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Get Informed, Get Involved: The Failure to implement LA’s Community Plans

Editor’s
Note: The assault on planning rules that protect neighborhoods and
require processes that give the public a voice is in his gear. 
The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday will vote on a proposed ordinance
that will fundamentally change how Community Plans are updated. It
would enable the city to effectively upzone and change zoning within
Community Plan areas without a formal Community Plan update, to
spot-zone individual sites with only adjustments and exceptions without
requriing variances, potentially override existing Community Design
Overlay Districts, Pedestrian Oriented Districts and Q conditions and
undermine the new Baseline Hillside Ordinance, according to LA Neighbors United. This article by former city planner, Dick Platkin, now a planning consultant, helps explain the issue.


By Dick Platkin

On
Wednesday, November 10, 2010, the Los Angeles City Council will
consider and may adopt a new Community Plan Implementation Ordinance
(CPIO). This ordinance is enabling legislation which will then allow the
city to implement a Community Plan through a zoning overlay ordinance
for an entire community plan area.

But would such local
ordinances actually implement a Community Plan? The answer is hardly at
all, and the title of this new legislation misleads the public, in
particular because CPIO’s could usher in many changes to local
communities which conflict with Community Plans.

This is because
the City’s elected officials, with long-term and consistent support from
the Department of City Planning, long ago abdicated their role in
planning Los Angeles. For them planning has become an appendage to the
city’s Department of Building and Safety, not a rigorously prepared and
maintained vision for governing Los Angeles.

As anyone who has
taken the time to actually look at the city’s General Plan Framework or
one of the city’s 35 Community Plans quickly learns, these documents
always address 100 percent of the land area in Los Angeles. This is why
all plans contain page after page of thoughtful policies and programs
addressing such public infrastructure as parks, and such public services
as libraries and sanitation.

These portions of the General Plan
and its implementing land use element, the Community Plans address 80
percent of the land area of Los Angeles. They should therefore guide the
bulk of City Hall’s activities, the city’s annual budget, including its
Capital Improvement Program.

Furthermore, only 20 percent of the
city’s surface area is in private lots, and only a small amount of the
activity on these private lots is new construction regulated by Building
and Safety and City Planning.  Most of what goes on in private lots is
best addressed by code enforcement or other cutting-edge programs to
“green” existing buildings. Examples of the latter include environmental
upgrades, such as cisterns, strategic tree planting, green roofs,
double-paned windows, and energy efficient home appliances.

Not
only does the proposed CPIO fail to address any such policies or
programs for existing structures, but — more importantly — it totally
fails to implement any of the policies and programs for the 80 percent
of Los Angeles carefully addressed in Community Plans, but under the
jurisdiction of the big city departments, in particular LADWP, Harbor,
Airports, Public Works (Engineering, Street Services, Sanitation),
Police, Fire, Transportation, Libraries, and Recreation and Parks.

Instead
the CPIO will allow many building permits to be approved with
potentially adverse environmental impacts, while the CPIO itself is
almost irrelevant to the implementation of a Community Plan.

The
real heavy lifting in implementing a community plan comes through the
city’s budget, department work programs, and the Capital Improvement
Program.  Building permits, in particular discretionary actions to
obtain building permits not otherwise allowed by city codes, are, in
reality, a tiny part of Community Plan implementation – despite their
dramatic and often adverse environmental impacts on local communities.

Since
City Planning long ago abdicated any role other than processing these
discretionary actions, they have proposed an ordinance which claims it
is implementing the Community Plans, when, in fact, it is only a back
door for circumventing discretionary actions for building permits which
cannot be directly approved by the city’s Department of Building and
Safety.

Furthermore, because these CPIO projects will be
approved without an environmental review, their likely impacts will
undercut, not promote, the goals of a Community Plan.

What Los
Angeles needs is real implementation of its existing and future adopted
city plans, not misleading ordinances which claim to implement the
General Plan and Community Plans, but which, at best,  do nothing of the
sort.  Furthermore, at worst, they may actually sabotage the very plans
they claim they are implementing.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Get Informed, Get Involved: The Failure to implement LA’s Community Plans

  1. Anonymous says:

    WEDNESDAY, October 20, 2010 Los Angeles Council Is Awaiting A Quorum Again as the HABITUAL CONCILMEMBERS ARRIVE LATE. District 15 – Janice Hahn District 11 – Bill Rosendahl District 10 – Herb Wesson District 7 – Richard Alarcon District 6 – Tony Cardenas District 5 – Paul Koretz District 2 – Paul Krekorian

  2. Anonymous says:

    Please quit posting the Council’s no-shows, especially when it is off-topic. It is a real comment-killer to the issue at hand. Anyway, what are we expected to do? Sue the Council for being late.

