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How Garcetti Sold Out Even Before He Was Sworn In

It took Antonio Villaraigosa all of six weeks after taking the oath of office in 2005 to destroy all hope for his time as mayor by approving raises of up to 6 percent a year for five years for the overpaid and underworked DWP employees.

With just over a month to go before he takes the oath of office as mayor, Eric Garcetti already has shown his true colors by approving of the merger of the Planning and Building and Safety departments under the unqualified Michael LoGrande.

Although absent for the unanimous vote, Garcetti issued a statement:

“Making it easier to open a business in L.A. is key to our economic recovery, and I’m hopeful consolidation can result in significant savings of time and money. I want to send a clear message that customer service — red tape — will be the priority at City Hall.”

What else would expect from someone who declared the day after winning election that the recession is over and the city’s problems solved.

Read where the slave to the rich and powerful Planning Director LoGrande explained three weeks ago in the Planning Report how he will destroy the quality of life for millions with this new power.

Read how the stooge carrying this piece of devious dealing, Mitch Englander, gutted all safeguards and standards today from his motion.

Read the Council file and see how little time and effort went into adopting a revolutionary change that allows every project to be put up for sale to fund political corruption.

Read how their evil intent is couched in this mission statement as assuring the preservation of the quality of life in the neighborhoods when it is the exact opposite:

The mission of the Department of City Planning and Development is to create, implement and enforce policies, programs and codes that realize a vision of Los Angeles as a collection of healthy and sustainable communities and neighborhoods. The Department strives to ensure that each community and neighborhood has a distinct sense of place, based on a foundation of mobility, economic vitality, and improved quality of life for all of its residents.

Not that it matters much or that the 2,000 members of the moribund Neighborhood  Council system or the thousands of others involved in myopic homeowner and resident groups are going to do anything about this but you might note that the PLUM Committee only wants officials to hold “meetings with various industry organizations (DIAC, CCA, AIA, BIA, BOMA, VICA), Plan Check Neighborhood Council, and Chambers of Commerce.”

You could stop this but you won’t any more than Wendy Greuel would conduct audits for “waste, fraud and abuse” or Garcetti will denounce how the Planning Commission without hesitation  two days after the election approved a 96-unit condominium project in Winnetka in the Valley for felonious developer Chuck Francoeur.

You might remember Greuel made a big deal about Garcetti taking money from a felon and a few days later looked ridiculous when it was exposed she took money from Francoeur and supported his development deals.

She compounded her own political folly by calling for rules requiring developers to reveal their criminal backgrounds when seeking taxpayer money for their projects — whatever good that would do.

Nah, fahgettaboudit, the sun is shining and happy days are here again. I just couldn’t help myself, couldn’t stop from pointing out the game is over before it began.

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51 Responses to How Garcetti Sold Out Even Before He Was Sworn In

  1. JOHN WALSH says:

    Who gets to be Mayor of LA starting July First? Eric or Gil?

    John Walsh

  2. ex valley says:

    Who is going to buy a condo on roscoe boulevard in winnetka?

  3. Wayne from Encino says:

    Sultan Big Head I continues to pave every street in Encino! The evil developers continue to build their McMansions and stupid condos with speed and respect for the neighbors, which is a rare sight to see. Yes, the Big Head has actually done alot of good in Encino. I’m going to give the Big Head a grade of B- for 2013 (so far.) That is an all time high grade (the previous record was a C for Reyes who cleaned all the tagging in CD1 but now that problem is getting worse again by the minute this year.) The Sultan realizes, of course, that I’ve endorsed him for the next Clowncil President (thus the title Sultan vs. the current King Herb I.) Koretz has proven to be a surprise improvement over the Donkey Fool Weiss we had before. I think the key is his staff actually likes Encino and thus working in the district seems to interest them. In other districts, (like CD9, CD7) staff working there can’t wait to flee the area early each day.
    Garcetti has gone off and started bad with these votes. He”ll regret giving LoGrande too much power as Prince Eric just loves power and never likes to share.
    Good point from ex-valley: who the hell wants a condo in Winnetka and Roscoe? For that money, a house outside L.A. could be had easily in many other areas with better schools and no DWP. I suppose the key is giving those subprime loans out again, which will result in a new housing bubble that will bust in a few years from now. In Sherman Oaks, however, they are realizing what a scam this 405 “widing project” really is! I’ve been through the construction area several times and it has just been suffering to drive through there! Traffic relief won’t come as long as the new lanes are those stoopid toll lanes! Look at the 110 and see how no one uses the new “pay to pass” lanes. Sacramento is really worried about the failure of this pay to drive scam. They counted on hundreds of millions more bucks rolling in, and got almost nothing. I think they’ll try an annual unlimited miles sticker scam where people pay for a green carpool sticker even though they don’t have a green car! They’ll start at $1,000 for 5 years. They’d have some serious takers at first.

