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Department of No Comment: Central City Assn. Loves LoGrande

The Central City Association that boasts with justification that it has “L.A.’s most powerful rolodex” loves the appointment of Michael LoGrande as City Planning Director.

Here’s what the CCA email newsletter has to say about it:

At the invitation of Mayor Villaraigosa, CCA President & CEO Carol Schatz attended a press conference and reception for Michael LoGrande to announce his nomination by the Mayor to succeed Gail Goldberg as the Director of the Department of City Planning.  As the Chief Zoning Administrator for the department, Michael is responsible for reviewing major development projects. 

His work in the department has covered a variety of critical initiatives, including the creation of the Expedited Processing Section.  This section has successfully entitled many major downtown development projects such as Grand Avenue, Concerto, Luma, Evo, Hanover, and the Biscuit Company Lofts.

Michael understands the need to quickly move projects through the pipeline to bring more jobs, tax revenue, and economic development to Los Angeles.  Despite the Planning Department’s reduction in resources, Michael continues to be accessible and responsive to our requests for assistance. 

Michael has a strong track record in getting things done and we could not be more supportive of the Mayor’s decision to nominate him as the next Director.  The nomination still must be approved by the Planning & Land Use Management Committee and the City Council.

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25 Responses to Department of No Comment: Central City Assn. Loves LoGrande

  1. Joe Barrett says:

    Well that settles it, if CCA likes him, we’re in big trouble.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Carol Schatz is the antithesis of good planning. Being liked by her is the kiss of death.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Antonio is relinquishing his authority and power to, and is taking care his future employers. Beutner, Schatz, AEG, CIM, Broad, AECOM. I am sure as time goes by, he will add to the list.

  4. anonymous says:

    the only thing LoGrande does so well is self promotion. He laid the seeds over the last year to all those who will benefit from his appointment and to make sure they advocated to the mayor in his behalf. It was a calculated move to assure he will be the next quintessential developer doormat in the history of LA city.
    Quid Pro Quos do not come cheap.

  5. James McCuen says:

    The Central City Association loves the CRA and backs the use of Eminent Domain for private projects but is against living wages.
    Don’t forget that the current head of the CRA, Chris Essel was also part of the Central City Association.
    A CCA endorsement is a Contrarian indicator of doing the right thing.

  6. AnonymouslyYours says:

    Retribution will come from the depths of hell where all these developers and their cronies come from: One good earthquake and all their dreams will come tumbling down, downtown.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The projects cited by the CRA as reprinted here are those who revitalized dead or dying areas, are well-designed and do provide much needed taxes and jobs. The “just say no to everything” crowd wants no more development but at the same time, as we all do as citizens, expect basic services. Basic being variously defined, but cops, firefighters, libraries and parks (closing them due to cutting staffing when we have the facilities and they’re a cost-effective way to keep people engaged in positive pursuits, is penny-wise, pound-foolish), street maintenance and repair, trash pick up.
    We agree that it’s unfair to keep increases fees on homeowners, who are a shrinking and struggling minority in this city – with a handful of very rich people who are largely disengaged from the local civic discourse. And maybe don’t mind throwing some crumbs at the masses to keep them from swarming their gates.
    For the rest of us, the elephant in the room is that L A has lots of very poor people, compared to smaller, wealthier cities which surround us, and while some say “Ship them home to Mexico!” we know that it’s not a realistic solution.
    Without the large-scale development described, where do you NIMBY groups expect to get the money to pay for all the services? Santa Monica (which just attracted a Bloomie’s to its newly renovated Promenade area), West Hollywood, even formerly dowdy Culver City, are thriving at our expense, providing better public services – but we get the drive-through traffic anyway.
    Oh, and have to deal with building “affordable housing” for people who are too poor to live in those neighboring towns (which only build upscale with few exceptions, despite lip service) but go there to work anyway. West Hollywood, Santa Monica and even Beverly Hills do have a number of elderly who need affordable housing, but hardly any Latinos or blacks.
    However, I certainly agree that the city has been long remiss in not articulating a central vision, organizing meetings with community groups for input, and hence, leaving each project to be bitterly fought over between residents and the local councilperson or city. With varying results, depending on who the groups are and where, the political dynamics at the time.
    As a case in contrasts, S-T (with the likes of Joe B, first commenter here) got Wendy Greuel, running for Controller and needing to score a win and avoid controversy, to oppose Home Depot. But now Dennis Zine is silencing critics in his district who oppose a new Costco, arguing the city is desperate for taxes and jobs. He’s been very quick however to dump on colleagues he doesn’t like who have shepherded through upscale projects that were opposed by loud activists whose favor he wants to court. Big fat hypocrite that he is, he thrives on division and the city’s dysfunction.
    This is the environment LoGrande has to work in.
    You people wouldn’t be satisfied with ANYONE who could realistically navigate this quagmire.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Alright! We have something to go to war and do battle over! Keep posting about La Grande. Let’s make it the biggest topic ever discussed! Start pounding fists over this!

