October 30, 1996 - From the October, 1996 issue

Inside Planning: Northridge Damage Keeps Mounting, Homeownership Zone, and more!

Around the County and Region

Northridge Damage Keeps Mounting — A new UC Berkeley report shows the bill for repairing homes and apartments following the 1994 Northridge earthquake has climbed to $13 billion, many times higher than original estimates. Based on these new numbers, the amount available to reimburse homeowners through the new California Earthquake Authority (signed into law in late September) may be insufficient, U.C. Berkeley investigators report

Tax Credits Under Review — The federal General Accounting Office expects to complete its investigation of the low-income housing tax credit sometime this fall, and plans to issue a report early in 1997. The study is examining the ways different states administer the federal housing credit, and will likely recommend "a better way to do it," says George Zika, study coordinator in the GAO's San Francisco office. “Right now you have 50 different states and 50 different ways of doing things," Zika says.

Web Access for CBOs — The L.A. County Community Development Commission is developing an electronic service via the Internet and World Wide Web to link community-based organizations. The service, being developed with California State Univ., Los Angeles, will include web pages for registered groups and business assistance database. The site is expected to be available in November, and future plans call for helping CBOs get access to the Internet.

Redevelopment & Prop. 217 — Critics of Prop. 217, which would restore a $700-million income tax increase for the wealthiest Californians and funnel the monies to schools and local governments, has attracted the attention of the redevelopment community. The proposition would freeze local agencies' share of countywide property tax revenue, potentially preventing tax increment revenue from redevelopment areas to be directed to the redevelopment agency. The L.A. CRA is waiting to see if the proposition passes before taking any legal action.

Homeownership Zone — Responding to a July announcement of a new $50 million Housing and Urban Development program to revitalize large areas of land in blighted areas by creating affordable ownership housing, the L.A. Housing Dept. has chosen four projects to submit to HUD: Wyvernwood includes new construction and rehabilitation of 164 units in East L.A.; Normont Terrace in the Harbor area includes construction of 224 units on a 35-acrc site originally developed as wartime housing; Westfield Village in Sylmar includes 186 newly constructed homes on 18 acres; and an innovative eight-partner team including Concerned Citizens of South Central, L.A. Comm. Design Center and SCANPH, will build or renovate 300 homes in South L.A.

People

This issue of The Planning Report is dedicated to the memory of Robert Archibeque, who was murdered on September 24, 1996. Robert had been a friend, and a member of TPR's staff since 1990. 

West Hollywood City Manager Paul Brotzman was removed by an acrimonious 3-2 vote of the West Hollywood City Council. The well-liked Brotzman has been City Manager since the City's incorporation 11 years ago, and is expected to open his own consulting business. 

Following last month's break-up of Maguire Thomas Partners, the partnership has hired Peter Denniston as a partner. Denniston previously owned and managed his own firm providing real estate, advisory and investment services. 

Jeff Lambert, Planning Manager for the City of Santa Clarita, has resigned from the West Hollywood Planning Commission. 

Anson Snyder, previously with Planning and Policy Unit at the Los Angeles Housing Department, has joined the Community Lending Division of Wells Fargo Bank. 

After the loss of a few high-level L.A. Housing Dept. staff to other cities and to Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) in the last few months, internal staff has been re­shuffled. Annick Derrik has been promoted to Director of the Housing Development Division; Bobken Simonians has been promoted to Manager of the Housing Production Division; Tiena Johnson-Hall has been promoted to Rehabilitation Project Coordinator; Ruperto Albeldais expected to be promoted to Community Project Manager for Construction; and Matthew Callahan is the new Assistant General Manager, replacing Harreld Adams, who left to become the Executive Director of LAHSA.

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Toby Liberman is leaving Venice Community Housing to join the Community Corporation of Santa Monica. 

Bud Hayes has reportedly been selected as the new Executive Director of Single Room Occupancy Housing Corp. 

Kenyon Webster, formerly Senior Planner for the City of Santa Monica, has joined the City of Sebastapol in Northern California.

Hunter Johnson, has been chosen the new Executive Director of LINC Housing Corp. Johnson was previously Director of Development for Palm Springs-based American Development Consultants. 

LINC Housing Corp. will honor Kathleen Connell, State Controller, Wally Fassler, Southern California Regional Vice President for Chevron Products Co., and Karen Wegmann, Executive Vice President of the Community Development Group of Wells Fargo Bank, at its annual Tribute to Affordable Housing Leaders on Oct. 22. 

As part of their regional restructuring, Kaufman and Broad Home Corp. named Glen BarnardLisa Kalmbach and Albert Praw as re­gional managers of the central, north region and south regions, respectively. 

Krishniah Murthy has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglass Inc. He was previously Deputy Program Director for the Engineering Management Consultant (EMC) on a series of MTA rail projects. 

Ira Gribin, formerly Chairman of real estate firm Gribin von Dyl, has been elected to the Southern California Housing Dev. Corp.'s Board of Directors. 

Under the leadership of Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chief Executive Officer Joe Drew, high-level staff shake-up continues: Ellen Levine has been named the new Executive Officer for Transit Operations, and is the first woman to lead the agency's Operations unit. Levine was previously Western Regional Operations Manager, and replaces interim EO Jim Reichert, who replaced long-time Operations head Art Leahy in June.

Terry Matsumoto was appointed Executive Officer of Finance, and Col. Michael R. Robinson was appointed Executive Officer for Administration. Both will report to Linda Bohlinger, Deputy CEO for Finance and Administration. Jim De la Loza was appointed Executive Officer for Transportation Planning and Development.

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