What would L.A. look like if Measure S passes?

Measure S promises to "Save Our Neighborhoods?" Could it stifle them? DnA spoke to experts on both sides of the initiative and found out what might be the real impacts on real projects if the measure passes.

Mailers for and against Measure S.

If you live in L.A. you are no doubt being deluged with flyers for and against Measure S, and you will have seen many billboards promising to “save our neighborhoods.” This initiative aims to put a two-year moratorium on developments that require a zoning change or variance from the General Plan.

But what does that really mean, as in what happens to actual buildings in the pipeline, if Measure S were to pass? Would it preserve affordable dwellings or help drive up rents and stymie construction of new “affordable” projects? Would it thwart the ability to invigorate neighborhoods by giving new uses to sites zoned for an outmoded purpose? Can you plan cities at the ballot box?

To try and make sense of all of this, we decided to take a look at some specific, high-profile projects on the boards in Los Angeles and ask: how would these be impacted if Measure S passes?

Listen to this broadcast or read on below.

We turned to experts on both sides of the measure: Mark Vallianatos, co-founder of a pro-development group called Abundant Housing, and Dick Platkin, retired LA City planner who worked on the general plan framework and writes about planning issues for a blog called CityWatch.

We asked them to walk us through projects that have been featured in Measure S campaign materials: large, mixed-used, unbuilt complexes by architect Frank Gehry and developers Rick Caruso and Crescent Heights; as well as flash points for the fight over affordable housing like the Vintage Westwood Horizons retirement community. We also looked at high-profile projects on the boards by designers Bjarke Ingels and Herzog & de Meuron that would require variances to be built in the Arts District. Through examining specific projects we were able to learn about the broader impact of this attempt to put the brakes on growth in Los Angeles.

Could Measure S preempt this? Rendering of mixed use tower at 1600 South Figueroa just north of the 10 freeway. The architects Gensler were asked by the developers L&R Group to come up with a “fanciful” concept for a “gateway” to DTLA.

DnA: Tell us where you stand on Measure S.

Mark Vallianatos: I oppose Measure S, mainly because I think it’s going to make our housing crisis worse which will in turn worsen homelessness, make people pay more for rent, make it harder for young people to afford to be able to move out of their parents’ house and even to stay in the region. And also I feel like it also provides a roadblock to the positive evolution of L.A. to become more sustainable, more equitable, more innovative.

Dick Platkin: I wasn’t part of the [group of] people who drafted Measure S. But once I read about it, I immediately gravitated to it. And the basic reason is that I don’t see how a city that is as large as L.A. and as complex as L.A. can operate without a carefully crafted and monitored general plan that will address all of the land uses in L.A.. Having worked on it before, I know that it is a carefully thought-out plan. It has designated areas for high density, housing for tall buildings, areas for low rise buildings and it has areas for strictly residential areas.

8150 Sunset, designed by Frank Gehry. Would it be stopped if the measure passes?

DnA: I think both of you agree that one needs a good general plan but Mark, you might say that one needs an updated general plan?

MV: Definitely it would be great to have an updated general plan and updated community plans, so it’s easier to build more housing in the right places without having to go through the complex process to get exemptions. But since right now that’s not the case, you need to allow people to transform parking lots into housing or transform abandoned car dealers into mixed-use buildings because otherwise we’re just going to continue to get hammered by high housing costs.

DnA: And that gives rise to a phenomenon called spot zoning, where variances are given to change the use or scale or density of a project that is not allowed by the general plan as it exists. The Measure S side believes spot zoning is connected to a corrupt system of planning whereby developers give contributions to political campaigns and in return they get variances on projects. Is that correct?

MV: To me the two biggest impacts of Measure S will be a two year moratorium on zone changes and an essentially permanent ban on general plan amendments. And that will make it harder to on a site-by-site basis do something different.