    • scott zwartz says:

      “Garcetti has gone off and started bad with these votes. He”ll regret giving LoGrande too much power as Prince Eric just loves power and never likes to share.”

      Garcetti won’t regret LaGrande — In 2006, then Director of Planning Gail Goldberg referred to Garcetti’s habit of letting developers dictate the zoning for their own land as bringing disaster on LA. Then Villa appointed LoGrande to replace Goldberg — because LoGrande would continue to let Garcetti’s buddies dictate the zoning for their land.

      No one wanted to listen before the election about the “disaster” Garcetti and the developers had brought upon the City. It was 1,000% the evil Unions — but oops, guess. The real problem the developers and their corrupt city officials like Garcetti.

      It’s like a city of Ken Alpert who cried and pleaded for the subway saying how wonderful it would be and trashing the idea that subways’ main purpose is to justify super-density. ow poor Ken is all upset at the Casden project as it brings too much density.

      The moral is simple. If you do not want a corrupt and incompetent city government, stop electing corrupt and incompetent officials.

  4. Teddy says:

    Remember when (about 15-16 years ago?) you suggested that the SFV
    secede from LA City. You were absolutely correct. We need to do that.
    They rob us blind.

    • anonymous says:

      Good idea–but you know they’ll make it a whole city vote and not just a Valley vote. I wonder if one could get a judge to rule it can only be a Valley vote. If so, it’s worth another go.

    • scott zwartz says:

      You tend to forget that the people behind secession are often as corrupt and incompetent as the downtown politicos. People want simplistic answers like term limits or secession, when all they have to do is:

      (1) Learn the facts (This is hard with the LA Times as our main newspaper)

      (2) Stop scapegoating non-responsible people like the Unions

  5. Teddy says:

    I remember that “shrewd ” move which has worked for what is now
    a “gang”. I think we need to sue and have our own vote. We actually
    won last time except that the whole city got to vote. Never heard of such
    an outrageous before.

    But we need legal advice as to how to achieve that. Can you help?

    • ex valley says:

      Teddy, there is no interest in the valley secession. Do you really think any of the movers or shakers care? Plus the last time the yes vote in the valley itself was about 51% or so. Not that greatly overwhelming.

      Also the valley now is nothing like a nice middle class community it used to be. Now it’s a 3rd world ghetto, dirty, crowded, gangs, graffiti for the most part. Why is it different from other parts of LA?

      • Anonymous says:

        The valley increasingly looks like the Third World due to felons like Chuck Francoeur who are minting money even as they destroy neighborhoods acre by acre, lot by lot. The development mentioned here was designated by the Community Plan for Low Density Residential with an RA zone. In other words only 10 single family dwellings could be developed at the density of 17,500 sq.ft. per lot area. With the wave of a magic wand, LoGrande’s Planning Department changed the Community Plan to multiple-family and an R3 Zone and the lucky lotto winner walks away with 118 units. The community now faces 250 additional cars instead of 20 adding to the traffic, pollution and environmental degradation.
        How do such developers get away with the loot with no regard to the communities. If someone would check the record, Francoeur must have contributed to everyone in power and supported LoGrande in his quest to become Super God to rule over both Planning & Building & Safety and run roughshod over development laws, rules and procedures. Look, who initiated this monstrosity –the worst Mayor – who still had the gall to have LAX main hall named after him. Nothing good can come from him and the parasites, roaches and leeches that pass for our City Council. Lastly, you need a silent and dumb public that allows these brazen robberies to their detriment.