  3. Anonymous says:

    2:39 PM
    “Tardiness is but one symptom of a troubled political leadership.”
    It’s on topic which shows the lack of tranparency and leadership.

  4. dianne says:

    Thanks for posting this info. Useful for research at election times.

  5. Amazing issues here. I am very happy to look your post. Thanks a lot and I’m having a look forward to touch you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

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Get Informed, Get Involved: The Failure to implement LA’s Community Plans

Editor’s
Note: The assault on planning rules that protect neighborhoods and
require processes that give the public a voice is in his gear. 
The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday will vote on a proposed ordinance
that will fundamentally change how Community Plans are updated. It
would enable the city to effectively upzone and change zoning within
Community Plan areas without a formal Community Plan update, to
spot-zone individual sites with only adjustments and exceptions without
requriing variances, potentially override existing Community Design
Overlay Districts, Pedestrian Oriented Districts and Q conditions and
undermine the new Baseline Hillside Ordinance, according to LA Neighbors United. This article by former city planner, Dick Platkin, now a planning consultant, helps explain the issue.


By Dick Platkin

On
Wednesday, November 10, 2010, the Los Angeles City Council will
consider and may adopt a new Community Plan Implementation Ordinance
(CPIO). This ordinance is enabling legislation which will then allow the
city to implement a Community Plan through a zoning overlay ordinance
for an entire community plan area.

But would such local
ordinances actually implement a Community Plan? The answer is hardly at
all, and the title of this new legislation misleads the public, in
particular because CPIO’s could usher in many changes to local
communities which conflict with Community Plans.

This is because
the City’s elected officials, with long-term and consistent support from
the Department of City Planning, long ago abdicated their role in
planning Los Angeles. For them planning has become an appendage to the
city’s Department of Building and Safety, not a rigorously prepared and
maintained vision for governing Los Angeles.

As anyone who has
taken the time to actually look at the city’s General Plan Framework or
one of the city’s 35 Community Plans quickly learns, these documents
always address 100 percent of the land area in Los Angeles. This is why
all plans contain page after page of thoughtful policies and programs
addressing such public infrastructure as parks, and such public services
as libraries and sanitation.

These portions of the General Plan
and its implementing land use element, the Community Plans address 80
percent of the land area of Los Angeles. They should therefore guide the
bulk of City Hall’s activities, the city’s annual budget, including its
Capital Improvement Program.

Furthermore, only 20 percent of the
city’s surface area is in private lots, and only a small amount of the
activity on these private lots is new construction regulated by Building
and Safety and City Planning.  Most of what goes on in private lots is
best addressed by code enforcement or other cutting-edge programs to
“green” existing buildings. Examples of the latter include environmental
upgrades, such as cisterns, strategic tree planting, green roofs,
double-paned windows, and energy efficient home appliances.

Not
only does the proposed CPIO fail to address any such policies or
programs for existing structures, but — more importantly — it totally
fails to implement any of the policies and programs for the 80 percent
of Los Angeles carefully addressed in Community Plans, but under the
jurisdiction of the big city departments, in particular LADWP, Harbor,
Airports, Public Works (Engineering, Street Services, Sanitation),
Police, Fire, Transportation, Libraries, and Recreation and Parks.

Instead
the CPIO will allow many building permits to be approved with
potentially adverse environmental impacts, while the CPIO itself is
almost irrelevant to the implementation of a Community Plan.

The
real heavy lifting in implementing a community plan comes through the
city’s budget, department work programs, and the Capital Improvement
Program.  Building permits, in particular discretionary actions to
obtain building permits not otherwise allowed by city codes, are, in
reality, a tiny part of Community Plan implementation – despite their
dramatic and often adverse environmental impacts on local communities.

Since
City Planning long ago abdicated any role other than processing these
discretionary actions, they have proposed an ordinance which claims it
is implementing the Community Plans, when, in fact, it is only a back
door for circumventing discretionary actions for building permits which
cannot be directly approved by the city’s Department of Building and
Safety.

Furthermore, because these CPIO projects will be
approved without an environmental review, their likely impacts will
undercut, not promote, the goals of a Community Plan.