Will S save your neighborhood or does it tap into a desire to stop change, deploying deceptive advertising messages? Note: this photo was taken from the Culver City Expo line stop, way station to a denser, transit-based LA opposed by some supporters of Measure S.

DP: Our contention is if the city of L.A. were to follow its own charter by the intent of the charter there wouldn’t even be a Measure S. The planning process is fine. It’s the distortions of the planning process that are the problem.

DnA: So let’s take some specific projects. First, 8150 Sunset, designed by Frank Gehry. “Yes on Measure S” has circulated a press release that claims “Trump Money Fuels Trump-Like Tower at 8150 Sunset.” (Leaving aside the fact that Gehry has publicly aired his dislike of Trump,) is the implication here that if you support Measure S you somehow stop this project?

DP: We don’t know what will happen to projects that are in the pipeline. It depends where they are in the permitting process. It’s very possible that many of the major projects that are there right now will be vested. And that means that if Measure S passes they would still be able to go through. I’m sure many of them would be litigated. There are four separate lawsuits right now for the 8150 project. Those lawsuits will not go away but it might not be stopped by Measure S.

MV: And in fact this project didn’t require a zone change or a general plan Amendment. So I think this is a strange project for Measure S supporters to focus on because even if their measure passed it wouldn’t stop it.

Residents of Vintage Westwood Horizons are being evicted. Would passage of Measure S keep them in their retirement home?

DnA: Let’s talk about Vintage Westwood Horizons. This is a building in Westwood Village occupied by 200 or so very elderly folk who have received eviction notices from the company that now owns the building. (The Coalition to Preserve LA, the group behind) “Yes on S” released a video about the seniors threatened with eviction. Again, the implication is somehow that the seniors might not be evicted were Measure S to succeed.

DP: Measure S only at this point affects projects that require legislative approval from the City Planning Commission and the City Council. There is an implication of Measure S that there would be what are called ministerial permits. Those are things that do not require legislative actions; that they must be consistent with the general plan. So there could be many projects like the one in Westwood that would be subject to a legal challenge if Measure S passed but at this point Measure S would not stop that project.

MV: I agree with that analysis. And further I’d say that if we think about projects that could be impacted by Measure S, they tend to be larger projects that are taking an under-utilized piece of land like a parking lot or an industrial building and seeking a change in the zoning change or general plan to get commercial zoning or residential zoning so as to put a big thing there. The positive thing about these projects is that they create a lot of housing and they don’t displace existing units because it’s just a barren parking lot.

The other way we build housing is an investor will buy a 20-unit apartment building that’s rent stabilized and can use the Ellis Act to get people out.

DnA: . . . which is what happened at Vintage Westwood Horizons.

Yes. Then [the developer] builds 40 or 50 condos and you’ve increased the housing supply but you’ve also evicted people. So I think ironically if Measure S passes it could force that pressure into our existing multi-family areas and actually increase evictions and  increase displacement.

Rendering of Palladium Residences (courtesy Crescent Heights), the project that kicked off Measure S.

DnA: That’s a good segue to Palladium Residences. This is the project [on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood] that seems to have kicked off the whole fight to start with.

Crescent Heights, the developer, has approval to build two 28-story buildings on a large parking lot. The towers (designed by San Francisco-based Stanley Saitowitz, an architect widely admired for his multifamily buildings) would create 731 residential units as well as 37 units of affordable housing.

This project really enraged Michael Weinstein, head of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation [located in the adjacent tower], so he sponsored the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative which has now become Measure S. Would the Palladium Residences be stopped if Measure S were to pass?

DP: This does have a general plan amendment. It might not be stopped retroactively but projects like this that are built outside the areas of Hollywood that are already planned and zoned for tall, high density buildings would be affected. You could still do it after two years but it would have to be for an area that’s at least 15 acres or larger.