        • scott zwartz says:

          If you voted for Garcetti, you voted for extreme density. LA is already the most dense city in America a 7,000 per square mile.

  6. MissAnthrope says:

    We didn’t manage to elect Walter Moore or Kevin James, so we can’t expect anything more than we already have.

    The only hope is that, if he’s true to his word, Ron Galperin will expose the corruption, and waste and the local media will pay attention long enough for residents to do something.

    We can dream, can’t we?

    • scott zwartz says:

      Walter Moore is a racist and disqualified himself and Kevin James turned out to be a gavacho vendido, but that’s not why he lost.

      • Rita-of-Sunland says:

        Walter Moore is NOT a racist. He simply isn’t afraid to come out and state that rampant illegal immigration is detrimental to our quality of life. It IS. How CAN the importation of poverty, ignorance and arrogance EVER be a good thing? Do you believe differently? (And please don’t resort to all that “Diversity is our STRENGTH” crap.)

      • anonymous says:

        …those who resort to irrational accusations
        and the hollow defamation of good men reveal
        much about themselves and say nothing
        about the those they seek to disparage…

        • Anonymous says:

          BS. Big difference between qualified people who go through the proper legal channels to legalize and those who stream through porous borders & then make demands on our publicly funded orgs.

          • anonymous says:

            anon comment at 3:15 pm agrees with Rita…
            the good men are Moore and James…
            please pardon my ESL writing…

  7. Kristin S says:

    That didn’t take long, did it?

    It seems like changing something as big as how development projects are approved in LA should require a vote of the people.

    • Anonymous says:

      Kristin S–Since you are involved with the Griffith Park, you can understand what these developers are doing to the Valley. The RA zoned land allowed parks, playgrounds or community centers operated by a government agency; golf courses, nurseries and horsekeeping. These precious lands are being converted to R3 Multiple-density which don’t even meet the “smart” or “elegant” density nonsense espoused by Garcetti. It is pure speculation for these sharks to make a killing while they can. Where is the FBI when you need them.

      • scott zwartz says:

        HUNC caled for the US Attorney to convene a federal grand jury to investigate the downsizing of its 2 acre Fore Station 82 by 75% to 1/2 acre and the 2011 fraud where Garcetti took an additional $200 M away from paramedics and firefighters. In addition other people have turned over the evidence of real estate fraud by Garcetti at 1601 N Vine to the FBI. There was also the criminal fraud with the Hollywood Sign.

        Neither the US Attorney, the FBI nor the District Attorney will do anything about an real corruption in Los Angeles. That’s why Steve Lopez wrote in Feb 2012 about the LA area being the second most corrupt in the nation.

        Literally billions of tax dollars have been criminally diverted to the developers and no law enforcement agency will even look at it — even where there is black and white proof of appraisal fraud.

        When Bush played politics with the US Justice department, everyone go upset. Now that the Justice Department is seeing no evil for Democrat criminals, no one complains. IF this were Chicago, 10 to 1 Garcetti would be in the state prison by now.

        • Kristin S says:

          Why doesn’t HUNC send their documentation to the New York Times? That paper loves to publish any shit they can on Los Angeles of late, and if it did appear there, it might get some legs at the Federal level.

      • Kristin S says:

        I can understand what these developers are doing to the Valley because I live in the Valley.

        Seems like something that smells a lot like RICO should get the FBI’s attention…

  8. Anonymous says:

    The merger is backed by the same entities that wanted your taxes to increase via Measure A: the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Central City Association and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

    These entities are not your friend. They are too stupid to even understand that they are killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Oppose anything supported by them.

  9. Ricardo says:

    What I want to know is where were all the Neighborhood Councils on this issue? This was brought up at LANCC a couple of months ago and nothing was done. Its about time those lazy fools on Neighborhood Councils started showing their power or else stop wasting our tax payer money on your BS projects. They sure can organize when the City wants to take away their money but let it be a “real” issue and they are like a bunch of sissies afraid to confront the big bad wolf. I’ve seen old ladies go off on City Council members on issues while the lazy NC reps DO NOTHING.