What Los
Angeles needs is real implementation of its existing and future adopted
city plans, not misleading ordinances which claim to implement the
General Plan and Community Plans, but which, at best,  do nothing of the
sort.  Furthermore, at worst, they may actually sabotage the very plans
they claim they are implementing.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Get Informed, Get Involved: The Failure to implement LA’s Community Plans

  1. Anonymous says:

    “Tardiness is but one symptom of a troubled political leadership.” Since October 14, 2010 when L.A. Daily News reported, “ Los Angeles City Council’s tardiness a sign of disrespect” nothing has changed. The Los Angeles Council continues to DISRESPECT citizens, who pay their salaries, as councilmembers continue to violate their own Council Rules with NO CONSEQUENCES. Can one of these council members display leadership and introduce a MOTION to take away council members cars, who are habitual violators of their own rules. How about Former Police Chief and current Councilmember Bernard Parks? Tuesday, November 9, 2010 Los Angeles Council Is Awaiting A Quorum Again as the HABITUAL CONCILMEMBERS ARRIVE LATE. District 15 – Janice Hahn District 14 – Jose Huizar District 10 – Herb Wesson District 7 – Richard Alarcon District 6 – Tony Cardenas District 5 – Paul Koretz District 1 – Ed Reyes Friday, October 29, 2010 Los Angeles Council Is Awaiting A Quorum Again as the HABITUAL COUNCILMEMBERS ARRIVE LATE. District 15 – Janice Hahn District 14 – Jose Huizar District 12 – Grieg Smith District 10 – Herb Wesson District 7 – Richard Alarcon District 1 – Ed Reyes Wednesday, October 20, 2010 Los Angeles Council Is Awaiting A Quorum Again as the HABITUAL CONCILMEMBERS ARRIVE LATE. District 15 – Janice Hahn District 11 – Bill Rosendahl District 10 – Herb Wesson District 7 – Richard Alarcon District 6 – Tony Cardenas District 5 – Paul Koretz District 2 – Paul Krekorian Friday, October 15, 2010 Los Angeles Council Is Awaiting A Quorum Again as the FORMER POLICE SERGEANT and CURRENT ASSISTANT NEED TO SET PRECEDENT PRO TEMPORE COUNCILMAN DENNIS ZINE lacks transparency because he customarily FAILS to name the councilmembers who arrive late to chambers. November 9, 2010 City Council Agenda http://ens.lacity.org/clk/councilagendas/clkcouncilagendas368993_11092010.pdf

  2. Anonymous says:

    The CPIO ordinance is a mash-up from the creative and uninformed mind of Gail Goldberg written by staff who barely understand the intricacies of the Zoning Code. It conflicts with the Code and the Specific Plans and will be so difficult to implement that we might as well discard it now before the problems start.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Tardiness is but one symptom of a troubled political leadership.
    Since October 14, 2010 when L.A. Daily News reported, Los Angeles City Council’s tardiness a sign of disrespect nothing has changed.
    The Los Angeles Council continues to DISRESPECT citizens, who pay their salaries, as councilmembers continue to violate their own Council Rules with NO CONSEQUENCES.
    Can one of these council members display leadership and introduce a MOTION to take away council members cars, who are habitual violators of their own rules. How about Former Police Chief and current Councilmember Bernard Parks?
    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 Los Angeles Council Is Awaiting A Quorum Again as the HABITUAL CONCILMEMBERS ARRIVE LATE.
    District 15 Janice Hahn
    District 14 Jose Huizar
    District 10 Herb Wesson
    District 7 Richard Alarcon
    District 6 Tony Cardenas
    District 5 Paul Koretz
    District 1 Ed Reyes
    Friday, October 29, 2010 Los Angeles Council Is Awaiting A Quorum Again as the HABITUAL COUNCILMEMBERS ARRIVE LATE.
    District 15 Janice Hahn
    District 14 Jose Huizar
    District 12 Grieg Smith
    District 10 Herb Wesson
    District 7 Richard Alarcon
    District 1 Ed Reyes
    Wednesday, October 20, 2010 Los Angeles Council Is Awaiting A Quorum Again as the HABITUAL CONCILMEMBERS ARRIVE LATE.
    District 15 Janice Hahn
    District 11 Bill Rosendahl
    District 10 Herb Wesson
    District 7 Richard Alarcon
    District 6 Tony Cardenas
    District 5 Paul Koretz
    District 2 Paul Krekorian
    Friday, October 15, 2010 Los Angeles Council Is Awaiting A Quorum Again as the FORMER POLICE SERGEANT and CURRENT ASSISTANT NEED TO SET PRECEDENT PRO TEMPORE COUNCILMAN DENNIS ZINE lacks transparency because he customarily FAILS to name the councilmembers who arrive late to chambers.
    http://www.dailynews.com/opinions/ci_16332098

  4. Some truly superb info , Sword lily I noticed this.

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