MV: I feel like this project has already moved far enough along that it wouldn’t be blocked. But it is a good example of the type of project that will be harder in the future or just impossible. And to me this is a mixed-use, mixed-income building two blocks from transit. This is the future of Los Angeles, what we need, and to have this one guy up in his tower look out and worry about his views and then kick off this initiative to stop transit-oriented development is really disappointing, really terrifying if you really care about a more sustainable future for L.A.. It is a good symbol of what the fight is about.

DnA: What about 333 La Cienega? That’s a project, recently approved by LA City Council, by developer Rick Caruso [known for the shopping centers the Grove and the Americana at Brand in Glendale).

He is reported to have given hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions but also to have put a big chunk of change into the affordable housing fund. The towers would come down from 20 stories to 16 in order to get this approval. What are the implications for that project of Measure S?

DP: I happen to live near that project and I’ve been very involved and this project could easily have been built a half a mile to the south where the plans and the zones encourage high density, encourage high-rise buildings and where there will be a subway station. His choice was to build in an area that is zoned and planned for 45 feet. We’ve argued consistently that this type of project should be built where it’s planned.

We also don’t buy the argument that this will somehow address LA’s housing crisis.

L.A.’s housing crisis is for affordable housing. These units will average $12,000 per month. Half of the people according to Mr. Caruso won’t even live in L.A. These are totally disconnected housing markets and you can build a glut of high priced luxury housing and it won’t do anything for the people who need housing in L.A.. If we truly want to build affordable housing we have to go back to the programs that have worked.

333 La Cienega is Rick Caruso’s project that Measure S supporters view as an example of a corrupt planning process.

First of all, you have to be able to put a stop to demolitions. You have to be able to mend the rent control, rent stabilization ordinance which now only applies to the units that were built before about 1980. You would have to eliminate what’s called vacancy control. You would have to restore the CRA which directed 20 percent of its income to affordable housing. And you’d have to restore the affordable housing programs that used to be operated by HUD. We know how to build affordable housing. And there’s a long record of it.

The problem is that all these programs have been slashed and all we’re left with are market incentives and they only build a trickle of the housing that we need. So if we want, if we truly want, to build affordable housing, we have to go back to the programs that have worked.

We can’t do it by simply manipulating the market by incentives to developers; it simply doesn’t work.

MV: I agree with Dick that we need to give a lot more resources to build affordable housing and to subsidize low income families. But Measure S doesn’t do any of those changes he asked for and in fact it would make it harder for some affordable projects to be built because they need general plan amendments like many projects do.

Gruen Associates-designed development planned for 3545 Wilshire Boulevard would be across the street from the Wilshire/Normandie Purple Line station (rendering courtesy LADCP)

If you don’t build for the upper middle class they go out and they outbid the middle class. They outbid the working class. So you need to add more housing of all types and Measure S would shut down some of the ways we get housing and that would hurt everyone.

DnA: Dick, you said that Rick Caruso’s 333 La Cienega could have been built a half mile away on a site that is zoned for that kind of housing and it would have been near a mass transit stop. Palladium Residences will be near a transit stop and yet the Measure S folks want to stop that project. So are they for dense development at transit stops or are they not?

DP: The question is where it’s planned. There are many places in Hollywood that are near transit stops where high density development is planned. That doesn’t mean that you can build high density housing everywhere.

DnA: Let’s look at downtown. One can generally build higher in DTLA but there’s a project on the boards now that would require a zoning variance: 670 Mesquit. Designed by the Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, it is potentially a very interesting project but it will bring a massive jump in scale to the Arts District.

MV: I’m not a designer, I’m a policy person, but both this project and the 6AM project [the Alameda and 6th mixed-use complex designed by Herzog and de Meuron for a light industrial site with towers reaching 58 stories as well as lower level development] look cool and they would incorporate interesting features and mixes of uses.

670 Mesquit by Bjarke Ingels in the Arts District will require a variance. Measure S would likely halt such a project.

Beyond that the Arts District itself is an example of how some of these site-by-site changes that are irregular in the planning system have actually allowed the kind of creation of an almost real neighborhood in a place that used to be either just entirely industrial or just be a hidden treasure for a few artists living in lofts.

