March 30, 1997 - From the March, 1997 issue

Inside Planning: New CRA Area, OCTA vs. SCAG, and more

Valley Secession Compromise 

A bipartisan compromise bill that would standardize the secession process Statewide was announced by Assemblymen Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) and Thomas McClintock (R-Granada Hills). Their bill—one of four now circulating in Sacramento—would require a majority vote and eliminate city council veto authority. It has not yet gone into committee. 

Tax Free Zone 

Mayor Riordan asked the City Council on March 5 to establish a tax-free business zone within the current federal Empowerment Zone. The Mayor proposed a five-year license-tax-free period for new businesses, and a five-year tax freeze at current levels for companies expanding operations. The Council has not yet taken any action. 

New CRA Area 

The L.A. CRA will study over the next 12-18 months the benefits of establishing $I million, 1,500-2,000-acre redevelopment area east of Downtown L.A. The new area would fall between the L.A. River and Alameda Street, and Third and 26th Streets. Officials hope to retain apparel, electronic, toy and food companies that start in the area and frequently outgrow the neighborhood's existing facilities. 

General Plan Framework 

The L.A. City Council Planning and Land Use Management Committee is reviewing four motions by Council member Jackie Goldberg addressing concerns of overdevelopment. A proposed amendment to the General Plan Framework would consider downzoning mixed-use areas with a "disproportionately high percentage of high-density development in comparison with other parts of the City." The other motions would allow density limits on small lots combined into larger lots and establish a petition process to review zoning in areas with inadequate infrastructure. 


McClintock vs. Redevelopment 

On February 28 , Assemblyman Tom McClintock (R-Granada Hills) introduced the highly-controversial AB 923, which would eliminate municipal redevelopment agencies in California. Supporters of the measure hope for an end to $38 billion in non-voter approved bonds and an "unknown" level of government. But opponents question the prudence of eliminating the State's primary engines of renewal.

Developer Fees 

Assemblyman Bill Leonard's (R­Rancho Cucamonga) initiative to restructure fees paid to school districts by developers was referred to committee on March 6. The proposal would restore the fee cap of $1.84/s.f. for houses under $130,000, and would allow the cap on more expensive homes to climb by up to $1.00. The bill would also eliminate the use of CEQA provisions to justify development fees to schools. Insiders expect this issue to be bundled with a move to issue State bonds for school facilities, and another that would permit local bond issuance by simple majority vote. 


The Orange County Transportation Authority Board came out against several features of the recently-released SCAG 20-year transportation plan. Among the changes suggested by OCTA: eliminate the proposed $1.3 billion Cajalco Corridor through the Cleveland National Forest, restore 28 transportation projects that had been endorsed locally in Orange County, eliminate policies in the plan that could threaten Orange County's share of future transportation funds.


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