December 30, 1995 - From the December, 1995 issue

Inside Planning: Skid Row Housing Trust, Proposition 62-Update, and more!

Recent updates on the City of Los Angeles, transportation, development, housing and more!

City of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles-What are the top five money-spending agencies ranked by budgeted appropriation for private-sector contractual services in fiscal 1996? The Harbor Dept. leads the list with $398 million in private­sector contracts, followed by the Dept. of Water and Power with $350 million, the Dept. of Airports with $85 million, the Community Redevelopment Agency with $76 million, and the Public Works Dept., Bureau of Sanitation with $27 million, according to a recent ranking in the Los Angeles Business Journal

Transportation

MTA-President Bill Clinton recently signed the Dept. of Transportation spending bill, which includes $85 million in federal funds for Segment Three of the Metro Red Line project. The $85 million was a compromise reached by the House and Senate conference committees. The bill noted that the "Metropolitan Transit Authority has made significant progress in the areas of concern as expressed by the Senate." 

Development

California State University Northridge (CSUN)- The University has narrowed down to four proposals a plan to develop the northern half of a 65-acre parcel once known as Devonshire Downs and now as the North Campus of CSUN. One of the surviving proposals includes plans to rebuild the aging football stadium and erect a 7,500 seat indoor sports arena. 

Economic and Industry Forecast­ The Los Angeles five-county area is expected to continue its rebound in 1996. All major business sectors that drove growth last year will provide thrust in 1996, with old stalwarts, international trade and motion picture television production, continuing to lead. New housing construction should move into a growth mode, while prices of resale housing should firm. By the end of 1996, the area's long-suffering aerospace industry should end its employment slide, according to a just-released economic forecast from the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. 

Housing

Vermont Corridor-Heated debate continues to simmer in LA City Hall and in the local media following Mayor Riordan's veto of City Council approval of a mixed-use commercial residential development along the Vermont Corridor. Debate about the centerpiece project, funded in part by First Interstate Bank, has caused an ever sharper rift between project supporter, Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, and the Mayor. Insiders expect the City Council to overturn the Mayor's veto. 

Venice: Lincoln Place-A judge ruled in late November that the LA City Council should reconsider its denial of a developer's proposal to convert the massive Lincoln Place affordable­housing complex in Venice into mostly upscale condominiums. Based on recommendations from the PLUM committee, the Council voted unanimously in September against the conversion, and the developer subsequently sued the city. The City is likely to appeal the judge's decision 

West Hollywood-The city did not need to prepare an environmental impact report for an AIDS housing project in a historic district, a District Court of Appeals ruled. West Hollywood approved the project after creating a "Craftsman District" in the neighborhood. A group of neighbors sued, claiming an EIR was required because the project might affect the nature of the district.

Professional Development

Habitat for Humanity-Los Angeles (HFH-LA), a non-profit, Christian housing ministry committed to building communities and neighborhoods from the inside out, is seeking an executive director.

Skid Row Housing Trust, a non­profit developer and manager of affordable housing is recruiting an executive director to serve as the chief executive officer of the corporation. 

UCLA Extension is offering a series of seminars and conferences during the winter, 1996, including the 10th Annual Land Use Law and Planning Conference on Jan. 26.

Legislation

Proposition 62-Update-In late December the California Supreme Court held in Santa Clara County Transportation Authority vs. Guardino that voter approval for general and special taxes are valid. The decision has thrown into question billions of dollars in local taxes around the state, including transportation sales taxes, utility users taxes and other new revenue sources. The League of California Cities has made this issue the highest legislative priority for the upcoming legislative session. 

Tax Credits-While multifamily starts continued their ascent in 1995, tax credit units account for a smaller share of those starts, according to the National Assoc. of Homebuilders. In related news, despite criticism from urban housing developers, the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee has adopted an allocation p1an that some analysts predict will cut multifamily production in urban areas by as much as one-third. 

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Ward Valley-The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to block the proposed Ward Valley low-level nuclear waste dump in the county's northeastern comer. The move comes after a recent study was unsure whether radioactive waste could leak into adjacent drinking water sources, particularly the Colorado River, about 20 miles away. The vote came just days after Congress authorized the land transfer as part of the budget bill.

People on the Move

Edward M. Czuker, vice presi­dent of Jan Development Co., a real estate development firm in Beverly Hills, was reappointed to the California Housing Finance Agency. Also reappointed was Sebastiano Sterpa, chairman of the Sterpa Group, a real estate investment firm in Glendale.

Jack Gardner, formerly executive director of the Hollywood Community Housing Corp., has accepted a position as executive director of Resources for Community Development, a non-profit housing corporation in Berkeley, California. Candy Rupp, executive director of Skid Row Housing Trust and Jack's wife, will be joining him in Berkeley. 

Robin Hughes is the new executive director of the Los Angeles Community Design Center (LAlCDC). She was formerly project director at LA/CDC. 

Anita Kroeger, formerly with the City of Hawthorne, is now the assistant director of planning for the City of Redondo Beach. 

Larry Kosmont, president of Kosmont & Associates, was nominated in early December to the board of the Metropolitan Water District, replacing Christopher Pak. Kosmont & Associates is a real estate development, finance and asset management consulting firm. Aaron Michaelsen, an associate with Duff & Phelps Financial Consulting Company, has also been nominated to the board, replacing Alf Brandt.

Charles Loveman recently left Kosmont & Associates to open his own real estate development and consulting firm, Landmark Partners. 

John R. Miller, a veteran development executive formerly of national development firm Lincoln Property Co., has joined LA real estate developer Maguire Thomas Partners, which recently lost two senior partners Ned Fox and Rick Gil to start their own company. 

Hillary Norton, former planning deputy for LA City Councilman Richard Alarcon, is the new chief deputy for budget and finance for Councilman Richard Alatorre. Norton is being replaced by Nancy Burke, former planning deputy for Ruth Galanter. 

Paul A. Novak of Novak + Associates was appointed by the City of Glendale to the city's Board of Zoning Adjustment. Novak + Associates secures governmental approvals for private sector clients. 

Don Prohaska, a Los Angeles project and construction manager, has joined Kosmont & Associates. 

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