To Preserve..... vs ......To Protect ?
It’s confusing, right? You can check out the details using the links below, but essentially this battle parallels so many policy debates: using a blunt instrument to fight a complicated problem. (... like repealing ACA without a replacement?)
Do you want to keep LA a network of neighborhoods, single family or low-densiity housing, folks walking or driving to work, enjoying walkable communities of palm trees and parks? Or do you see LA propelling toward denser living, a commitment to public transportation, and higher buildings will insure cultural diversity, affordable house prices and ample jobs?
The fomer vision is supported by the Coalition to PRESERVE L.A., initiated by residents who successfully stopped high rise construction in Hollywood in 2015 and have now taken their fight Citywide. Funded primarily by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation ( whose offices benefited from that success in Hollywood ), they have endorsement from Leonard DiCapro, Joaquin Phoenix and Chris Pine.
At Issue: MEASURE “S” -- the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative -- which is on our March 7th ballot. It would impose a 2 yr moratorium on any new construction which requires any change in the City’s General Plan, which is now 20+ yrs old.
Currently the General Plan is badly out of sync with the City: it was crafted before our major commitments to public transportation, before our crisis of homelessness, and before housing and rental prices soared out of the reach of so many working people.
The PROTECT folks commissioned Beacon Economics to study the impact of Measure S on housing prices, city revenue and job growth. They estimate that the Measure would cost $70 mil/ year in sales and cost 12,000 jobs per year. They did not estimate what the average cost of a SFR or a downtown condo would be in the future without the Measure. But Robert Kleinhenz, an associate at Beacon, says S would “ lock the entire City in amber as it is today” because it would essentially halt all new development.
Perhaps the most egregious example of outdated restrictions in the General Plan is the enormous amount of parking required for occupants and visitors under current zoning rules. The massive Metro funding measure passed by voters in 2016 is only the latest initiative through which City & regional leaders are trying to get Angelenos out of their cars. LA currently has 200 sq miles of parking in downtown -- both an inefficient use of land and a disincentive to use public transportation ( even at $15 per hr).
Prof Paava Monkkonen, at UCLA, agreed with Beacon Econ findings which estimates that Measure S would result in a loss of 2,800 new housing units per year. Given that an average of 100,000 people move to LA each year, and we created only 2,100 units of housing last year, the cataclysmic forces twisting LA housing prices into the stratosphere are inexorable... and we are not even an island!