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Widely Acknowledged, Los Angeles’ Planning and Land-Use System Desperately Needs Reform

In Archive by Patrick Range McDonald

From the Los Angeles Times to Mayor Eric Garcetti and the City Council to neighborhood groups across L.A., everyone agrees: City Hall’s broken and unfair planning and land-use system desperately needs serious reform. Deep-pocketed developers and their apologists rarely, if ever, mention this hard fact. But it’s something that they can no longer dismiss.

Take, for example, an L.A. Times editorial from March 21:

City leaders have to recognize that they oversee a seriously flawed system that doesn’t produce enough housing, doesn’t result in well-planned neighborhoods, and worse, breeds distrust in city government because carefully crafted rules are meaningless when every project is a political negotiation.

Or an April 13 press release from the Mayor’s Office, titled “City Leaders Launch Reforms to Strengthen Planning Process and Protect Neighborhoods.” Mayor Eric Garcetti and several City Council members all agree that the city’s planning and land-use system needs an overhaul.

In the release, council member Mike Bronin says the city’s planning process is “broken;” council member Jose Huizar says there’s a need for “accountability and transparency;” council member Bob Blumenfield also notes the need for “more certainty and transparency;” and council member David Ryu says “Angelenos deserve a transparent and fair process.”

The politicians, however, only offered a watered-down reform plan.

In another L.A.Times editorial, the paper notes that there’s “near universal agreement from homeowners, developers and housing advocates that the system doesn’t work.”

Yet our opponents say little, if anything, about the need for reform. Why is that? It’s probably because developers, lobbyists and the real estate industry don’t want their troubling, yet lucrative ways of doing business at City Hall to end.

The debate is over. L.A.’s planning and land-use system needs a major fix, and the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative offers real, substantive ways to do that. City Hall should no longer be controlled by wealthy developers while everyday Angelenos get screwed over due to developers’ all-consuming desire for even more riches.

Join our community-based movement, the Coalition to Preserve L.A., by clicking to our Act page right now, and by following and cheering our efforts on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. You can also send us an email at [email protected] for more information.

Developers and their politician pals will do anything to defeat our movement and continue their wrong-headed policies. But together, we, the citizens, can create the change that L.A. needs!