  9. Anonymous says:

    CRA is a piggy bank for rich cronies of our politicial establishment with loans that are never repaid. The time has come to abolish it.

  10. Anonymous Planner says:

    Gets things done? Accessible and responsive? Maybe if your BIG development. As a small developer representing BIG communication service providers working in LA during the life of his assignment, I can tell you that this has not always been the case. In my experience, things have not been done the same for smaller development projects as things are done for the larger development projects in LA . There should be equal treatment to all applicants when it comes to “expediting” an application or simply returning phone calls ….We understand how busy people are in the various departments in the City of LA. Thus the importance of accepting a position only if one fully understands accepts the responsibilities that go along with that position. If you feel that you are strong enough to do it, then do it. If not, don’t do it. Among other things, a Director of Planning should be fully versed in the finite details of the municipal code, should be able to proactively manage and mentor lower level planners, and be accessible to anyone (especially applicants) that requests his time regarding planning/land use related matters (of any scale). Question is…can he do it?

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is the type of bullshit that has been going on in this city. Eli Broad’s $100 million museum has fine print in the deal approved by CRA that will allow him to get millions back in public funding. LA Slimes is saying at least. What corrupt crap and not one damn council moron is stepping up saying a word. We have the weakest electeds in the nation. We should do what the little city of Bell has done and go after them and get AG and State Controller to audit all of them.

  12. Anonymous says:

    This is for 7:22′s comment that “…You people wouldn’t be satisfied with ANYONE who could realistically navigate this quagmire.”
    You are wrong. We, the people, would be satisfied if the process of selection of the new planning director would be a transparent and public one. Instead of a professional country-wide search, we have a long-time City Hall insider and bureaucrat stepping into a position that the Mayor has decided he is the ONLY ONE IN THIS COUNTRY that can serve his…opps, I meant to say, our planning interests.
    While we might not like the selection, or maybe that person would be fantastic, that has been denied to everyone – developers, lobbyists, unions and the public alike.
    Again, like a commentor above said “…can he do it?”

  13. Anonymous says:

    To 11:29 p.m, you underestimate LoGrande. As early as 2008, he was in the Mayor’s office complaining about Gail. But she was too preoccupied in eliminating staff with character, integrity, experience, and knowledge, while she nurtured this snake. Poetic justice, that he did to her what she deserved.

  14. Anonymous says:

    To July 30, 2010 7:22 AM:
    You have drunk the cool aide and are looking like a fool regarding the CRA.
    In the boom times before the economic crash, the CRA was investing in areas that were already surrounded by development without taxpayer money – the ultimate waste of money.
    The NIMBY comments also exposes the lack of thought on your part. Many people who don’t live in a project area (so it isn’t in their backyard) also oppose the CRA for sucking out the working class taxpayer dollars that could have been used for schools and go a long way to resolve our budget problems.
    Of course then those critics are told, you don’t live in the area and should mind your own business.

