375 million from special districts.

Housing Legislation

Several major pieces of housing and redevelopment legislation have cleared the Legislature and were awaiting the Governor’s signature at press time. SCA 17, a state constitutional amendment (Calderon), would significantly narrow the Article 34 restrictions on affordable housing projects. Under the amendment, the onus would shift to project opponents to collect signatures to hold an Article 34 election; the bill would also narrow the types of projects to which Article 34 applies.

SB 1711 (Bergeson) and AB 3330 (Costa), two similar bills, would both allow localities to trade their fair share housing allocations and low- and moderate-income housing funds, under certain conditions.

AB 3700 (Willie Brown) is a procedural expansion of the role of Project Area Committees (PACs) in redevelopment projects, tightening the procedures for their formation, election, and retention.

Archie-Hudson Rebuild Bill

After the failure of Assemblyman Curtis Tucker’s redevelopment bill, AB 394, the Assembly approved Marguerite Archie-Hudson’s bill, AB 38X, which creates a “Los Angeles Revitalization Zone” in the not-affected areas. The bill would offer generous tax credits for businesses locating in the zone (still undefined) and for hiring workers who live in the affected areas.

An L.A. River Revival

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State Senator Art Torres has pushed through his L.A. River revitalization bill, SB 20, which creates a Los Angeles River Conservancy, charged with adopting a comprehensive river restoration, redevelopment, and transit plan during 1994. The bill has become controversial for its proposal of an elevated transit line along the river corridor from Griffith Park to Long Beach.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Chapter of the AIA is sponsoring two planning and design workshops on Taylor Yard for October 23-25 and November 13-15. L.A. River advocates view this site — near Glassell Park and Elysian Valley — as an opportunity to create a workable prototype for river revitalization. A team of professionals will develop a series of alternatives for subsequent public and private action.

Long Beach Waterfront Plan

The City of Long Beach has approved a set of principles for the development of its waterfront, including the Pike Property, the Queen Mary, and the site formerly considered by Disney for a theme park. The plan, designed by the firm Ehrenkrantz and Eckstut, proposes to bring more activity to the downtown side of the waterfront, creating an activity center similar to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The catch now is how to generate some actual construction activity on these sites. Santa Monica Legal Wars

The City or Santa Monica has lost a legal round in its attempt to implement Proposition R, an inclusionary housing ordinance requiring that 30% of new multi-family units be affordable. A Superior Court has ruled that the City should have amended its housing element before passing its implementing ordinance… And City Attorney Robert Myers, a major player on rent control and homelessness issues, has been fired by the City Council after he refused to enforce the city’s anti-encampment ordinance.

Koreatown Rebuilding

Koreatown architects and developers are complaining that the City of L.A.’s emergency expediting ordinance has been a disappointment thus far. “In two areas — time and money — it’s not what we thought we were getting,” says Koreatown architect Stuart Ahn. The complaints: turnaround times on plan checks for rebuilding projects remain slow, and many fees are not being waived.

Monorail, Monorail

Monorail proposals have become hot topics in both the West Side and the San Fernando Valley. The cities of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood have each allocated money to fund a feasibility study (to be conducted by Gensler and Associates) on a monorail that would run along the Santa Monica Blvd. right-of-way. The line would tie the Westwood area with Century City, Beverly Hills, and West Hollywood.

Meanwhile, the San Fernando Valley’s long-running monorail vs. heavy rail battle will be decided late this fall. Supervisor Mike Antonovich has proposed a monorail to be built over the Ventura Freeway, an idea opposed by other Valley leaders, who support the underground Metro Rail route along the Burbank/Chandler right-of-way. A key milestone will be an LACTC staff report assessing both proposals, expected to be released in November.

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