If we ban all these zone changes and general plan amendments and just wait for the downtown plan to be updated, if we hadn’t allowed those projects to start growing there, probably the city planners would say this is industrial so you’d never have this flourishing neighborhood coming out of nothing. And so I think it’s a good example that sometimes we do want to allow innovation, allow prototyping, allow people to try new things in places that might be unexpected and maybe something good will emerge.

And so I do look at the Arts District as an example of the need for flexibility and zoning and I look forward to hopefully these two projects not being stopped by Measure S but actually getting built.

DP: The actual impact for the residents of the Arts District of these projects is that artists are being driven out. So the people who will live there will have no connection to the arts community that is there right now. This project will have 1,000 square foot condominiums that cost one million dollars. So we know that the artists who are living there are not going to be able to stay.

DnA: But artists are not currently living in the Rancho Cold Storage Facility [site of 670 Mesquit].

DP: It’s part of a broader phenomenon in the Arts District. By having expansive housing where there has been low priced housing — often illegal housing, but the artists have found a way to live there — they are being displaced.

MV: My research on displacement and gentrification shows that if an area is gentrifying, like the Arts District, if you add new market-rate units you actually slow displacement rather than increase it.

If you think about a community in L.A. like Highland Park where I live; if you don’t build new units the people with more money will go and outbid the existing residents for existing homes. I want to see more workforce housing and affordable housing but if we try to stop new market-rate housing because it’s “luxury” we really hurt the people at the bottom — not the people who can afford to live anywhere.

Measure S supporters say their goal is keep developers and elected officials to the General Plan; opponents says the General Plan is outmoded, and that variances and zoning changes allow for creative solutions.

DnA: Is Measure S nostalgic?

DP: I don’t buy that at all. Having worked on the actual General Plan it is a visionary document.

It clearly stated that L.A. needs to have areas that are planned for density, that are planned for transit. This has been the planning principle of all plans in the city of Los Angeles since 1970.

The adopted planning policies of the city of L.A. are in no way trying to maintain a dispersed suburban environment; it’s trying to transform it into a higher density area, but in a methodical, organized way where you look at the infrastructure, you look at services and you try to designate exactly those areas that should have higher and greater density, not just allow some developer to walk into the mayor’s office and say, well, I don’t care about your plans, I don’t care about your zones. I want to build here like at 333 South La Cienega and I have enough political juice to push it through.

We want transparency. We want to have a planned process to transform the city. We don’t want to have it left to whatever are the latest trends in real estate development, which right now apparently is a massive inflow of investment and speculative capital from China. We want to have an orderly, organized, carefully monitored process for running a city of 4 million people.

MV: I feel like many of the Measure S supporters do have a vision of Los Angeles that is worried about the direction we’re going. They’re worried about transit, they’re worried about large buildings; and I feel like I’m optimistic about the direction L.A. is moving.

I feel like a lot of younger people and lower income people in the city do want and need change and that Measure S would put a blockage at least in our ability to create enough housing for those types of people. And so I feel like we really need to defeat S and look to the future, look to transit, look to better plans and look to creativity to build our way out of this crisis.

Still confused? Here is more information about Measure S:

KCRW’s Press Play will host this discussion about Measure S on February 28.

DnA discussed the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, now called Measure S, on this broadcast.

DnA reported here on YIMBYs, the movement that is fighting efforts to slow development like Measure S.

Hillel Aaron reports in LA Weekly about how slowing growth has made Venice one of LA’s most expensive neighborhoods.

The Los Angeles Times and Curbed LA report extensively on Measure S. The Los Angeles Times says Don’t Vote for Measure S in this editorial.

Urbanize LA editorializes against Measure S.