    • Rita-of-Sunland says:

      I can tell you about the disappointment surrounding the neighborhood councils FIRST-HAND, Ricardo. Neighborhood councils have devolved into mere mouth-pieces for the unions, the LADWP and for the City Council; in other words, “the powers that BE.” Right now I’m waging a small war against the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council because I dared question the agenda of RePower L.A, one of these horrid “Get L.A. Off of Coal” non-profits organized by the IBEW. They made a presentation at our neighborhood council meeting back in April and when I accused Ms. Non-Profit Big Mouth Cynthia Strathmann of being a shill for Brian D’Arcy who just wants another excuse to grow his IBEW army and thus further control local elections AND raise our DWP bills, she became hysterical. Our spirited exchange was subsequently cut from the public record. When I complained I was defriended on fb by the neighborhood council pres., vice-pres., and treasurer and have also been discouraged from pursuing this censorship issue by the city atty.’s office.

    • anonymous says:

      Ricardo you write about NCs
      “…sisses afraid to confront” and “lazy NC reps do nothing…”
      Rita, you write of your recent experience of being defriended,
      shunned, by your PC NC…they have you marked as a trouble-maker…
      well, here is another example of NC dysfunction…in our mid-valley NC, several board members have formed their own “gang”, who,
      like a pack of hyenas, routinely berate, shout at, harangue,
      intimidate and threaten “stakeholders” who question or voice
      opposition to NC activities…really…and the other members say nothing…
      timid imbeciles…or as they like to call themselves…”team players”!
      Don’t expect any assistance from DONE or City Attorney office…
      they know who “butters their bread” and what the Party Line dictates…

  10. scott zwartz says:

    Well, those who thought Wendy was sooo terrible because she had Union support were quite blinded by their own anti-Unionism. They over looked all of Garcetti’s crimes, yes his behavior qualified as criminal, because nothing mattered more than sticking it to the Unions.

    As predicted, he is pushing his Smart Growth agenda like an out-of-control sexual fetish. Sacramento is working to bring back the CRA’s, Kelo eminent domain, and the diversion of billions of tax dollars to real estate developers. There is not need for a Neighborhood Council to offer an opinion. When Garcetti wants their opinion Garcetti will tell them what their opinion is.

    You voted for Garcetti and now we’re all stuck with him. Scapegoating Jews, Gypsies, Gays or Unions never turns out well for the scapegoaters.

    • Greuel’s ties to the public unions would have made the city’s deficit completely unmanageable. Not to mention she lacks smarts.

    • In Eagle Rock says:

      I think you should put this into the real context which is that there were only two candidates for mayor and not voting does nothing useful. So between Garcetti and Greuel, most chose Eric. Wendy was compromised out of the gate and it got worse. If she did not see what image she was presenting to residents and businesses in a super-broke city that gave and still gives raises for years when people in the private sector get no raises and are losing jobs, then she not mayor material.

      Garcetti has his own agenda that put him right behind Wendy with workers, with his references to city employees as “we are a family,” and the DWP jobs and ERIPs still cost tax dollars but helped his “family.”

      But Eric may have some ability to see beyond his own agenda to put city survival first. There was only Greuel and Garcetti, both really similar as you would expect from similar elected histories in a council with rubber stamping motions a reflexive action.

      A city charter change to have Bi-partisan elections may at least have some candidates with more pronounced differences produced by just THAT change. It may bring out more voters than having cookie-cutter candidates of the same party that’s put the city where it shouldn’t be. Either they are both hated or both worshipped now, making choices difficult for many. But we can have some real reasons for such individual assessments by eliminating the non-partisan nature of the offices. Just a thought.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Remember Mitch Englander’s $500,000 million war chest collected from developers. He had better not be making decisions on their projects. Is someone willing to report all the foul real estate dealings going on in LA City Hall. We just can’t stand back and allow this to happen.

  12. Anonymous says:

    This fits right into the discussion here and is in regard to the proposed Casden “Mixed Use” Development at Sepulveda and Exposition in West LA where Appeals were heard at a Public Hearing at LA’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM) on Tuesday, May 28, 2013. See Docs here along with revealing article in the Links below. All of this is truly ominous and really needs wide public exposure – should be in the LA Times for Pete’s Sakes!!!

