A monthly newsletter published by United Neighborhoods for Los Angeles.
UN4LA's mission is to bring communities together to plan for a sustainable future. Growth must be shaped by community engagement, not developer dollars.
NEW YEAR BRINGS NEW PUSH BY SACRAMENTO TO OVERRIDE LOCAL PLANNING CONTROL
As 2020 begins, the State Legislature will return to its push for new laws to override local planning control. Among the current proposals, the most controversial bill is Scott Wiener's SB 50. Wiener claims that his bill is intended to solve the housing crisis, but there are many who argue that it would create more problems than it solves. Among other things, SB 50 would:
Follow the link below to read the bill for yourself.
This opinion piece from the San Francisco Examiner questions Wiener's commitment to providing real relief for low-income communities.
SB 50 Authors Need to Be Better Allies of Tenants
CITY OF L.A. FINALLY RELEASES DRAFT E.I.R. FOR PROJECT IT BEGAN ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO
At long last, the City of LA has released the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for its Sidewalk Repair Program (SRP). The environmental review process for this project has been convoluted even by LA standards. It began in 2017, and the release of the DEIR only marks the beginning of public review of the document. It will likely be many more months before it's approved. While the City likes to claim that it values transparency, the fact that the DEIR was released on December 26, in he middle of the holidays, when many people are out of town, should serve as a reminder that City Hall generally prefers to discourage meaningful public participation. And the fact that the EIR hasn't been approved yet has not stopped the City from forging ahead with the Program. The Board of Public Works has been approving sidewalk repair projects for almost two years.
This is a problem because many projects approved under the SRP require the removal of trees, and LA's urban forest is already shrinking. No one can argue that the City's sidewalks need to be improved, but it needs to be done in a responsible way. The City estimates that implementation of the SRP would mean cutting down over 12,000 trees, which could have significant impacts on air quality and local temperatures. The EIR claims that replacements would be planted at either a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio, but the City's record on the planting of replacement trees leaves a lot to be desired. UN4LA has sued the City of LA because it has been removing trees for the SRP without having completed legally required environmental review. The lower court decided in favor of the City, but we are currently pursuing an appeal.
To view the SRP EIR, click on the following link and scroll to the bottom of the page.
Sidewalk Repair Program EIR
You can also support the appeal requiring the City to complete the EIR before removing any more trees by clicking on the link below.
Support the Appeal
ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT RELEASED FOR DE SOTO/BURBANK MASTER PLAN
A Mitigated Negative Declaration has been released for a proposed project to be built at the intersection of De Soto and Burbank in Woodland Hills. The existing Warner Center Corporate Park would be demolished to make way for ten new buildings ranging from two stories to 24 stories high. The Project would be constructed in eight phases and includes about 1,000 multi-family units, including 841 apartments and 168 condos. The Project would also create over 1,000,000 square feet of office space, and about 60,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, as well as a 228-room hotel. You can view the MND by clicking on the link below. Comments must be received by January 17.
De Soto/Burbank Master Plan Project Mitigated Negative Declaration
DOWNTOWN ARTISTS COLLECTIVE SUES DEVELOPER
A Downtown artists' collective has filed a lawsuit against the developer that bought their building in 2018. The Santa Fe Art Colony Tenants Association decided to sue the owner of the building, Fifteen Group, after being hit with rent increases that in some cases tripled what tenants were previously paying. The units had been covered for decades by an agreement that restricted rent increases, but that agreement expired in 2016. The Tenants Association had offered to purchase the building for $16.8 million, but Fifteen Group set the price at $22 million. Part of the lawsuit is based on the tenants' claim that the developer did not negotiate with them in good faith. This article from The Real Deal offers more details.
Developer Sued by DTLA Artist Collective