November 30, 1996 - From the November, 1996 issue

Inside Planning: State Elections Results, State Prop. 218, and more!

State Elections-Democrats Now Control both Assembly and Senate—The Democratic party took back control of the State Assembly and enlarged its majority in the State Senate; Central Valley Assemblyman Cruz Bustamonte will be Speaker, New San Fernando Valley Assemblyman Robert Hertzberg will be a major force for L.A.; Congress remained Republican; Howard Berman announced he won't run for L.A. Mayor; LAUSD's School Bond measure received 65% and lost; the Community College Bond measure also lost. The newest LA County Supervisor will be Don Knabe-4th District.

State Prop. 218-Local Government Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire—Local government officials were shaken by the approval of Proposition 218, which requires that all local taxes be submitted to voters for approval. California voters approved the measure 56-44% despite dire warnings from local government that the measure would undermine local government finances. Prop. 218 was designed to close loopholes in 1978's Proposition 13, which rolled back local property taxes and curtailed the ability of counties to raise revenue. Prop. 218 will apply to all cities, counties, special districts, redevelopment agencies and school districts in the state. 

The Mouse in Anaheim Roars—The $2 billion Disney expansion in Anaheim received full City Council approval in October, and construction is underway, with an expected completion date of July I, 2001. The expansion will increase the 1,100-acre Anaheim resort (Disneyland and Anaheim Convention Center) capacity. 

Top-Ranked Properties—What are the most valuable pieces of land in L.A. County? LA. Business Journal reports the top-ranked property is the J. Paul Getty Museum (17900 Pacific Coast Highway), with an assessed value of $1 billion. Other notables include the Anheuser Bush Brewery in Van Nuys ($659 million); the USC ($479 million); and Universal Studios/CityWalk ($462 million). 

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West Channel RFP Sinks—The Port of Los Angeles received two team proposals in response to its RFP for development of the West Channel (ranging from $20 to $40 million). Insiders report that following a staff recommendation to choose the team of Fleitz and Thomas, the second team of Koll and Westrack lobbied heavily, only to find that at least one of the Harbor Commissioners had a conflict of interest with Koll. The Board ultimately decided in late October not to choose either proposal, and took the unusual step of allowing a five-person City Council committee to consider proposals—meeting is set for late Nov. 

Ontario: Growing Fast, Will Annex—The City of Ontario is preparing a draft General Plan to annex an adjacent 8,200 acre agricultural preserve in the County of San Bernardino. The advisory committee is considering a range of uses for the property, from a low-density mix of residential villages and agricultural uses, to a higher-density plan with a commercial/industrial mix. A draft is expected in Feb. 1997.

Flurry of RFPs—November 21 is the deadline for any hotel proposal to be submitted to Los Angeles County for development of parcel 9—the last undeveloped piece of land in Marina del Rey. The County Dept. of Beaches and Harbors has also released an RFP for the Gladstones sight on PCH, and insiders say that one of the four bids submitted is from the current owners. Nov. 22 is the deadline for an RFP by the L.A. Community Redevelopment Agency for a major new development on Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Ave. on the sight of the now-infamous Mel Simon project of the 1980s, finally abandoned in 1992. Insiders speculate that the history of the site may keep bidders away. 

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