July 30, 1993 - From the July, 1993 issue

Inside Planning: Around the City and the Region

A Word from the Publisher

With this issue, editor Kenneth Bernstein leaves The Planning Report to join the staff of new L.A. City Councilwoman Laura Chick, as a deputy on planning, housing, and community development issues. 

In his three years as editor, Ken has brought The Planning Report to a new level of readability, reliability, and respectability. We are committed to building upon his contributions and improving the publication further in the coming months under new leadership. 

We wish Ken the very best in his future work.

David Abel

New L.A. City Council Staff 

Among Councilwoman Laura Chick's other appointments are Karen Constine as chief deputy, Diana Breuggeman as a legislative deputy, and Eric Rose as field deputy. 

In the office of Councilman Rudy Svorinich, former fire captain John Vidovich will be chief deputy. Renee DuKet will be senior deputy for legislative issues and Christine Bogdanovich will be deputy for planning and environmental issues. 

Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg of the Thirteenth District has appointed Sharon DeLugach as her chief of staff. 

Seventh District Councilman Richard Alarcon has selected former Michael Woo aide Pat Michell to be his planning deputy. Alarcon will be retaining some of former Councilman Ernani Bernardi's staff until he makes his own appointments. 

S.M. Moratorium Ends

The City of Santa Monica is again open for commercial development, with the June 26th expiration of the commercial development moratorium that has been in place for four years. 

The City of Santa Monica finally approved new commercial development standards which, in general, reduce FAR's for commercial development but create new incentives for mixed-use development 

The City Council also created a special study area (in the east end of the city, along Olympic and Colorado) for which separate standards will be developed within 18 months. 

Fox Expansion Approved

The L.A. City Council approved the long-awaited expansion of the Fox Studios in Century City, which former Mayor Tom Bradley signed into law as his last official action on June 30th. 

The approval came after Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky got studio officials to reduce the project by 150,000 square feet. The studio will be allowed to build a total of 449,000 square feet of offices. The final version contains a phased development plan, directly tied to traffic counts on area streets. 

L.A. DOT G.M. Finalists

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The six finalists for General Manager of the L.A. Department of Transportation (DOT) were announced during June. 

They are: Henry Dittmar, Manager of Legislation and Finance with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in Oakland; Ginger Gherardi, Executive Director of the Ventura County Transportation Commission; Albert Perdon, the MTA's Director of Transit Systems Development; Steven Polan, general counsel for the Fischbach Corporation of New York City and formerly Commissioner of Sanitation for New York City; Judith Wilson, MTA’s Executive Officer for Planning and Programming; and Robert Yates, DOT's Parking Administrator. 

The new mayor will soon select one of these six to replace retired General Manager Ed Rowe and Acting General Manager Tom Connor. Many in the planning community are watching the appointment carefully in the hope that new leadership will help shed DOT's engineering-driven emphasis and bring the department more in concert with the city's planning policies. 

Citywide Framework 

The Citywide General Plan Framework -- the L.A. City Planning Department's two-year effort to create a new planning framework for Los Angeles -- will continue in July with a major public presentation. 

On Saturday, July 10th from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on the third floor or City Hall, the framework team will present conceptual options for the future growth of L.A. Last month, Warren Olney hosted a citywide workshop for the Framework project at the Shrine Auditorium.

Playa Vista Progress 

The first phase of Maguire Thomas Partners' large Playa Vista project was the subject of a public hearing on June 23rd. At the hearing, the project was supported by a wide coalition of planners, architects, and business leaders. 

But in a letter presented at that hearing, Councilwoman Ruth Galanter raised 24 additional issues, including concerns about environmental issues, traffic, and affordable housing. Nevertheless, the city planning staff was recommending approval and the Advisory Agency's decision was expected during the first week of July. 

Sacramento Update 

As TPR went to press, SB 377, Sen. Robert Presley's growth management bill, was awaiting action on the Senate floor. The bill would set state development goals and policies, create development and conservation tiers, and require existing regional agencies to coordinate their plans. 

The principles have been negotiating amendments and delays on the legislation were considered likely. But with the Assembly deferring to the Senate on growth management, the Presley bill remained one to watch.

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