  15. Anonymous says:

    5:59 a.m. you have the nerve to tell someone to “mind your own business” and not to comment, while you rant on about how CRA money “could have been used for schools” (are you SO dumb you’re unaware that LAUSD is a separate entity, and IT funds schools?).
    “The NIMBY comments also exposes (sic) the lack of thought on your part…” WHAT the hell does THAT nonsense mean? Pointing out that the Just Say No bunch who have NO WAY to pay for their demands for service in a thoughtful way IS what you can’t refute — NONE of you people can say HOW you would fund the vital services you want without more parcel and other taxes or large, strategic development projects and luring new business — so you just tell someone to shut up and respond with incoherent nonsense that further reveals the kind of “thinking” of people here. The only one “looking like a fool” is you.
    This is more than just an academic exercise: if fools like you have your way the cities literally ALL AROUND us with continue to grow and thrive and provide services, repave their boulevards (like West Hollywood just did with Sunset) while L A will continue to fall apart, and get more and more congested (of course “all mass transit except buses are bad” is a mantra of you people too), and you people will keep just screaming and trying to silence others.

  16. Anonymous says:

    ADD to cities growing and expanding (often too much so and not caring about impacts on L A residents) Glendale and Burbank. They have lots of open space and while Burbank has become a city of huge megamalls and big boxes with lots of parking.
    For better of worse, L A couldn’t even manage to add one Home Depot in Sunland-Tujunga, while Costco trying to move to Woodland Hills is facing fierce battles. (True, Zine had forced the people of Woodland Hills to accept a huge condo development which took away some last remaining open land, and the people of Sunland- Tujunga also have to be generally vigilant to avoid their open spaces and community character from being totally destroyed, e.g. the Verdugo Hills Golf Course development threat.
    But the fact is, L A has developed a rep for being a city where businesses want to stay away. ADD to these HOA battles, our anti- business Republican City Attorney, who picked a battle with AEG/ Staples live for political payback reasons that he recently admitted had never had a legal basis, but which meanwhile, made national headlines as “bulling” business. (His jailing the supergraphics guy with a million-dollar bond added to the “what the hell’s going on in L A?” national buzz.)
    And what has gone on in WLA with groups trying to prevent everything from the most sensible routings of the Expo/ Subway lines, to replacing some Century City high-rises that were literally abandoned and falling into decay from capitalizing on their potential as world-class office/residential towers, built with significant concern for the neighborhood and input from community, and significant mitigation of traffic impacts).
    Meanwhile from “tony towns” around the westside to the valley’s formerly snubbed as working-class Burbank and Glendale are attracting upscale business and development and providing services which L A is losing. West Hollywood, Santa Monica are already built out and should NOT develop – they are violating CEQA in some cases – but are still developing, especially UP, very much to the detriment of traffic congestion in L A. ALL of them continue to capitalize on L A’s name insofar as it’s a lure. They are attracting the high-end business and development we’re not.
    WE are left increasingly with ethnic poor, Hollywood wanna-be’s who rent and don’t pay attention to local politics, a handful of very wealthy who don’t either, and narrow-minded reactionary older-skewing homeowner activists (who else has the time and home equity to devote all their time to these HOAs with their petty cliques) who are rightfully fearful of being taxed to death while the L A dream they bought into has fled to neighboring cities. But what they don’t realize, is THEY’re making it worse.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Mary Cummins for Planning Director, or better still Mayor. She is infallible and omnipotent.