    The LATPN appears to be more politically motivated than an exercise in proper Planning that respects impacts on local and regional environment, infrastructure, mobility and quality of life.

    The most recent exercise in Planning behaving more like a Politburo than a proper and professional civil service is its politically-driven effort to promote a nebulous and likely toxic Casden Sepulveda development that would result in exposure of children and seniors to freeway fumes at a location currently (and appropriately) zoned for industrial use.

    Unfortunately, Mr. Casden and his team of developers are as adept at election contributions, money laundering and political payoffs as they are clueless about what the hell transit-oriented development is, and how it should be created.

    With one favorable vote (Reyes) and one neutral vote (Englander) and one no-show (Huizar), the City Council PLUM Committee has sent the Casden Sepulveda joke-of-a-project to the full Council (currently scheduled for June 12th).

    One favorable vote and it goes to the Council…nice.

    This project, so huge and car-oriented and inappropriate for this transit-adjacent location, zipped through Planning and the CPC in a manner that will virtually kill Westside desire for road and rail improvements and expansions in Los Angeles. It’s corrupt, involves violating environmental, CEQA and Brown Act laws that should appall anyone, and (along with the Hollywood Millennium Project) is iconic of what is wrong with the way our City does business.

    Outgoing City Attorney Carmen Trutanich and his deputies, Jane Usher and William Carter, have recommended this Casden/Sepulveda travesty go back to Planning, and transit-friendly incoming City Attorney Mike Feuer needs to follow suit.

    It’s illegal, stinks of a lack of transit planning, proper urban planning, and obeying the law with respect to Community Plans.

    And the recent efforts by Downtown to combine Planning and Building/Safety (LINK:

    Otherwise praiseworthy, but in the City of L.A. it’s downright frightening, because the engineers and law-respecting Building/Safety professionals will be under the thumb of new uber-czar Michael LoGrande of Planning.

    Every time the residents and Neighborhood Councils raise an issue to the new combined department about infrastructure overutilization, environmental impacts and sustainability it’ll be the same response: nothing to see here, move along, etc.

    So kiss any future Measure J’s or road repair bond measures good-bye if this goes through, unless of course you think you can do these measures without Westside and other regional support. Other developers will follow Casden’s lead (with all the electioneering/money laundering and influence he has done for many years) if this illegal travesty goes through, and Planning will turn the City into a Wild, Wild West of laissez faire development.

  13. There’s a difference between cutting red tape and having departments work with each other; and combining two departments. Does this mean less Building & Safety inspection? Combining means less of each.

  14. Teddy says:

    Tomorrow is July 1, 2013.
    Eric Garcetti will be the Mayor of the city of Los Angeles.
    I ask that our new Mayor take the journey to Sacramento
    and ask the Governor to restore citizen’s rights to the people
    of the SFV to vote on secession without the rest of the city
    having a vote. It is very obvious that I am an Angeleno because
    I pay taxes to the city of Los Angeles. But very little of any of our
    money is spent on Valley problems

    • Kristin S says:

      Right there with you. Teddy. Yes on Secession, Yes on only the SFV voting.

    • scott zwartz says:

      Really? Are you totally insane. Garcetti is not going to give up all this acreage for mixed-use developments. He needs your incremental property tax dollars for his developer buddies. Steinberg is introducing the bills to take away the property taxes one again and give billions to the likes of Eli Broad.

      If you want pot holes fixed, pass a special measure and tax yourself some more.

      You want more cops and paramedics, and fire fighters, pass another measure and tax yourselves some more,

      You want some water mains and sewers, pass another measure and tax yourself some more.

      As soon as Steinberg’s bill passes, we will have a gazillion more LLC’s building thousands upon thousands of units all over LA including the Valley. After all Garcetti is building subway under the 405 for all those mixed-use projects he has planned for the Valley. THey they go BK and we pick up the bill while the billions have already collected their $$ from Garcetti. It is not as if you did not have 12 years to see Garcetti’s pattern.

      So many people were so busy scapegoating the Unions, that they let Garcetti stay in power. Stupid gets what stupid merits.

