Steven Leigh Morris, in a comprehensive article just posted at laweekly.com that will be in Thursday’s edition, penetrates the complexities of the radical changes under way to city planning rules — changes that are “are shrouded in mystery and yet to be unveiled at City Hall
The article headlined “Community Watchdog Cary Brazeman Fights Villaraigosa’s Crusade to Allow Development Everywhere” focuses on the founder of LA Neighbors United crusade to protect the city’s neighborhoods from City Hall’s campaign to densify the city even as residents are denied a voice in the process.
“There’s a theology at play, a utopian vision of a 21st-century “new urban” city proclaimed with far more zeal than evidence,” Morris writes.
believe that Mayor Villaraigosa and his deputy, Austin Beutner, have an
ulterior motive for further loosening the rules on growth in a city
where those rules have never been strong: to fend off city bankruptcy by
feeding “underutilized” areas and land-hogging single-family
neighborhoods to Wall Street real estate investment companies.”
Morrie interviewed numerous community leaders, city planners and national experts in planning and calls into question the premise the high-density development is either an economic or social good.
He found LA already is a very dense city with only 25 percent of the city’s residents living in single-family homes and points to studies that show even around subway stops, residents of new apartment complexes use their cars to commute as often as others remote from public transit.
If you want to understand why the mayor and City Council are short-circuiting planning protections and processes, why they are gearing up for war against Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to abolish the CRA and its ability to subsidize unwanted high-density projects, why the future of the city hangs in the balance, you need to read this whole article.
It is a guide to how they plan to destroy LA for the profit of developers and Wall Street and, of course, to protect their own positions with the wealth that undermines our elections and our democratic rights.