L.A. City Councilman David Ryu and City Council President Herb Wesson will ask the City of L.A. to formally oppose SB 827, the bizarre state senate bill that would jam Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Redondo Beach, Pasadena and scores of California cities with luxury blight.
The bill’s author, Scott Wiener, is a junior state senator steeped in San Francisco high-rise life.
He’s made headlines pushing his vision of glass apartment towers gentrifying much of California. His SB 827 would let the state cannibalize zoning and environmental protections in any neighborhood unlucky enough to be within ½ mile of a busy bus stop or a rail station.
Many single-family neighborhoods would be destroyed, and wrecking balls would be let loose on low-rise affordable communities statewide: Old World bungalow neighborhoods, landmark Spanish Colonial apartments, dingbat residential complexes and working-class enclaves.
City Councilman Paul Koretz in January opposed SB 827 as “devastating insanity.” California Sierra Club panned it as good way to make people fight against new bus stops and rail stations.
Coalition to Preserve LA director Jill Stewart agreed, saying, “The legislature and Wiener are drowning in Wall Street money and can’t think straight. SB 827 would vaporize our stable areas. They want to usher in a ‘better class’ of people. We’re disgusted by these WIMBYs – Wall Street in My Backyard.”
Ryu’s resolution drew immediate praise:
– Anastasia Mann, president of the influential Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council in L.A. said, “We are a city unlike any other with our complexities, geography and infrastructure issues. One size does not fit all.”
– Cindy Cleghorn, a respected leader in the volunteer PlanCheck movement to help L.A. adopt strategies for growth and sustainability, said, “To remove local land use and planning would decimate the city and our unique communities.”
– Architect Fran Offenhauser, planner for the Hollywood Community Plan currently in force, and founder of Hollywood Heritage, said: “‘Un-planning’ by state senate fiat leads to serious and irreversible consequences. (L.A.) already has something like twice the capacity for housing than is needed in the long run.”
– Casey Maddren, speaking for United Neighborhoods for LA, which supports community-driven planning and updated infrastructure, said “SB 827 will take planning control away from our communities and hand it over to the same real estate investors that have been wreaking havoc in our neighborhoods…We urge the City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti to approve this resolution.”
– Grace Yoo, co-founder of Environmental Justice Collaborative, praised Ryu’s leadership and praised Wesson for seconding the motion, calling the proposal a “resolution to strengthen LA Community Plans, which allows for greater viability and flexibility of the nuanced zoning requirements.”
Interactive maps online show that entire cities such as West Hollywood would lose control to SB 827’s radical up-zoning: 45-foot buildings next to single-family homes, 85-foot towers on residential streets.
Jill Stewart says Wiener won’t create “a speck of affordable housing, but he will spread the high-rise luxury blight that has turned San Francisco into a rich ghetto.”