  • Jane Average

    I have lived in Santa Monica and LA for the
    last 15 years. I am originally from Vancouver, Canada. Vancouver is a truly well-designed city with great public transportation/infrastructure, great neighborhoods, high density urban core and major thoroughfares, abundant parks, recreation centers, neighborhood community centres, and lots of natural beauty for all to enjoy. Why can’t LA look towards cities like Vancouver as inspiration for the future? Why can’t LA city planners and developers visit Vancouver and meet with city officials/developers to find out how LA can also come into the 21st century to meet the needs of a fast-growing population. I feel there isn’t enough progressiveness, creative thinking, problem-solving and too much self-interest, ego, beauacracy, which leads to fighting/roadblocks. I find LA to be a boring, depressing, ugly, and unsafe city. As a resident, I feel let down knowing how much I pay for taxes and I don’t even have basic services and quality of life that I was accustomed to in Vancouver, Canada.

  • rplatkin

    Since taping this debate on Measure S, I have had further thoughts that I would like to share. For over a century LA’s planning process has been little more than real estate speculators calling the shots at City Hall. When Los Angeles was a new city with raw land, real estate speculation focused on housing construction with little concern about the environment, infrastructure and public services. Now, in 21st century LA there is hardly any raw land left. In a famous essay from former city planning instructors at USC, this new development was called “Sprawl Meets the Wall.” But, the end of raw land has not meant the end of real estate speculation. It has meant that real estate speculation now focuses on infill, such as McMansions, small lots subdivisions, and many new residential and commercial buildings, usually tall and dense because of real estate economics. But, regardless of this difference, the content is the same. Real estate speculators needs to move fast, and they do not want to be hemmed in by such regulations as planning, zoning, and CEQA. Like before they want a pliant City Hall and are willing to pay for it. This is what S is all about, the historic struggle in Los Angeles between good governance types who know that large cities need to be planned, and real estate interests who know where their unplanned bottom line is. Despite the same content though, there is one new feature. The forces of real estate speculation have learned through focus groups and the like that they should pitch their old free market claims in more contemporary language about affordable housing, jobs, and transit. But, this is just window dressing since the purpose of the real estate business was and continues to be maximizing profit, not carefully planning cities.

