October 30, 1992 - From the October, 1992 issue

Inside Planning: Around the State and the Region

TPR presents the latest in urban planning and land use news of California.

Where’s Rebuild L.A.?

Despite repeated attempts to find out what the Rebuild L.A. (RLA) Committee is doing in the area of land use policy, TPR came up empty­handed. This leads us to believe that RLA has not yet done anything in land use. If something is indeed happening (and RLA’s Land Use Subcommittee is scheduled to have its first meeting during October), we will be happy to report it next month.

Housing Study in L.A.

The City of Los Angeles’ Housing Preservation and Production Department is sponsoring a visiting panel from the Urban Land Institute (ULI), November 8-13. The panel will review opportunities for adaptation, reuse, and housing on commercial corridors in South Central, focusing particularly on Vermont and Western Avenues. For further infor­mation, call HPPD at (213) xxx-xxxx.

Studio Expansion Update

The proposed expansion of Warner Hollywood studios in West Hollywood has been approved by the West Hollywood Planning Commission and is slated for a Council vote on December 7th. The modified plan (which saves and relocates the Formosa Cafe and opens up the studio somewhat to Santa Monica Boulevard) apparently has the support of four of the five City Council members. Councilman John Heilman, however, has withheld his support and is advocating retail and other amenities.

Meanwhile, Culver City has given approval to the EIR for the Sony Studios expansion. And at press time, the Burbank City Council was poised to approve the Disney Studios expansion plan.

Electric Trolley Bus

IACTC and the RTD have released urban design guidelines for the Electric Trolley Bus (ETB) project. The project, which will encompass 185 miles of urban street corridors in Southern California, aims to convert 30% of area buses to electrically powered vehicles by the year 2000. Transportation planners hope to use the ETB opportunity to remake area boulevards. The “feeder less” system, removing visible electrical wires, allows the TB plan to em­phasize sidewalks and the streetscape.

Creating Sustainable Cities

Lois Arkin, Richard Crenshaw, and Bob Walter have edited a useful new volume called Sustainable Cities: Concepts and Strategies for Eco­City Development. In a volume of articles prepared for last year’s “Ecological Cities Conference” at UCIA, writers offer sustainable strategics for ecological design, economic development, planning techniques, community relations, and sustainable technologies. The book provides ideas on how urban development and the environment can coexist successfully. For more information or to purchase a copy, phone (213) xxx-xxxx.

Musical Chairs

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Councilman Michael Woo has hired Rick Ruiz and Sylvia Robledo to work in his City Hall office. Ruiz was formerly press deputy to Councilwoman Ruth Galanter and will take on legislative and policy development duties. Robledo, formerly a public affairs officer for the RTD, will serve as liaison to the Latino community.

Sherri Franklin of Concerned Citizens of South Central has been named to replace Nick Patsaouras on the LA. Board of Zoning Appeals.

Exposition Park Plan

A community planning effort is resulting in the formation of a local, for-profit community development corporation for Exposition Park. Controlling shares in the corporation, which will provide property management, maintenance, security and events management for Exposition Park venues, will be held by residents from a two-and-a-half mile radius of the park.

Metro Rail Loan Program

LACTC has developed a Construction Mitigation Loan Program to provide temporary assistance to businesses along Wilshire Boulevard that have been seriously hurt by Metro Rail construction. The program, which will later be expanded to other construction zones, such as Hollywood, proposes a $25 million pool for low interest revolving loans. It goes to the full Commission for final approval this month.

Valley Mass Transit Update

LACTC staff has released its comparative evaluation of San Fernando Valley rail transit options, choosing between a monorail along the Ventura Freeway and a subway beneath the Burbank/Chandler right-of-way. Total costs for the Ventura Freeway alternative, promoted by Supervisor Mike Antonovich, are estimated at $2.6 million as opposed to $3 million for the subway route. However, ridership for the full length of the project between Universal City and Warner Center is estimated as 17% lower for the Ventura Freeway alternative than for the Burbank branch.

Most Valley business and residential groups have lined up behind the subway alternative. The final route decision is expected in December.

AQMD Reg XV Revisions

The Air Quality Management District (AQMD) has proposed new amendments to its Regulation XV ridesharing requirements. The amendments would allow local governments’ own ridesharing ordinances to supersede Reg XV. They would also allow multi-site employers to submit only one plan for all of their sites, and would provide credits for on-site child care facilities. Employers who reach their ridership goals would also not have to submit a biennial plan. The AQMD Board will vote on the amendments in January.

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