September 30, 1993 - From the September, 1993 issue

Inside Planning: Around the City and the Region

CRA Elects Board Officers 

The new board for the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency elected officers for a year term with the chairmanship going to Stanley Hirsch, owner of the Cooper building and other downtown properties. The board also elected Peggy Moore, vice president and manager of the downtown Los Angeles main office of Home Savings of America, as its vice chairwoman. Public policy attorney Frank Cardenas was elected treasurer. 

Riordan Appointments 

Mayor Riordan's nominees for the Housing Authority Commission are Mary Barrientos, a San Fernando Valley Republican activist who was active in Riordan's campaign; Ozie Gonzaque, a current member of the commission and member of the Red Cross board of directors: Maurice Kane, Sr. special programs administrator for the Southern California District Council of Carpenters; Diane Middleton, a lawyer who ran for the 15th City Council district seat; and Katherine Moret, vice chair of the board of directors for Project Restore. 

The mayor's four remaining appointees to the Transportation Commission are Suzanne Sampson, president of Ridgeway Food Services Corporation and a member of Assemblywoman Paula Boland's advisory council; Roger Stanard, a lawyer, vice chairman of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association and former member of the Rail Construction Committee of the L.A. County Transportation Commission; Carol Newman, a member of the board of governors for the 

California Women Lawyers and co-chair of its reproductive rights committee; and Charles Jelloian, vice president of governmental affairs for Western Waste Industries. Riordan had previously appointed Ryan Snyder, John Shallman and Sherri Franklin to the commission. 

More Riordan appointments include Dina Gonzalez, secretary-treasurer of the Aliso Village Resident Advisory Council, to the Affordable Housing Commission: Mabel John, advisor to the General Bank Corporation, to the Building and Safety Commission; James Acevedo, associate director of the East Los Angeles Healthcare System, to the Board of Zoning Appeals; and Jai Henderson, Executive Director of the Business Revitalization Center, to the Building and Safely Commission. 

Controversial Ordinance Repealed 

At the urging of Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky, the L.A. City Council on August 25 repealed a controversial ordinance that required third parties in development disputes to pay high fees in order to appeal a project. Under an ordinance that went in affect in June, only landowners who live within 500 feet or a project site can appeal the development by paying a small fee. Other parties have to pay 85 percent or the developers' charges. The issue came to light when opponents of the huge Playa Vista project on the West Side tried to appeal the plan and were hit with a bill for $64,000. 

After a contentious public hearing a week earlier, the Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee referred the issue to the Planning Department. Councilwoman Laura Chick introduced a motion to comprehensively review the appeal fee process in light of Playa Vista and situations in her own West Valley district. 

"We do want to eliminate frivolous appeals because they are obstructionist," PLUM chairman Hal Bernson said at the August 17 meeting in an effort to create a compromising mood. "Yet we don’t want to deprive people who are affected to be heard." He conceded that the recent $64,000 cost was high, "but the costs of delays to the developers and to the people who live in the new developments is also high." 

South Carolina Settles Lucas Case 

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In the landmark property rights case, Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council, the state of South Carolina has agreed to sell the land it bought from David Lucas to another developer to help defray the costs of the settlement. The case was filed by Lucas in response to the Coastal Council’s refusal to permit development on the lots he purchased in 1986, located on the Isle of Palms near Charleston, SC, claiming a violation of his property rights had occurred. When the case went before the U.S. Supreme Court, the justices agreed that Lucas was entitled to compensation if the state had destroyed any economic value of the property but returned the case to South Carolina Courts for a new trial. Instead of risking anew trial, the Coastal Council decided to bring the legal battle to an end by agreeing to pay Lucas just under $l.6million. The Lucas case brings to light the need for new environmental legislation that enables better management of natural resources while keeping the proper balance between individuals' property rights and the needs of society. 

Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing Conference 

The Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing (SCANPH) will hold its fifth annual housing conference entitled "Partnerships in Action" on October 1 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown. Keynote speakers include Choco Gonzalez Meza, deputy assistant secretary for intergovernmental relations at the department of Housing and Urban Development, and L.A. City Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg. Workshops include "Housers as Social Service Providers: A Debate," “What’s New in Conventional Lending," "New Challenges in Tenant Organizing," and many more.  

Boyle Heights and EI Sereno to Get Redevelopment Study 

Boyle Heights and El Sereno will be studied as a possible redevelopment zone, with a focus on commercial and industrial revitalization. The 6300-acre area in Councilman Richard Alatorre's district has been the subject of intense study by 36 community leaders and Barrio Planners for the past 14 months. The redevelopment feasibility study, scheduled to be completed in two years, will focus on the commercial areas along Soto Street, Brooklyn Avenue, First Street, Third Street and Whittier Avenue. Alatorre emphasized that residential neighborhoods will not be targeted for redevelopment. 

Ritter Ranch Unveils Final Plans 

Ritter Ranch Associates recently unveiled their plans for the largest project under development in terms or land use in Los Angeles County, a 10,625-acre master-planned community west of Palmdale. Located in the Sierra Pelona Mountains in the Antelope Valley, the Ritter Ranch plan is a product of four years of planning and design, and will be the home or 20,000 residents within 7,200 units in five separate villages. The units will range from attached and first time, single-family homes to luxury and equestrian estates. 

Ritter Ranch is expected to begin off-site construction in early 1994 with a total buildout of 15 years. Land and lot parcel sales to builders will commence in late 1994 and end in 2005. The development will include more than 400 acres of parks, 85 miles of hiking and horse trails, a 56-acre Juniper preserve, and 30-acre wetland preserve along Amargosa Creek and 6,000 acres of open countryside, preserving a total of 77 percent of the land in its natural environment. Ritter Ranch Associates is a partnership between Merv Adelson and Irwin Molasky. Adelson is chairman of the board of East West Capital Associates, a merchant banking and investment company with offices in Los Angeles. Malasky is chairman of the board of Realty Holdings, Inc. and chief executive officer of Paradise Development Co., based in Nevada.

On the move…

Other names in the news include former Councilman and mayoral candidate Mike Woo, who is heading to the Institute of Politics and Government at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, as a public policy fellow for the fall term. Pat Michell, planning deputy for new L.A. City Councilman Richard Alarcon has accepted a job as a transportation planner with SCAG. Cecilia Estolano, formerly Mayor Tom Bradley's advisor on environmental affairs, is the Sierra Club’s new Executive Director for the Western regional office.

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