June 30, 1993 - From the June, 1993 issue

Inside Planning: Around the City and the Region

TPR presents recent land-use news in the Los Angeles region.

People on the Move

Jane Blumenfeld, the planning deputy to Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, has become one of the first Bradley aides to line up future employment. Blumenfeld will join the downtown office of the law firm Paul, Hastings, Janofsky, and Walker as a land-use planner in September after taking a vacation for the summer. 

Mary Nichols, the Los Angeles director of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), is expected to depart for Washington soon to become Assistant Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Air and Radiation. She would remain a key figure in Southern California environmental issues, overseeing review of the RECLAIM emissions trading program and the federal implementation plans for the South Coast Air Basin. 

Joseph Shuldiner, executive director of the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, is also Washington-bound, becoming the assistant secretary for public and Indian housing at HUD under Henry Cisneros. 

Land-use attorney Katherine Stone, formerly managing partner of the Los Angeles firm of Frelich, Stone, Leitner and Carlisle, has become Of Counsel to Myers, Widders, and Gibson in Ventura. 

State Growth Management 

The Senate Local Government Committee approved five growth management bills on May 26th. Two of the approved bills - SB 377 (Presley) and SB 273 (Bergeson) - are contradictory. Sen. Robert Presley's bill, similar to last year's "coalition” bill SB 929, would set state development goals and policies, create development and conservation tiers, and require existing regional agencies to coordinate plans. It would work in tandem with Presley's SB 844, creating a $1.2 billion state in­frastructure bank. Sen. Marian Bergeson's bill, supported by Governor Wilson, has less detailed goals, no land-use tiering, and makes the state guidelines advisory. 

The Assembly side is relatively quiet on the growth management front, with Speaker Willie Brown deciding not to sponsor a growth management bill this year. 

Other Sacramento News 

Speaker Brown's AB 214 and AB 215, establishing a state-sponsored mortgage insurance fund for first-time homebuyers, cleared the Assembly on May 27th. The program would offer mortgage insurance to first-time buyers, allowing them to make a down payment of less than 20%. 

Two bills providing for streamlining of CEQA through a "Master Environmental Impact Report" (MEIR) have cleared policy committees in the Legislature. AB 1888 (Sher) and SB 912 (Leonard) would both create procedures for MEIR's, which would allow many projects to avoid preparing individual EIRs. 

No Air District Permitting 

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Attorney General Dan Lungren in April issued an opinion stating that the California Clean Air Act does not authorize air quality management districts to impose a permit system either to construct or operate an indirect source of pollution. Indirect sources are facilities, such as shopping centers, arenas, or highways, that attract polluting vehicular traffic. Lungren's opinion does allow air districts to require that developers submit plans for their review and comment. It also allows districts to require post-construction mitigations. 

Urban Forest Task Force 

A City of L.A. task force coordinated by Councilman Michael Woo has issued a report advising the City of Los Angeles how to nurture its urban forest. The task force recommends the establishment of a permanent Community Forest Advisory Committee and Office of Community Forestry reporting to the Board of Public Works.

The Committee and Office, to be funded solely through private grants and donations, would develop a citywide urban forest vision, streamline the city's processes regarding trees, and manage the city's existing trees. The task force's report was approved by the City Council's Public Works Committee in May. 

Koreatown Mixed-Use Flap 

A controversial mixed-use project in Koreatown goes before a hearing examiner on June 15th. The Pacific Trade Center -- a 25-story, 600,000 sq. ft. project with a hotel, office space, restaurants, shops. public library, youth center. and exhibition hall -- is proposed for the corner of Olympic and Western. 

Koreatown property and nearby homeowner groups believe that the scale of the project makes it better suited for Wilshire Blvd. than for Olympic. Others in the Korean community believe its site runs counter to the community's planning efforts, which envision the heart of Koreatown at Normandie Avenue. 

Playa Vista Revisions 

The Final EIR for the massive Playa Vista project near LAX has been released, with further revisions made to the first phase of the project. Maguire Thomas Partners has agreed to reduce the maximum building heights, increase the amount of park land, and provide an additional range of affordable housing. The first phase of Playa Vista faces an Advisory Agency hearing on June 23rd. Maguire Thomas hopes to complete the appeals process by Labor Day. 

Plan Framework Meetings 

Los Angeles' Citywide General Plan Framework - the two-year effort to create a new vision for the City of L.A. - is entering its next phase during June. Having completed a series of community workshops, the framework team will hold a citywide planning workshop. hosted by Warren Olney, in late June. For more information, call (213) xxx-xxxx.

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