  18. Chris S. says:

    To July 31, 2010 7:14 AM:
    You lack credibility when you clearly make things up regarding my statement. You claim I said (and in quotes) “mind your own business.” Anyone can clearly read my posting of July 31, 2010 5:59 AM and see that this was never said.
    Regarding the statement about CRA money (tax increment financing), CRA’s are all under state law and there was a recent court ruling that a city agency could transfer CRA money back to schools although CRA and the Development Complex (much like the Military Industrial Complex) consisting of very wealthy developers, law firms, and finance interests are fighting hard this ruling.
    {Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly ruled that the state can take more than $2 billion from local redevelopment funds and transfer the money to school operations.}
    http://citywatchla.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3631
    Of course the voters would have a right to stop all this non-sense and abolish the CRA’s in California.
    The CRA is a true Corporate welfare interest despite any propaganda that you may spew here.
    There are two sides to every story and it is important for all to read both sides to this important issue when we are facing budget shortfalls in the State and City.
    http://www.redevelopment.com/norby/toc.htm

  19. Chris S. says:

    If you read my original July 31, 2010 5:59 AM comments about NIMBYS, I was trying to make two points about the foolishness of the term NIMBY – because it is an intentional no-win argument used against opponents to a development project:
    1. If your neighborhood is being threatened by an over-sized non-sustainable development that asks for zoning variances, the proponents of the project use the term “NIMBYs” in an attempt to silence the opposition without a thoughtful discussion.
    2. But if the opponents of a development project are not “NIMBYs,” they are told to “mind your own business since you don’t live here”
    This “mind your own business” refers to those in favor of a development (at any cost) aimed at the opposition to their project.
    Clearly the goal of those favoring high-density large-scale projects is to silence any opposition, whether they live in the area or not.
    But some of us who are “non-NIMBYs” since we don’t have a backyard and don’t live in the area, are also concerned about over-scale and over-sized non-sustainable development since it impacts all residents CITY-WIDE.
    Why? – Because even with high efficiency appliances and low water using fixtures (which should be imposed on all new project irregardless of size), Southern California is a desert with a very limited water supply.
    Southern California is also facing a limited energy supply because of much tighter regulations that limit future power purchase, plant construction, and increasing costs of renewable energy.
    To coin a phrase – “Its the infrastructure, stupid” – Now hold your horses and don’t get verklempt – I am NOT calling “you” stupid. Just like I didn’t say to YOU, “mind your own business.”

  20. Anonymous says:

    CCA are a bunch of whores and prostitutes for monied interests who wear designer outfits and certain “f*** me” shoes. They are of another world: One where Michael LoGrande is thought to have a clue what being Planner Director is about. LoGrande wouldn’t know a community participation workshop if he tripped over it.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The previous poster has made the argument for confirming LoGrande.
    “Community Participation Workshop” indeed.
    These are sops to the fools who have no planning education and no desire to do anything but roll up the drawbridge and keep out anyone who wants to join their little patch of paradise.
    BANANA is a much better term than NIMBY… Build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything.
    People and commerce must progress or it fails. Like rowing up river; if you stop, you go backwards.
    Our city needs jobs and it needs economic progress, it is not a rural environment. If the community planning workshoppers want to live in the woods, good, go ahead and move there. But we are a large city and we need to keep moving.
    Michael LoGrande is a good guy, and you provincial BANANAs need to find another place to gripe. He doesn’t deserve this crap ginned up by David Abel, just because Kaye didn’t get the job.

  22. Anonymous says:

    11:50 a.m, you made the classic argument of why the communities should get together and demand the removal of this shit as Director.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Carol Schatz was the SB1818 density queen.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I’m wondering if any of the pundits here have any qualifications on anything other than being complete ingorant opportunists! Some of the haters might want to take a “Planning 101 class” and do some legal research on planning issues.

  25. Anonymous says:

    To August 1, 2010 11:50 AM:
    Thank you for giving an example of a typical foolish argument made by developers:
    “You can have our project which will give you “jobs and progress” or nothing – Now what will it be?” – All or nothing.
    Again that is just foolish and immature. You can provide a project that is designed to fit within the community and doesn’t seek a list of zoning variances without just accepting what a developer is proposing.
    This will still provide progress and organic growth but at a slower more sustainable rate instead of the boom and bust rapid growth that we experienced from 2001 through 2008 – do you understand that Mr. Bush?

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