LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sent on behalf of the Coalition to Preserve L.A. by AHF:
As part of a campaign to preserve the character of neighborhoods throughout the City of Los Angeles and improve the overall quality of life for city residents, the Coalition to Preserve L.A. (CPLA), a group of concerned citizens and voters will announce Wednesday that it has filed papers for a City of Los Angeles ballot initiative that is intended to curb abusive land use practices and favoritism shown to developers by the City of Los Angeles Planning Department and City Hall.
The Coalition will host a PRESS TELECONFERENCE Wednesday, November 18th at 10:00 am PT to announce the launch of the petition drive for the ballot measure which will be known as ‘The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative.’
|Advocates launch petition drive for ‘Neighborhood Integrity Initiative,’ ballot measure to curb abusive land use practices and developer favoritism by L.A.’s Planning Department and City Hall.
WEDNESDAY, November 18th 2015—10:00 AM Pacific Time
Teleconference Dial in information: +1.877.411.9748 participant code #7134323
Michael Weinstein, Ballot Measure Proponent & President of AHF
Jacqui Shabel, Hollywood Neighborhood Alliance
Jack Humphreville, Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council and UN4LA
Helen Berman, UN4LA (United Neighborhoods 4 L.A.)
John Campbell, Save Residential Hollywood
Miki Jackson, Ballot Measure Proponent
Ged Kenslea, AHF Dir. of Communications (323) 791-5526 cell
Backers of the ballot measure say the initiative will help preserve the character of Los Angeles neighborhoods, stop unlawful amendments by the Planning Department, require developers to follow the City’s General Plan and other laws and reduce gridlock in an increasingly overdeveloped L.A.
When voted into law, ‘The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative’ will:
(1) Direct officials to halt amendment of the City's General Plan in small bits and pieces for individual real estate developer projects, and
(2) Require the City Planning Commission to systematically review and update the City's community plans and make all zoning code provisions and projects consistent with the City's General Plan, and
(3) Place City employees directly in charge of preparation of environmental review of major development projects, and
(4) For a limited time, impose a construction moratorium for projects approved by the City that increased some types of density until officials can complete review and update of community plans or 24 months, whichever occurs first.
“A perfect illustration of the unlawful practices the City has been following all over Los Angeles is what the City Planning Commission will be asked to approve tomorrow: The Palladium Project,” said Michael Weinstein, one of the ballot measure proponents and the President of AHF. “Palladium developers are asking the City to amend the General Plan in order to rezone its back asphalt parking lot from industrial land use to commercial use. The City’s General Plan is supposed to preserve the distinct character of neighborhoods and to prevent infrastructure overload. It does not allow for piecemeal, parcel by parcel amendments to it that do not sufficiently take these things into consideration.”
“The City's Charter was reformed in 1969 after a three-year bribery scandal rocked City Hall, which included the conviction of a sitting City Council member,” said Jack Humphreville, Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council and UN4LA. “The reform sought to prevent carving the City up into small bits and pieces for piecemeal amendment of the General Plan, as the Palladium developers now seek to do.”
“Such spot General Plan amendments have resulted in certain developers getting special treatment to build projects with densities and heights far beyond what is zoned for—unlawful favoritism that enables developers to maximize their profits at the expense of surrounding communities,” said Jacqui Shabel, Hollywood Neighborhood Alliance. “These types of amendments unduly burden the City’s transportation, parking, water, sewage treatment, water and electric distribution networks, sanitary and storm water collection systems, and public safety services. Yet L.A.’s City Council regularly and routinely approves such spot General Plan amendments regardless.”
“Developers also have extraordinary control over the environmental review process for their own projects by, in effect, preparing the City’s review itself,” said John Campbell, of Save Residential Hollywood. “This is reckless and undue favoritism that could have dire consequences for health and safety of the community and the environment.”
“Before making an amendment to the General Plan, this initiative requires the City to make more substantial and specific findings that the proposed amendment is for an area that has a significant social, economic, or physical identity AND that it is not intended solely to permit one particular project to be approved when that project is inconsistent with the General Plan,” said Helen Berman, UN4LA (United Neighborhoods 4 L.A.). “The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative’ also puts a moratorium on building or demolition permits for which the City granted a General Plan amendment, or zone or height district change that resulted in more intense land use or increased density than is normally permitted.”
Hollywood as Microcosm: 69 Pending Developments Show Need for Citywide Protections
While the ballot measure is intended to, and will offer protections and oversight citywide, the neighborhood of Hollywood serves a microcosm of the urgent need for protections the ballot measure will provide. On Friday, November 13, the City released a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for another new development in Hollywood (1311 Cahuenga). This report now lists 69 cumulative impact projects pending in Hollywood area. Note: The cumulative impact project list does Not include many other huge projects, or any projects filed in the last few months. Link to 69 PROJECTS IN HOLLYWOOD-Cumulative Impact Project List and Project Map.
Endorsements for The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative
- Don Andres, Franklin/Hollywood West Residents Association
- Doug Haines, La Mirada Avenue Neighborhood Association
- Grace Yoo, Environmental Justice Collaborative – Koreatown
- Adara Salim, Save Sunset
- George Abrahams, Stop Millennium
- Fran Reichenbach, Stop Millennium