Group Files Ballot Measure To Stop Big Developments

Palladiumpresidences
Projects like the The Palladium Residences have galvanized opposition to large upscale residential projects in Hollywood (photo from www.palladiumresidences.com)

A group of citizens called The Coalition to Preserve L.A. (CPLA) announced Wednesday that it has filed papers for a City of Los Angeles ballot initiative known as ‘The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative,’ which 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 measure would call for a moratorium on approving any projects that require special entitlements from the city. Backers say it would still permit developers to build projects that fit the current zoning but would stop the process of “spot zoning,” that approves each project individually rather than in the context of an overall community plan.

Leaders of the group include 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; and Miki Jackson, Ballot Measure Proponent.

According to the  Los Angeles Times , “A group of activists said Wednesday that it wants voters to place new limits on real estate “mega developments” by imposing restrictions on projects that need major changes to city planning rules to get built. The Coalition to Preserve L.A. announced plans for a ballot measure, titled the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, that would put a moratorium of up to 24 months on development projects that cannot be built without votes from elected officials to increase density.”

Curbed LA also reported the story, described as“Proposed Ballot Measure Seeks to ‘Preserve’ an Outdated Version of Los Angeles,” and posted a series of tweets from Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne, questioning which Los Angeles we are trying to preserve – the “horizontal” city or the “vertical” city.

Measure backer and Windsor Square resident Jack Humphreville isn’t surprised by the criticism the measure is getting from some quarters who are calling it “NIMBYism.”

“Call it whatever,” said Humphreville,”this is the real estate establishment fighting back; many people believe developers run this city by spreading so much money around City Hall.” He pointed to a recent study by City Controller Ron Galperin that found the city doesn’t collect enough impact fees from developers to mitigate the true costs of their projects on the city.

In response to questions about the which LA we are trying to preserve, Humphreville replied, “Remember none of this development is affordale, it’s all high-end, luxury apartments, not family-friendly developments. It’s better to have that discussion when developing community plans than approving these one-off developments that come along.”

According to the Times, “Backers will need 61,486 valid signatures to qualify the proposal for the ballot…If they prevail, the council would need to decide whether to adopt the proposal as an ordinance or put it on a future ballot.”

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About Patricia Lombard

Patricia Lombard is the co-editor and publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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