September 30, 1996 - From the September, 1996 issue

Insider Planning: 10-Year Anniversary, FEMA Flood Plain Maps, and more!

Around the County and Region

The Planning Report Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary—In September 1986, GLM Enterprises published the first issue of The Planning Report, under the direction of Gary Morris. Less than a year after its inception, TPR fell victim to its own success as GLM found that desire for planning and land use news exceeded its available resources. 

Over a handshake and a cup of coffee, TPR was transferred to David Abel, who remains the Publisher. Abel expanded the format to include interviews with planning professionals, and widened the scope to cover Metropolitan Los Angeles. 

David Kramer was TPR's first editor (currently financing affordable housing with The Hudson Companies in New York); Kramer was succeeded by Ken Bernstein (currently Planning and Transp. Deputy to L.A. City Councilmember Laura Chick); who was followed by Jay Stark (currently Director of Development for The Lee Group in Venice). 

Some of TPR's first features included interviews with then-L.A. Planning Director Ken Topping; then housing coordinator for Mayor BradleyGary Squier; and articles by Dan Garcia and Leon Whiteson.

FEMA Flood Plain Maps—The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has delayed for six months issuing its official flood plain maps, which will zone nearly 82 sq. miles in L.A. County along the lower portion of the L.A. and Rio Hondo Rivers as 'at-risk' from a 100­year flood. Although affected cities have known about the forthcoming zoning since 1991, once the maps are issued, an estimated 500,000 County residents are likely to be required by banks and insurers to purchase flood insurance, at about $450/year. Insiders say FEMA is waiting to issue the maps until after the November election. 

New L.A. Sewer Fees Debated—Following an emotional debate, the L.A. City Council adopted a new set of sewer rates in August that will cut rates for most San Fernando Valley residents. Opponents charge that the fees for the Valley and Westside are being cut at the expense of inner-city residents. Because the City cannot measure the exact amount of sewage generated by each home, it relies instead on a formula that assumes that 60% of water used ends up in the sewer. Valley residents have opposed the formula, arguing that most of their water is used for irrigation. The new formula calculates fees based on winter water usage.


Robert Maguire and James Thomas, who have developed several of downtown's trophy buildings, are splitting the firm’s interests and going their separate ways. Thomas will start Thomas Development Partners, while Maguire will remain as managing partner of the firm. 

David Janssen, formerly Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of San Diego County, was elected by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors be L.A. County's CAO. 

Ray Remy, President of the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce since 1984, is resigning as of January, 1997. Dennis Poulsen, First Vice Chair of the Chamber has been named head of the national search committee. 

Senator Tom Hayden (D-Los An­geles) is no longer a resident of Santa Monica, but has moved to the Los Angeles portion of his 23rd Senate District. Ostensibly, the move is to "better learn about and serve my community." Unsaid is what many believe is the real reason for the move—a run for Mayor of Los Angeles next year. 

John Shallman, President of the L.A. Board of Transportation Commissioners (and featured in the August issue of Metro Investment Report), was re-elected to a third one-year term.


The Los Angeles Times has finally hired an architecture critic, Nicolai Ourossoff. The Times has been without an architectural critic since Leon Whiteson's departure in 1989. 

Marc Littman, formerly Director of Public Affairs for the L.A. Community Redevelopment Agency, is the new Director of Public Relations for the Metropolitan Transportation Agency. 

Frank Cardenas, formerly a City of L.A. Public Works Commissioner (also appointed by Mayor Riordan) recently took over the Chief of Staff position for MTA Chief Executive Officer Joseph Drew (Metro Investment Report, TPR's sister publication, features an interview with Cardenas in the September issue.) 

James Regan has been named Principle Consultant with real estate and urban economics consulting firm, Sedway Kotin Mouchly Group. 

Reyn Blight, Manager of Industrial and Commercial Development in the City of L.A.'s Community Development Department (CDD), has been promoted to manager of CDD's Industrial Development Authority. 

David Lepo, previously Manager of Development Services for the City of Signal Hill, is the new Dircctor of Community Development for the City of Los Alamitos. Gary Jones has been appointed the Acting Manager of Development Services for Signal Hill. 

Veteran Los Angeles Herald Examiner political columnist Joe Scott is now working behind the scenes for the CRA/LA to promote renovation of the Memorial Coliseum. 

Bill Lundgren, formerly the City of Burbank's Transportation Administrator, has joined the Congestion Management Program at MTA. 

Robert Keller, Esq., former in­house counsel at Pacific Enterprises has joined the law firm of Reznik & Reznik. 

State Legislation

Now that the 1995-96 legislative session has ended, TPR presents a quick rundown how a few controversial planning bills fared: 

  • AB 3125 (Hawkins) allows cities and counties to count military housing as part of their fair share of regional housing needs in their general plan elements. An earlier version would have allowed other types of units; that language was removed from the bill. ADOPTED-Chapter 347
  • SB 569 (Leonard) reverses the Mira, Murrieta, and Hart decisions on school developer fees, allows school districts to charge additional fees, and places $2 billion in school bonds on Nov., 1996 ballot. FAILED on the Assembly Floor.
  • SB 1626 (Kopp) limits the redevelopment of antiquated subdivisions. PASSED-On the Governor's desk.


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