  • guest

    Anti Measure S factions have been working 24-7 trashing it with lies, intimidation and bullying tactics. They threatened city council if city council allowed it on the ballot, a democratic tool and right created by the people for the people, and if city council didn’t kill it, they would..It’s like witnessing all their nasty project hearings downtown, magnified a million times, where they throw money at all the decision making politicians, everyone, every group, every non profit, to drown out the voices of real communities impacted by these projects, they lie how great their illegal and obscene spot zoning projects are when most of them know nothing about them, live nowhere near them, and the bought and paid for city politicos at these faux ‘hearings’ (all the deals have been cut way before they take place, a total waste of city money and people’s time), all pretend these are real commenters, not developer paid hired help., and illegal zone busting projects get approved, even when they are being investigated (Caruso project) even when Caltrans and State Geologists warn them they are dangerous to lives (Millennium). Measure S supporters are REAL PEOPLE, REAL COMMUNITIES, who have been ignored for years by developer accommodating, bribed, bought and paid for politicians, that’s why there are so many law suits, always won by the communities ignored and dismissed by these criminals. Measure S supporters are not developers, not developer funded politicians, not L.A. or Hollywood developer funded Chambers, not developer reps, not bribed and bought groups, who join the ranks of the bribed and bought mayor and politicians, who have sold their souls and sold out neighborhoods to wealthy greedy community killing developers. The false, beyond idiotic claims this all started because of where Michael Weinstein’s office is, is like saying he fought (with the help of Bernie Sanders) over priced pharmaceuticals because he takes alot of painkillers. These are social justice issues. Visit the website to read why he has taken this issue on. Its mind boggling how many have not read a thing about this, including the Measure, on the website, and buy all the lies.. ‘an informed populace’…..guess not..and that’s why they get away with pulling the wool over many eyes. They have even set themselves up at churches and lie to the working poor of L.A. that Measure S will destroy their lives. They’ll stop at nothing. The billion dollar pharma companies worked 24-7 to kill that initiative, just as the billionaires and wealthy developers are working 24-7 to kill a measure that is many communities lifeline to keep them in their buildings, homes and neighborhoods. The interviewer never asked this groups biggest lieing enabler, working for those responsible for many getting tossed out of neighborhoods, homes, buildings and many rendered homeless, about all the displacement going on right now, the illegally evicted, the demoing of good rent stabilized and affordable housing, to make way for these massive illegal projects, or turned into hotels, another type of zone change. The collateral human damage, evicted and homeless, speak at city hall, begging them to not approve these projects, to help them stay in their homes, but they approve them, deals have been made. They’re just human beings..just collateral damage..They approved a hotel conversion, loss of rent stabilized units, after hearing from the victims, the collateral damage, the same day they voted for HHH homeless tax. This hit the news and even the reporters were shocked at this shameful vote (1850 Cherokee) . Another residential in the same area (Whitley Ave. and why O’farrell cannot get reelected), is coming down, loss of FORTY residential units, for another hotel when 12 are being built in the area,. The city so desperately needs more residential housing they continue to make these deals with developers and approve loss of residential housing and where will those people go, nothing is affordable, they have kids in area schools ..some wind up on the streets that’s where.. Other neighborhood buildings follow once the zone change is granted, and there go whole residential areas. (see Save Residential Hollywood). These are just some of the facts and reasons people are supporting Measure S and Mr. Villianatos will never mention. 40 units lost here 40 lost there, whole rows of residential buildings demoed for illegal luxury skyscraper triple towers (Crossroads of the World), approved by the city, as the city claims Measure S will get in the way of affordable housing and desperate need for 100,000 residential (UN)affordable units. To encourage more affordable housing Measure S exempts all affordable housing, if the city ever decides to build any. Mr. Villianatos makes it sound as if all these projects are only being built on empty land and parking lots. No, communities are being demoed and wiped out for them..Another big lie. These are changes in land use, they up the value of property in the area, set precedents and there go good neighborhoods. At neighborhood council meetings when these projects are presented, all they request, no matter how opposed the communities, or neighborhood councils, the city grants: height bonuses, density bonuses, for a pittance of affordable, they greedily cram in all they can, actually, by law they can’t, but the city lets them, they underpark, the city tells them to do tons of bike racks, not enough parking, because the thousands added to the area, who can afford to live in luxury housing will all ride bikes, take trains and buses, and not drive cars..even developer reps admit this is insane… projects are tripled, quadrupled, the density and height allowed, they request CEQA exemptions, traffic study exemptions, the lieing ‘no significant impact’ mantra on already F GRADED streets, or want to hire their own people to do studies if they are willing to do any. Stakeholders know their days are numbered in the neighborhoods they have lived in for years, raised families in, are raising families in, and nothing they do (except filing law suits), or their NC does will stop these projects, or get them altered enough to respect the character of the existing area, preserve some sort of quality of life and they will be priced out of their own communities. Garcetti calling this a ‘ housing ban’ measure is despicable and reprehensible and a lie. Measure S affects 5-10% development, the other 90% will hum along but that FACT Mr. Villianatos will never ever mention. It would be nice if this interviewer visited a neighborhood council meeting where projects are presented that are killing communities, or interviewed Measure S supporters, victims, communities, who actually are being affected by this pay to play corruption, how they are hanging on for their lives, and why Measure S is their last hope to save their neighborhoods and keep them in their homes. They’re not hard to find..Their stories are all over Measure S website. It would be nice if people interviewing about Measure S actually visited the website and read about it and why all the support for it. .

    Get the FACTS..Vote Yes on S.

