December 30, 1996 - From the December, 1996 issue

Inside Planning: Interpreting Prop. 218, L.A. Earthquake Zoning, and more!

Online Housing Database—The Multifamily Housing Institute is constructing a ground-breaking and long-awaited online database of multifamily properties and loans nationwide. The Institute, a group of 80 housing organizations, has signed agreements with HUD, the Urban Land Institute, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and others contributing dollars and data to the Apartment Performance and Trends DataSource, or "Apt.data." The system's confidentiality measure will allow users to see results aggregated from ten or more properties. 

Interpreting Prop. 218—The Jarvis Taxpayer's 'Right to Vote on Taxes Act' is proving troublesome in interpretation. The Act was intended to require that taxes always need voter approval—2/3 for special taxes and a majority for general taxes. However, 218 also included a provision that an initiative can be used to remove taxes and other levies. Prop. 218's wording is proving to be disturbing—will California local bonds now have to be sold subject to the disclaimer that the voters are free to take away the tax? What impact will such a disclaimer have on marketability? 

Warner Ridge—L.A. developer Jerry Katell announced plans to purchase the 21.5 acre site of the Warner Ridge development and build 695,000 square feet of office space and 125 apartment units. Warner Ridge stalled in 1994 when finances dwindled. The land has been in limbo since Partners Jack Sproud and Moprop Company entered into a legal dispute. But court approval of a tentative settlement, and new financing, could bring groundbreaking by Spring, 1997. 

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Fallout—There is no scientific evidence of a direct link between Proposition 187 and increased Latino voter registration and citizenship, but the anecdotal evidence is mounting. A recent report indicated that Latino voter registration is up 28 percent nationwide over 1994, and 44 percent in California. More than 600,000 Latinos have added their names to voter rolls, and four out of five of them are registering Democratic. According to several Democratic activists, their poster boy when registering Latinos is none other than Governor Pete Wilson. (From California Journal 12/96)

L.A. Earthquake Zoning—Councilman Hal Bernson has proposed that the City consider a more stringent zoning codes in areas prone to seismic activity. Five of 38 planned liquefaction maps for portions of the five-county area were released in Oct, and a workshop group will issue a report in Jan. 

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