January 30, 1995 - From the January, 1995 issue

Inside Planning: Around the City and the Region

LONG BEACH QUEENSWAY BAY 

Long Beach's massive waterfront redevelopment project, the Queensway Bay Plan, continues to move forward on a very tight schedule. The City has released the EIR for the project, and scheduled a public hearing for February 2. The schematic design for the Kajima Corporation aquarium should be complete by the end of January and the project's economic feasibility study by Coopers/Lybrand should be completed in the next few months. The economic feasibility study will determine the amount of bond issuance that the City plans to undertake this summer in support of the aquarium development. 

According to Robert Paternoster, Director, Queensway Bay, "In addition to the Kajima aquarium development, we are in discussions with several other developers regarding opportunities in the Queensway Bay Plan." 

LA. 2020: OPEN SPACE SYMPOSIUM 

From the perspectives of urbanists, artists, architects, landscape architects, architectural historians, and community leaders, LA. 2020: Dreams of Open Space and a City for All, on Saturday, February 4 from 9am to 4:30 pm at UCLA, examines the way the character of Los Angeles has evolved through the quality and quantity of its open spaces. The symposium focuses on the interdependence of the city's social pluralism and its natural landscape with special emphasis on how this interaction has become a potent metaphor for a provocative new generation of architecture. 

The symposium is coordinated by Jeffrey Daniels, AIA, head of UCLA Extension's Interior and Environmental Design Program. Panelists include Anthony Vidler, author of Architectural Uncanny, Mike Davis, author of City of Quartz, Ed Blakely, Dean, USC School of Urban and Regional Planning, David Hockney, artist, and many others. For further information call (310) xxx-xxxx.

KOSMONT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SURVEY 

Kosmont & Associates, Inc. has published a survey of municipal development costs and economic incentives for real estate professionals and others concerned with locating a business in southern California. The Kosmont Survey of Municipal Business Fees, Taxes and Economic Incentives was developed as an easy reference tool for real estate professionals; it provides a snap shot of typical development costs and incentives in the five-county southern California region.

The Survey provides the user with a look at taxation and economic incentive categories in 74 cities and five unincorporated county areas, thereby giving the reader an opportunity to evaluate the standard costs and published benefits of locating a business in the surveyed jurisdictions. 

For further information call Kosmont & Associates at (818) xxx-xxxx. 

FIRST INTERSTATE: VERMONT/81ST DESIGN BUILD 

First Interstate Bank on December 13th announced the team of Caleb Development, Solomon, Inc. Architecture and Related Companies of California as the winners of the $15 million South Central L.A. Design/Build Competition at the site of the former Pepperdine University tower. The Caleb team design calls for 35 for sale town homes plus commercial space for community-based businesses and USC's Business Expansion Network. The First Interstate Bank-sponsored project is the largest private development on S. Vermont Ave. in 20 years and is part of a larger investment strategy for inner-city neighborhoods by First Interstate Bank. 

According to Rodney Shepard, President of Caleb Development, "Not only are we developing an abandoned site that has been vacant for over twenty years, but we hope the project will serve as a catalyst for the entire Vermont Corridor."

WARNER BROS. MASTER PLAN

Warner Bros. is getting ready to begin community workshops for its 20-year master plan that calls for more than doubling the size of its office and studio facilities to nearly 5.8 million square feet, including four new 15-story office towers. Although there will likely be some community opposition, the studio's consolidation of many of its jobs in two Burbank locations means a substantial increase in economic development for the area.

According to Mee Lee, project manager and director of Government Relations for Warner Bros., "We'll be conducting extensive community workshops, meeting with local community leaders and using a wide range of strategies to make sure we have comprehensive community input." The proposed master plan is within the scope of the city's Media District Specific Plan, and the EIR is expected to be completed by the spring.

LA/CRA UPDATE 

In a flurry of activity the LA/CRA approved an unprecedented seven new project areas — two riot recovery and five emergency redevelopment plans related to the Northridge earthquake —before the end of 1994. The Broadway/Manchester Redevelopment project (CD 8) will help revitalize the largely commercial and industrial area damaged in the 1992 civil disturbance. An expanded Crenshaw Redevelopment project (CD 8) was approved to include retail and commercial space along the Crenshaw Corridor as well as Santa Barbara Plaza and Leimert Park. 