  • Bill

    Still confused? I’m very confused why only developer proponent groups and developer propaganda rags are listed at the end of this interview as sources of Measure S information. Biased? KCRW is not dealing with the truth and the reality. I have lost all respect for KCRW.
    Some honest sources of information:

    Daily News.. Measure S..
    Developers Howl Over Ballot Measure

    Follow the Money to See How City Hall Does Business

    Taking Back L.A From City Hall..L.A. Daily News

    Interesting these reports were never mentioned:
    Why Measure S was born..

    Caruso Project..Political Donations Flow as Rick Caruso Seeks Approval for a 20-story Tower…

    Sea Breeze Project…A $72 Million Apartment Project. Top Politicians. Unlikely Donors
    (Who wrote the checks to elected officials weighing approval??)

    L.A. Times Editorial..When Political Contributions Erode Trust in L.A.’s Land-Use System

    L.A. Times ..When Developers Want to Build More Than Zoning Laws Allow L.A. Planners Almost Always Say Yes, Times Analysis Finds

    L.A. Times..Steve Lopez..When it Comes to Political Donations in L.A. What’s Legal Can Be Worse Then What’s Not

    L.A. Times…Steve Lopez… Money Flows, Developer Prevails: An L.A. City Hall Expose That Begs an Official Investigation

    And in case anyone thinks the anti Measure S groups are above lieing….They even tried to lie in the Voters Guide:

    Measure S Opponents Scale Back Claims in Voter Guide After Being Sued

    Is it possible that only Measure S supporters are aware of campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures to city politicos and others to get illegal zone busting projects that Measure S addresses, approved?
    Developers Lobbying Money – Page 14 ..campaign donations from developers to candidates / city officials
    3rd Quarter 2016 Lobbying Report – City of Los Angeles

    Enough is enough!
    Visit the website
    Get the true stories

  • emma

    I’m very concerned about how many regular L.A. neighborhoods are being turned into high priced unaffordable areas. Young people have no chance of living in most of the city, especially if they are starting out, just out of college. We are losing alot of great talent as they flee to more affordable places. Its also nearly impossible for families to live in most of the city’s areas and it’s getting worse. L.A. is currently being rebuilt for the wealthy. We step around bodies and tents of the homeless living and sleeping under and in the shadows of these tall tall oversized and exorbitantly priced buildings. We witness on going displacement and gentrification issues at our community meetings and in our daily lives. There are so many reusable buildings all over that could house the homeless. Instead, everything’s being torn down. The HHH tax went through and now they complain Measure S will get in the way of building homeless housing. I can’t believe that. Not when we see so much good housing stock being destroyed as the bodies sleeping in our streets multiply. I am with Rev. Alice Callaghan..I just don’t believe the city’s priorities are right and don’t think they can be trusted. Nothing is being done to create a livable city, just alot of over development and cranes are everywhere. Everyone complains. Even historic resources are being destroyed and many threatened. But the city doesn’t listen. The mayor travels alot raising campaign contributions, but now, right before the election, he’s present and visible, now he says our streets are being fixed, now he joins billionaires and developers and holds press conferences calling Measure S a housing ban.,when it’s not., and he knows it’s not. And he’s still not lifting a finger to help the homeless. Too much focus on development and too little on these lives.

    Message from Rev. Alice Callaghan …..Founder, Las Familias del Pueblo, Skid Row
    As a registered voter I know that like me, you care about the future of our city. For decades, my calling has been to serve the houseless on the streets of Skid Row. In the past15 years our city has lost more than 22,000 rent-controlled units, and in Skid Row alone more than 5,000 homeless beds have been lost since the 1990s.

    Instead of proposing real solutions to America’s worst housing and homeless crisis, City Hall is engaged in a corrupt system of approving luxury towers that violate zoning rules, destroy affordable housing and gridlock our streets. With rents in the new luxury developments starting at $3,500 per month, neighborhoods are being damaged and neighbors are being pushed out – many onto the streets.

