November 30, 1992 - From the November, 1992 issue

Inside Planning: Around the State and the Region

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

Planning People

Chairmanship of downtown L.A.’s Central City Association has passed to Christopher C. Martin, managing partner in the architectural firm of Albert C. Martin and Associates, from Dr. Cornelius (Neal) Pings, USC provost. Dr. Pings, who assumed the CCA chairmanship only last May, has become president of the Association of American Universities, based in Washington, D.C.

Craig Lawson has been promoted to the post of Vice President for Land Use Entitlements at C.W. Cook Co., Inc.

And a power planning wedding will take place in April, as Culver City Community Development and Redevelopment Director Mark Winogrond will marry Gay Forbes, West Hollywood’s Community Development Director. It’s the West Hollywood connection: Forbes succeeded Winogrond in the West Hollywood position.

Housing Element Citation

The State Attorney General’s office, acting on the request of the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), has issued stern warning letters to 47 cities which have failed to comply with the state’s housing element law. The letter warns cities that unless they comply with the housing element law, they are vulnerable to litigation against their general plans.

The Los Angeles County cities receiving this letter were: Beverly Hills, Bradbury, South Pasadena, Cerritos, Claremont, Walnut, Monrovia, Covina, Palos Verdes Estates, Manhattan Beach, Sierra Madre, and Norwalk.

LACTC Lobbying Policy

The L.A. County Transportation Commission (LACTC) has adopted an ethics manual containing policies and guidelines on lobbying, effective December 1st. Lobbyists (defined in the regulations) must register with LACTC, prepare quarterly reports, retain financial records, and comply with limitations on fees, gifts, and contacts with Commission officials.

The regulations also provide for LACTC to reject bids or proposals from those who do not comply. Information sessions on the new policy will be held on November 23rd and 24th at LACTC. For more information, call (213) xxx-xxxx.

Metro Rail Lawsuit

A group calling itself the Coalition for Rapid Transit, along with environmentalist Dorothy Green and developer James McCormick, filed suit October 26th in Los Angeles Superior Court challenging the EIR for the Mid-City extension of Metro Rail to Pico and San Vicente boulevards. This coalition contends that any westward extension of Metro Rail should proceed instead down Wilshire Boulevard (see here for more information). The lawsuit contends that LACTC did consider alternative routes, as required under CEQA.

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Simon Project Update

LACTC has begun discussions with developer Melvin Simon about becoming partners on the long-delayed Hollywood Promenade development at Hollywood Blvd. at Highland. Talks between Simon and the City of Los Angeles on City participation in the project broke down, putting the project on hold. But LACTC’s Rail Construction Corporation may now participate, and use some Simon land as a staging area for its Hollywood/Highland station construction.

Incorporation Ruling

On November 9th, the State Supreme Court ruled that residents in surrounding unincorporated county areas have no right to participate in votes on incorporation. The decision, in a case involving the unincorporated community of Citrus Heights in Sacramento County, upheld a 1985 state law limiting incorporation votes to residents within the proposed area of incorporation. With county residents now excluded from voting on changes that could reduce county tax revenues, an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is being considered.

L.A. Mayoral Derby

At press time, five candidates had officially announced their intention to run for Mayor of Los Angeles: Councilman Michael Woo, Councilman Joel Wachs, former Deputy Mayor Tom Houston, Councilman Nate Holden, and businessman/ transportation commissioner Nick Patsaouras.

Other possible candidates include Supervisor Gloria Molina, Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky, Councilman John Ferraro, former School Board member Julian Nava, Assemblyman Richard Katz, and downtown attorney Richard Riordan. Councilwoman Joy Picus has announced that she will pass up the Mayor’s race to seek re-election in the Council’s Third District.

L.A. Planning Layoff’s?

Hard budgetary times may be about to take their toll on planning in Los Angeles. A City Administrative Officer’s report requested by Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky found the Planning Department $3.9 million short of recovering its costs, which could require laying off 64 employees. In the Building and Safely Department, 76 positions would need to be cut to eliminate its deficit.

The Department estimates that these staff reductions could result in the closing of the Valley public counter and a decrease in Valley staffing, increased case processing time, and increased processing time for EIR’s. Top department managers and City staff are also strongly campaigning against the cuts, citing the need for aggressive planning to rebuild L.A., the need for long-range planning as stressed by last year’s Zucker audit, and the exposure of the city to costly litigation. The City Council will make a decision on these possible layoffs by December 1st.

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