  15. JEAN FLEMING says:

    I think that Garcetti should ask the Governor to restore citizen’s rights to the people of the SFV. This was the plan that David Fleming and Richard Rirodan had tried to get passed years ago.

  16. scott zwartz says:

    Today Garcetti was in Sacramento meeting with Mr. I Love CRA’s, Darrell Steinberg who has introduced legislation t bring back the CRA.

    Tony V is already looking good by comparison, and people are begnning to kick themselves saying, “I could’ve had a Greuel.”

    Hello Kelo eminent domain, good-bye incremental property tax dollars.

  17. Wendy wouldn’t be better. Eric used to ride around the valley in station wagon. You know, the kind with wood panels on the side. Sometimes, for ice cream, at Carvell’s. Gimme a break. You can’t TOP that.

    • Rita-of-Sunland says:

      IF he and sister “behaved themselves,” Ron. IF and ONLY then would they get a “soft-serve.”

  18. Look, I KNOW Wendy was the other choice. But, a whole lotta folks were REALLY blowing their Eric Garcetti horn, like L.A. City would become a Mardi Gras, job creation party. Not just holding noses…but really SO PRO-ERIC. When you go back/listen to everything #EricGarcetti said, over past 7 yrs, as Council President=there is NO EVIDENCE he has ever been right. Folks get great sounding bullshit, by a rehearsed SAG actor as something worthwhile. He’s been wrong about EVERY-THING. EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. What makes you think things will change?

  19. Teddy says:

    Sometimes I think I see a control “political” slant in these comments – like
    mentioning secession as being more fair to the people in the San Fernando Valley.
    Then we get many comments as to how wonderful being a huge city is.

    I live in the Valley and I KNOW WE ARE BEING USED. IT IS NOR FAIR.

  20. Dick Platkin says:

    It will take far more than letting real estate speculators build whatever their pocket books desire to revive Los Angeles. Eric Garcetti, probably more than Wendy Gruel, will continue many “development reform” efforts (Up-zoning through Community Plan Updates, Zoning Code “streamlining” and revamping, consolidation of City Planning and Building and Safety), but to what end? Los Angeles will still be filled with the country’s worst traffic congestion, bad air, decrepit sidewalks and streets, impassable alleys, treeless corridors, ugly billboards and supergraphics, unsightly overhead wires, failing public schools, insufficient parks, out-of-scale McMansions, uncountable code violations, high levels of unemployment, and much more.
    Another real estate bubble is either irrelevant to Los Angeles’s real problems or will actually make them worse. If an occasional project, like The Grove, succeeds, it only aggravates the city’s mediocre public infrastructure and services. But since most speculative real estate projects will not succeed in a rundown city, they are just a drain on resources that could have been better spent on improving the quality of life for the city’s residents.

    In the long-run City Hall’s belief in the magic of unrestrained market forces will accelerate, not slow, L.A.’s downward spiral.

    • Scott Zwartz says:

      Garcetti, however, does not believe in “unrestrained market forces.” If he did, there would be ZERO CRA projects because the free market supported none of these projects.

      The CRA is fashioned after East Berlin ca. 1950. It is centralized planning for the benefit of corrupt bureaucrats, who in Los Angeles are called politicos and developers, i.e. CIM Group, Bond Group, Eric Garcetti, etc.

      For the CRA, the market is irrelevant. In fact, the CRA is hostile to a free market. When the demographics showed that people tend to move away from density, Garcetti tripled down on CRA high density projects in LA and Hollywood lost population and businesses.

      CD #13 lost so many people, that it ceased to qualify as a council district. As a result, CD #13 took part of Koreatown and CD 4, and the Garcetti bragged about the successes of these non C D 13 areas as his own accomplishment, e.g. business formation.

      The question is whether Mayor Kantor is going to support Garcetti in his plans. Kantor represents the same developers who destroyed Hollywood and we may be as greedily myopic as Garcetti, but on the other hand, Kantor may realize that this catering to developers not is bad for Los Angeles demographics, but it is also a lethal diversion of capital. The nation as a whole has lost so much wealth from the criminal behavior that brought us the Crash of 2008, that we may not recover sufficiently to remain an economic power house into the next future.

