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.
KOREATOWN ANGRY ABOUT WESSON'S DECISION ON HOMELESS SHELTER
In April the LA City Council declared an emergency shelter crisis, and Mayor Eric Garcetti put forward a plan to create temporary shelters to house some of LA’s homeless while permanent housing is built. Reactions have been mixed. In the Valley, CD 2 Councilmember Paul Krekorian is studying eight different sites in his district that could be used for temporary shelters, and has said he will seek public input before making a final decision. So far Krekorian’s constituents seem willing to accept this approach. However in Koreatown it’s a different story. In CD 10 Councilmember Herb Wesson unilaterally selected a City-owned parking lot near Vermont and Wilshire as the site for a homeless shelter. No input was sought from the public, and Koreatown residents are angry. One of the chief concerns is the proximity of the shelter to three different school campusses. Why couldn't Wesson talk to the community about their concerns before he made the decision?
For details on the situation in Koreatown, here's an article from CityWatch....
Koreatown Isn't Saying No to Shelters for the Homeless, It's Saying No to Herb Wesson
For an overview of the shelter program, here’s an article from Park La Brea News….
‘A Bridge Home’ for LA’s Homeless from Park La Brea News
MORE HOUSING BILLS FROM SACRAMENTO
The State Legislature is working on all kinds of housing bills. There are so many it’s hard to wade through them all, and often difficult to evaluate what a bill’s actual impacts may be. But here are a couple that have been getting attention.
The first offers density bonusses for student housing, and restricts cities from applying certain standards to these projects. SB 1227 would apply to projects in which units are used for students enrolled full-time at an institution of higher education and in which 20% of the units are set aside for lower income students.
SB 1227 – Density Bonus for Student Housing
The second is aimed at raising revenue for low-income housing near transit stops. SB 961 will allow cities that adopt an infrastructure financing plan to allocate taxes collected to the construction of low-income housing within a half mile of a rail stop or 300 feet of a major bus stop.
SB 961 Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts/Low-Income Housing near Transit
It's kind of complicated. But here’s an article in which SB 961's author, State Senator Ben Allen, explains what he’s trying to do.
Legislature's Latest Effort to Finance Neighborhood Infill
WHY DOESN’T L.A. HAVE AN URBAN FOREST MANAGEMENT PLAN?
LA’s urban forest is declining, and in recent years more threats have appeared that could accelerate the loss of our trees. Unfortunately, instead of dealing with this problem by creating a comprehensive, science-based program, the City of LA is resorting to ill-conceived stopgap measures. The recently adopted in-lieu fee for tree replacement is just one example.
What the City of LA really needs is an Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP). And in order to create a UFMP, the City first needs to do a tree inventory. This would cost money, but in the long run restoring and enhancing our tree canopy would pay big dividends by keeping the City cooler (reducing energy costs), increasing stormwater capture (replenishing groundwater), and removing pollutants from the air (improving the health of the City's inhabitants).
Does your Councilmember support the creation of an Urban Forest Management Plan? Why don't you call them and ask them. And if the answer is no, ask them why not?
Los Angeles City Council Directory
AND SPEAKING OF SAVING THE URBAN FOREST....
A report came out last year showing that the current trend of building larger and larger homes is a major reason for the loss of tree canopy. Here's the study.
Increased Home Size Decreases Urban Forest in LA County’s Neighborhoods
So what can you do about it? Well, last year Councilmembers Paul Koretz and David Ryu introduced a motion to stop the Department of Building & Safety (LADBS) from issuing remodel permits to developers who actually tear houses down. Not only do developers get a break on permit costs with this approach, but they avoid having to post a 30-day notice of demolition. This scam has allowed developers to knock down existing houses and replace them with McMansions.
The motion introduced by Koretz and Ryu has been sitting in limbo for over a year because the Planning & Land Use Management Committee (PLUM) has not put it on the agenda. If you think this motion deserves to be heard, contact PLUM Chair Jose Huizar and tell him to put it on the agenda ASAP.
Councilmember Jose Huizar
Also, please copy the Committee Clerk.
PLUM Committee Clerk
Be sure to put the Council File number in your subject line.
Council File: 17-0226
Here’s the link to the motion.
Santa Monica has already taken action to keep developers from building absurdly oversized mansions. Read about it here.
Santa Monica Cracks Down on Big Houses from Curbed
Los Angeles can do the same, but the City Council won't act unless they hear from you.