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.
EMBARCADERO INSTITUTE SAYS CALIFORNIA HOUSING NEEDS ASSESSMENT IS FLAWED
According to the State's latest Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA), California cities need to build more than 2,000,000 units of housing by 2030. But a recently released report by the Embarcadero Institute says that the way the State calculated the RHNA allocations was seriously flawed. SB 828, a bill authored by State Senator Scott Wiener which the Legislature approved in 2018, led to the use of an incorrect vacancy rate and caused double counting. The flawed methodology caused the State to overestimate the need for housing in Southern California, the Bay Area and Sacramento by more than 900,000.
According to the Embarcadero report, it also resulted in an analysis that failed to identify the real need: affordable housing. Read the full report below.
Double Counting in the Latest Housing Needs Assessment from the Embarcadero Institute
DOWNTOWN COMMUNITY PLAN UPDATE: WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
The Draft EIR for the Downtown Community Plan Update has been released. If you don’t live in Downtown, you may be asking yourself, “Why should I care?”
You should care because the Department of City Planning has linked the Downtown Plan to the rollout of the City’s new zoning code. The new code is a radical departure from the previous approach, emphasizing form over use. This Form Based Code will have huge implications on development in Los Angeles, most likely allowing larger projects to be built “by-right”, with no need for public hearings or environmental review. If the new code is adopted for the Downtown Community Plan, the City has said it intends to use the code to implement all of LA’s community plans.
If you’d like to comment on the Draft EIR, please follow the City’s instructions to make sure your comments are considered. These are the instructions posted on the City Planning web site:
If you wish to submit comments on the Draft EIR, please submit your written comments (including a name, telephone number, and contact information and the following file number ENV-2017-433-EIR) during the Comment Period, via mail or e-mail to the following addresses:
Mail: Brittany Arceneaux, City Planner
City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning
200 North Spring Street, Room 667
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Please also note the following from the City Planning web site:
Comments that are sent to the City before or after the Comment Period provided above or that fail to comply with the above instructions for the manner or submission of comments may not be included in the Final EIR and receive a response to comments under CEQA Guidelines Section 15088.
If you submit comments via e-mail, be sure to include the following in the subject line:
Case No.: ENV-2017-433-EIR
The deadline to submit comments is December 4, 2020 at 5:00 pm.
Downtown Community Plan Update Draft Documents
HOLLYWOOD COMMUNITY PLAN IMPLEMENTATION OVERLAY: MORE UPZONING
LADCP has released the Hollywood Community Plan Implementation Overlay, which outlines the zoning that will be used to implement the Hollywood Community Plan Update (HCPU). If you visit the LADCP’s web page for the HCPU, the first thing you see is a gallery of colorful images overlaid with phrases that supposedly outline what the Plan will deliver: Lowers Building Heights, Creates Open Space, Supports Accessible Transit, and Promotes Livable, Complete Streets. Will the HCPU actually deliver on all these promises? Let’s break it down….
Lowers Building Heights: The plan only does this in small, specific historic areas. Actually, in most of the Hollywood area the Plan allows developers to create much larger buildings than are currently allowed by offering generous density bonusses.
Creates Open Space: The Plan proposes to do this mostly by supporting the creation of the Hollywood Central Park, a 44-acre “cap park” which would be built over the Hollywood Freeway. While Hollywood could certainly use more park space, some estimates put the price tag at around $1 billion, and at this point funding is far from certain. Also, it’s important to ask why the City proposes the construction of a new 44-acre park when the Department of Recreation and Parks doesn’t even have the funds to maintain existing parks.
Supports Accessible Transit: Even if this were true (and the City’s record on planning related to transit is dismal), through its radical upzoning framework the Plan will probably drive the remaining low-income households that rely on transit out of the area.
Promotes Livable, Complete Streets: This is good news, because through upzoning the Plan promises to accelerate gentrification and push more Hollywood residents out of their homes and onto the streets. Let’s hope they are livable.
Draft Hollywood Community Plan Implementation (CPIO) District
Hollywood Community Plan Update Interactive Maps
Public comments on the updated CPIO and Draft Community Plan can be sent to Sophia Kim at:
HEATED DEBATE AT HOLLYWOOD CENTER HEARING
At a long, contentious on-line meeting on August 26, LA City Planning officials heard comments from scores of citizens who had sharply different views of the proposed Hollywood Center Project. The project would create a large, mixed-use campus straddling Vine Street north of Hollywood Blvd.. Proponents argued that the Project would offer needed housing, create jobs, boost transit ridership and invite new investment. Opponents claimed that the Project would have numerous negative impacts on surrounding neighborhoods and questioned the wisdom of building twin skyscrapers on parcels that are crossed by the Hollywood Fault.
Another hearing is scheduled for October 15, where six appellants (including the project applicant) will weigh in on the actions taken by the City related to the Hollywood Center.
Hollywood Center Hearing, October 15, 2020
THE NEW LACMA: A MONUMENT TO MICHAEL GOVAN AND PETER ZUMTHOR
You may have heard that demolition of the structures on the LACMA campus has already begun. According to Director Michael Govan and architect Peter Zumthor, the new building to be constructed will free the museum from historical constraints and allow visitors to experience art in a new way. How do they plan to do this? By radically reducing the amount of exhibition space and consigning much of LACMA’s collection to storage. Govan also decided there was no room for curators or administrative staff in the new building, so they’ll be moved to a high-rise across the street at cost of $5 million a year.
While Govan and Zumthor claim that they’re allowing the public to interact with art in an exciting new way, there are numerous critics who believe the new design is a disastrous mistake which will cripple the museum. Joseph Giovannini is one of them.
The Demolition of LACMA: Art Sacrificed to Architecture