The Sherman Oaks, Studio City emergency plan (CD 5) is limited to repair of condominium damage until October 1, 1996, at which time the City Council is scheduled to consider expanding the program. The East Hollywood emergency plan (CD 14 and 4) focuses on home repairs and business damage in east Hollywood and Beverly-Normandie. The Canoga Park emergency plan (CD 3) encompasses three non-contiguous sections of Council District 3 located between Roscoe and Victory boulevards and linked by a stretch of Sherman Way that runs just west of Topanga Canyon Boulevard to just east of White Oak Avenue. 

The Laurel Canyon Commercial Corridor emergency plan (CD 2) encompasses a 250-acre section of the Laurel Canyon commercial corridor. The Pacoima emergency plan (CD 7) establishes a 3,000-acre disaster assistance zone for 10 years, with the option of renewal for an additional five years subject to review and approval by the City Council.

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Also, the Los Angeles City Personnel Department under the direction of Mayor Riordan and the City Council has contacted an executive search firm to begin a nationwide search for a new CRA Administrator. While past searches for CRA Administrators have been the purview of the Mayor's Office, the current search is being conducted by a committee composed of both the Mayor's Office and the City Council. 

WILLIAMSON ACT PROTECTION UPHELD 

The Tuolumne County Superior Court has awarded attorney's fees to the California Farm Bureau in a Sonora land-use case (California Farm Bureau vs. Tuolumne County) involving agricultural land protected by the Williamson Act. "This sends the message that if developers go shopping for approval to build condos, housing subdivisions and other development on Williamson Act land, they will be stopped and they will pay the price," said David Guy, attorney for the California Farm Bureau Federation. 

The proposed Sonora/Limekiln project consisted of condominiums on land protected by the Williamson Act, the state's farmland preservation law. The court ruled that the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors acted improperly in approving the project, which violated the Williamson Act and the California Environmental Quality Act.

CONTRACT WITH AMERICA: PLANNERS BEWARE!

The new Republican Congress, as part of their Contract with America, is proposing The Job Creation and Wage Enhancement Act which contains a takings provision, called Title IX, Private Property Rights Protections and Compensation. Title IX, one of the most extreme takings provision every introduced in Congress, would entitle property owners to compensation if any federal regulation restricts the use of private property and results in a diminution of property value by 10 percent or more. Property owners would simply submit a request for compensation to the agency that issued the regulation and the issuing agency would be required to lift the regulatory action and pay the compensation. 

If passed into law, Title IX in the Job Creation and Wage Enhancement Act, could have far reaching consequences for housing, community development, ISTEA, environmental protection and other federal programs as well as encouraging more takings initiatives at the state and local level.

LA/CRA: AFFORDABLE HOUSING NOPA 

After several months of political wrangling over the division of housing funds, LA/CRA has announced a $41.8 Million Notice of Program Availability (NOPA) to help finance the development of affordable housing for large families (three and four bed­rooms), the physically disabled and other special needs groups. 

"The civil disturbance and the earthquake exacerbated the need for additional low-and moderate-income housing in South Central Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley," said CRA Chairman Dan Garcia. 

Up to $14 million will be targeted for the acquisition, development and rehabilitation of housing in communities impacted by the 1992 civil disturbance. An additional $7 .8 million will be set-aside for housing projects in existing CRA redevelopment project and revitalization areas, and areas im­pacted by the civil disturbance. 

Up to $5 million will be available for low- and moderate-income displacees of the Northridge earthquake. And up to $15 million will be set aside for the reconstruction of low­ and moderate-income multi-family rental units which were damaged during the earthquake. Funding priority will be given to those areas most severely impacted by the quake as defined in the NOPA. 

ON THE MOVE… 

John Seymour, former executive director of the California Housing Finance Agency, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Southern California Housing Development Corporation. 

Mayor Riordan has appointed Carol Schatz, Senior Vice President of the Central City Association to the MTA Board. She fills a seat previously held by Stan Sanders, who is running for City Council against Nate Holden. 

Lisa Specht, an attorney with the Los Angeles law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips has been nominated to the Los Angeles Recre­ation and Parks Commission. She fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Dean D. Pregerson. 

Susan Gilmore, Manager of the Los Angeles Downtown Strategic Plan for the LA/CRA has joined the Los Angeles Department of Airports to direct the public participation portion of the Los Angeles Master Plan. 

Laureen Lazarovici, City Hall reporter for the LA Weekly has moved to Sacramento to accept a position as associate editor with the California Journal.

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