A monthly newsletter published by United Neighborhoods for Los Angeles.
UN4LA's mission is to bring communities together to plan for a sustainable future. This city's growth must be shaped by community engagement, not developer dollars.
RE:CODE L.A. COULD CHANGE WHAT GETS BUILT ON YOUR BLOCK
Back in 2013, the City of LA embarked on the complex task of updating its zoning code. Entitled re:code LA, this sweeping overhaul will change the way zoning is defined in Los Angeles. While there's no doubt that a rewrite of the code is long overdue, there are reasons to be skeptical of the City's motives.
While the web site says, “re:code LA is a comprehensive revision of the City of Los Angeles’ Zoning Code," staff from the Department of City Planning (DCP) has said on more than one occasion that it will not change zoning. Seem like a contradiction? Elsewhere on the website it says, “The re:code LA project will not change any zoning designations, that work will only be accomplished when the City Council officially adopts new Community Plans or other planning projects." In other words, the changes will come not when re:code is approved, but later on when it's woven into newly adopted plans and projects.
This is a problem. When the DCP presented its Hollywood Community Plan Update to stakeholders last year, there was no mention of how re:code could lead to zoning revisions down the road. The DCP also met with residents of the Valley last year to start the process of updating the Southwest Valley Community Plans. Were attendees informed of the changes that might occur once re:code was woven into the plans?
At the same time, new rules are being formulated to change procedures for the way the DCP processes project applications. The Draft Processes and Procedures Ordinance is over 200 pages long. If the City is planning on inserting something that substantial into the Municipal Code, we need to take the time to look it over.
These two initiatives could have huge impacts on our communities. Follow the links below to learn more.
Draft Processes and Procedures Ordinance
221-UNIT WESTLAKE PROJECT APPROVED OVER COMMUNITY OPPOSITION
In spite of substantial opposition from the surrounding community, earlier this month the Department of City Planning (DCP) approved a five-story residential project for the site of the former Temple Community Hospital, at the corner of Temple and Hoover. Among the concerns of area residents were continuing gentrification and the loss of open space. Of the 221 units included in the project, 19 will be set aside for very low income households, but many community members feel that this small number of affordable units will not begin to offset the gentrifying impact of the project as a whole. Residents also felt that the Mitigated Negative Declaration prepared for the project was inadequate, and that it required a full Environmental Impact Report. Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell and the DCP disagreed, and barring further challenges, the project will move forward.
LOS ANGELES CITY COUNCIL OPPOSES SB 827
On March 27 the LA City Council voted unanimously to oppose SB 827, a bill introduced by State Senator Scott Wiener that would override local zoning on parcels near transit. The motion to oppose SB 827 was introduced by Councilmember David Ryu and seconded by Council President Herb Wesson, both of whom deserve our thanks for taking action. The list of cities that have registered their opposition to the bill include Redondo Beach, Calabasas, Beverly Hills, Rancho Palos Verdes, Palo Alto, Milpitas and Livermore.
The LA City Council's vote was an important step, but the fate of SB 827 will be determined by State lawmakers in Sacramento. If you haven’t already contacted your representatives in the State Assembly and the State Senate, please do so ASAP. If you don’t know who your reps are, you can use this link to find out.
Find Your Rep
For more information on this bill and how to fight it, please visit our SB 827 page.
MIXED NEWS FOR 8150 SUNSET
The controversial 8150 Sunset project has been held up by legal challenges, but in late March the Court of Appeals handed down a new ruling. While a lower court had ruled that the EIR did not adequately study the impact of demolishing a mid-century modern bank on the site, the higher court overturned that decision. However, the Court of Appeals also said that the environmental assessment had failed to properly analyse the closure of a right-turn lane at the intersection of Sunset and Crescent Heights. This means the project will need further review, which will probably take a minimum of six months. This story from The Real Deal gives more details.
8150 Sunset Takes One Step Forward, One Back
CITY APPROVES MORE LIQUOR PERMITS, LITERALLY BY THE DOZEN
Last month the Department of City Planning (DCP) approved a Master Conditional Use Permit allowing a full line of alcoholic beverages at 19 restaurants on a single city block in Downtown LA. But that's not all. The City is also considering another Master CUP to permit a full line for 2 bars and 5 restaurants at 3501 6th Street.
And there's still more. The owners of the nearly completed project at 6200 Hollywood Blvd. have asked for yet another Master CUP, this one covering 9 restaurants (5 full line, 4 beer and wine) and one store which will sell liquor for off-site consumption. The zoning administrator hearing the case seemed inclined to approve the request, in spite of the fact that, as of last year, there were almost 70 establishments selling alcohol for on-site consumption in the area bounded by Franklin, Gower, Sunset and La Brea.
But the best is yet to come. This year the City will be considering approval of the massive Crossroads project, and in this case the developers are asking for a Master CUP to cover a total of 22 alcohol-related uses. That's right. Twenty two. This seems especially worrisome, since the project will be across the street from Hollywood High School.
While there's nothing wrong with a community offering bars and restaurants where folks can get a drink, it seems that the City of LA believes you can never have too much alcohol. This is in spite of the fact that research shows a link between alcohol density and violent crime. Crime in Hollywood has been rising for years, and the latest LAPD stats show a year-to-date 25% increase in violent crime over 2017.
If you see a problem with granting multiple alcohol permits under Master CUPs, call your Councilmember's office and let them know. Here's a link to the City Council Directory.
LA City Council