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.
CAN WE SAVE CALIFORNIA BY SETTING MORE TREES ON FIRE?
In the wake of last year's devastating fires, newly installed Governor Gavin Newsom is anxious to prevent further loss of life and property. But his proposal to bypass environmental rules in order to allow a series of prescribed burns is strongly opposed by a number of environmental groups. These groups argue that the State's plans will only further damage forests and habitat, and will not prevent the spread of fires driven by wind. Read the LA Times' reporting on the controversy....
Newsom Declares Wildfire Emergency, Waives Environmental Rules to Expedite Projects
....and then read the Sierra Club's response to Newsom's plan.
Letter from Sacramento: A Chance to Take a Better Path
THE NEW LONG BEACH: DEVELOPMENT AND DISPLACEMENT
Long Beach is experiencing a building boom. Substantial new investment has boosted the economy, but unfortunately many longtime residents won't be around to enjoy the benefits. Real estate investors are snapping up multifamily properties and jacking up rents, which means displacement is becoming a big problem. The Long Beach Business Journal reports on the surge in new development.
Long Beach Experiencing Development On A Scale Not Seen In Over A Decade
The Long Beach City Council realizes that displacement is a problem, and is looking at the possibility of creating an ordinance to protect tenants. But this move is controversial, as the Long Beach Press Telegram explains.
Long Beach Moves Forward with Tenant Assistance Policy
LUXURY RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPER ACCUSED OF BILKING INVESTORS
A couple weeks ago the Feds nabbed Robert Shapiro, formerly head of developer Woodbridge Group. Shapiro has been accused of running a massive Ponzi scheme involving luxury real estate, but he's not the only one in hot water. A group of investors has filed a suit against Comerica Bank, claiming that the bank should have known what was going on and failed to take action to stop Shapiro. With the billions of dollars flooding into luxury real estate these days, it seems likely that Shapiro isn't the only one who's been gaming the system.
Did Comerica Bank Turn “Blind Eye” to Woodbridge’s $1B Ponzi Scheme
DOES THE CITY OF L.A. REALLY HAVE A STRATEGY ON SCOOTERS AND BIKES?
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT, an LA City agency, not to be confused with LA County Metro) has received applications from 11 companies that want to offer over 37,000 dockless bikes, electric bikes, and scooters. Proponents of the new mobility options argue that allowing these companies to operate in the City of LA will give the public more ways to get around, and could reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but there are a number of issues to be considered.
Getting people out of cars and onto bikes is a great idea, but at the same time the City of LA is handing out permits to companies that offer dockless and electric bikes, Metro, a County agency, has been struggling to get their own bike program off the ground. Is it really a good idea to bring private companies into the mix? Metro has already cut prices on the bikes it offers in an effort to lure more customers, but private companies looking for greater market share will always be able to go lower. Free market advocates will say this is great, and the public benefits from the competition. The problem is, once a company drives competitors out of business and achieves market dominance they’re likely to jack up prices again. By pitting private bike-share companies against Metro, the City of LA seems to be undermining the transit agency’s efforts.
As for electric scooters, it’s easy to see that they’re really popular, but their proliferation has brought problems. While the City has set safety standards for their use, including the requirement that they be prohibited on sidewalks, there are plenty of people who pay no attention to the rules. The City also requires that the scooters are parked in such a way that they don’t block sidewalks, but again, there are still riders who don’t seem to care. And then there are the safety issues. Robin Abcarian talks about some of the problems in this article from the LA Times.
Bird Scooters - So Much Fun, So Damn Dangerous