The growth policies favored by some city officials threaten L.A.’s livability.
By Zev Yaroslavsky
April 13, 2008
The debate about the availability of housing in Los Angeles and the city’s development policies has been testy but long overdue. Fueling public outrage over growth policies that would significantly increase density are well-grounded fears that, in the clash between overdevelopment and neighborhood preservation, the developers will prevail.
Urged on by some elected officials, city planners have decided that the “smart” and “elegant” way to grow the city’s housing stock is to double the allowable size of new buildings,bust through established height limits and reduce parking-space requirements — effectively rolling back more than two decades of neighborhood-protection laws.
There is nothing smart or elegant about such growth. On the contrary. It’s development run amok and with an utter disregard for how it affects the livability of the city’s neighborhoods. Should these efforts — the city’s version of a state law encouraging greater density; ad hoc zoning changes to double the size of
residential development on commercial property to facilitate more density; widespread approval of zoning variances for parking, height and property-line setbacks — succeed, they will irreparably harm some of our most cherished neighborhoods and diminish our traditional sense of place.
As residents of Los Angeles, we need answers to some fundamental questions:
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