Governor Jerry Brown

Is Gov. Jerry Brown’s Housing Plan to Gut Development Rules a Disaster in the Making?

In Archive by Patrick Range McDonald

Undoubtedly, Gov. Jerry Brown’s housing plan to gut certain development rules will raise the ire of community activists in Los Angeles and across California.

The Los Angeles Times recently reported that Brown is pushing a proposal that “would force local governments to approve any urban housing development provided the project matches the underlying zoning and a certain percentage of homes are set aside for the poor.” His plan is part of his revised state budget, but lawmakers can rebuff the governor.

The Brown administration says it’s making the move to address the state’s housing crisis, but politicians have a way of cloaking all sorts of bad land-use policies in the name of building more homes — and developers, not everyday citizens, benefit in the end by making huge, multi-million-dollar profits.

Dick Platkin, a former L.A. city planner and a supporter of the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, notes, “Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, Democrats stood for public housing and the regulation of land-use.”

This time, however, citizens may not be so gullible. Michael Brilliot, a manager in San Jose’s planning department, tells the Times, “I do imagine that the citizens of many cities will become unglued when they understand what this will do.” 

What Brown’s plan does, according to the Times, is “wipe away local and state rules on parking, height, density and environmental reviews beyond those already required through zoning.”

In some citizens’ eyes, such a proposal creates more questions than answers. “If environment, infrastructure, and historic or culturally significance are not to be considered and don’t matter,” asks Valorie Keegan, a Hollywood resident and Neighborhood Integrity Initiative supporter, “then why have state and city, or even community, land-use plans?”

Citizens across California are already gearing up for a fight, and state lawmakers will probably make a move on the new proposal by June 15 — less than two weeks away. If you think Brown is overreaching, contact your state representative now, and often.

You can also contact Gov. Jerry Brown at his website.

Join the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative movement by clicking to our Act page right now, and following and cheering our efforts on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. You can also send us an email at [email protected]

Together, we can create the change that L.A. needs!