      Ironically the country’s best hope is not America’ rooting out corruption and incompetence, but that the corruption and incompetence in China, South Korea, and Japan are even worse than ours.

      • anonymous says:

        do not always agree with your comments, however,
        now and then, you mention something…a puzzle…
        you speak of last year’s “Redistricting” of CD boundaries…
        we refer to it as the “Realignment of Powers”…well,
        has anyone actually looked at the new CD #4 and asked..
        what the hell is this…? and CD#5 is also too bizarre…
        both,without a doubt, are Red-lined-Gerrymandered !
        who will benefit/profit with these monstrosities?

  21. Anonymous says:

    The real estate bubbles, if you get to the bottom of it, are created by government agencies. We invest in stocks to make money and there is no bailout when we lose. Why then do we have bailouts of not only individual real estate investors but the lending institutions too. They were there to make money & lost. Let them suffer the loss. At the local level the bubble is created by CRA & the Planning Department. Is it not interesting that both are supported by the rich guys like Broad, Caruso and the like who made their billions with government support.

    I can’t think of a more despicable, soviet style agency than the CRA that should never be allowed to rear its ugly head. One has only to look at their ugly soviet era buildings in Hollywood like the W & the ones with yellow & red windows to wonder who allowed this shit. I remember taking a tour in the Czech Republic of hideous buildings where the guides would remind everyone of what it was like under communism. Those buildings were a step up to the CRA-created junk in the city. No idea what Garcetti’s economic development is about. Just nip it in the bud before all the handouts start again.

    As for the Planning Department, it is an agency so out of control and distant from its purpose that it may as well be shut down and redrawn again. No not the new nonsense of merger with Building & Safety but completely restructured to reflect the wishes of the community. One may ask why the community plans are called as such–because they reflect the vision of a community as gathered through community meetings. As such, the Planning Department is only a repository of those plans and not a Santa Claus giving away Plan Amendments, Zone Changes, Variances and Conditional Uses by buckets without input from the community. If a Community Plan designates a property RA, it is not for this agency to convert it to multiple and have a connected developer score 118 units instead of 10.

    As for the hare-brained scheme of the department merger, not sure, if Building Inspectors will dole out the variances or planners will do the mechanical inspections. We need to hear more before we sign off on these half-baked ideas.

  22. Amazed at the Corruption says:

    I used to be on a neighborhood council. The original concept was great but they have been taken over by people who are myopic at best. The greatest gift to developers in LA history is taking place by combining the issuance of permits by Building and Safety with the issuance of variances and zone changes by City Planning into one Department. I think that in the future hearing for variances and zone changes are going to be simplified to a point that they will almost be an over the counter sign-off .

    Your land zoning does not support 50 units only 20, fine fill out this form and the
    Director will approve the zone change or variance and you can have 50 units. The counter staff will be delegated the authority to do this and since it is not a discretionary action CEQA doesn’t even apply. Go build your monstrosity at will, neighbors be damned.

    I tell you if you don’t get organized about this and stop this merger that is were things are going. An over counter sign-off will allow you build just about anything you want in a few years. I know I had to get educated on all of this when I used to live in Los Angeles and I talked to many developers and this is their dream scenario.

    • anonymous says:

      The merger of Planning with Building and Safety
      is not about simplification, stream-lining the process or
      being more “business friendly”…this is flim-flam distraction.
      The merger will facilitate Collusion within the super-agency
      while providing the pretext of working together in cooperation.
      We know this is true because we have already experienced/suffered it.
      Yes, obscure, omnipotent government bureaucrats will make
      “Determinations” that will alter your life forever…be prepared.

  23. Anonymous says:

    The Planning Department is a Charter mandated department, which as practiced however, seems to be a mandated politburo–an agency with unlimited power because of the Charter. The public can change the Charter anytime, and the time has come to vote on this out-of-control- agency and clip its wings till it is reduced to its original purpose. This measure will pass overwhelmingly.

    There are cities that have completely eliminated the Planning Department. Here it is nothing more than a pay-back agency to filter the donations given to politicians.

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