    That’s why I have joined a broad coalition to pass Measure S on the March 7 ballot.
    Measure S is a people’s initiative to fix City Hall’s broken and corrupt planning system that is fueling the worst housing, homeless and traffic crises in America.

    I’m urging you to JOIN US in this campaign.
    Endorse Measure S.
    Volunteer for Yes on S.
    Share this message with your neighbors and follow us on social media.

    Join this people’s movement, because on March 7th all of our neighbors and all of our neighborhoods are on the ballot.

    Thank you your consideration.

    Rev. Alice Callaghan
    Founder, Las Familias del Pueblo, Skid Row

    Taking a two year pause, a moratorium, on the most egregious developments does not sound like a bad idea..It sounds very sensible and reasonable. Those running against councilmembers up for re-election have this issue top of their list of priorities. CD4 David Ryu, won by pledging to not accept developer donations. This helped him beat the candidate endorsed by the Mayor and every city councilmember and other city politicos. People are not happy with the way things are and those running against them may not have all the developer money backing them, but they’re really being paid attention to.
    Many many community groups, have endorsed Measure S..Here’s the most recent addition…
    Hillside Federation Endorses Measure S…..
    Member Associations: http://www.hillsidefederation.org/about.html
    Message from Yes on S…
    Yes on Measure S has been overwhelmingly endorsed by the Federation of Hillside and Canyon Associations, representing 45 homeowner associations and residents’ associations covering large areas of the San Fernando Valley and Westside.

    Officers of the Hillside Federation, whose vast swath of representation encompasses some 250,000 constituents, said in a statement:

    “The mission of the Hillside Federation is to protect the property and quality of life in the Santa Monica Mountains and other hillside areas of Los Angeles.

    “After a presentation of the pros and cons on Measure S, the Hillside Federation voted to support Measure S

    “It is the Federation’s hope that Measure S will encourage the city to follow its own rules and allow reasonable development and not change zoning and height limits to accommodate large developments impacting residential neighborhoods”

    Measure S is being endorsed by the most diverse citywide coalition in modern L.A. history, from the prosperous to the poor — but who agree that the pay to play special interests in City Hall threaten the L.A. we love.

    “Every community that has a candidate running for City Council and for the Mayor’s office, should get in writing, prior to this March 7 election, that they will support Measure S,” said, Patricia Bell Hearst, former President and Chairman Emeritus of the Hillside Federation.

    “Every community from the Eastside to the Westside must fight the undue influence of developers at City Hall by endorsing Measure S,” said Alex Izbicki, a board member of Save Coldwater Canyon, one of the member organizations of the Hillside Federation. “Our open spaces in L.A. are being paved over.”

    Steve Twining, Chairman Emeritus of the Hillside Federation, President of the Bel Air Hills Association and President Emeritus of the Bel Air-Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council, said of his support for Yes on Measure S, “I am shocked by the pay-to-play system that is going on. It’s obvious developers are in charge.”

    The Federations backing adds to an arsenal of endorsers including:

    -LA Tenants Union, fighting for low-income renters displaced by unplanned development…

    -Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, fighting to protect our parks and mountains from sprawl….

    -Los Angeles Audubon Society, fighting for L.A.’s open space…

    -Southern California Americans for Democratic Action, battling corporate/developer influence on political institutions….

    Measure S returns transparency and sensible planning to City Hall by:

    – Ending the City Council’s backroom “spot zoning” deals that let developers get around the rules to build.

    – Banning developers from writing environmental studies of their own projects — falsified traffic and health data that hurts our communities.

    – Giving residents a real say by moving key Community Plan and General Plan update hearings from City Hall to the communities.

    I agree with Rev. Callaghan..Measure S IS The People’s Movement..

  • Pingback: Voters Guide to the March 7 Election – For The Curious()

  • Pingback: What LA can learn from other cities about great apartment design | Design & Architecture()

  • EG

    Mark’s model for gentrification and displacement only, somewhat, works for For-Sale housing. No luxery buyers want to buy a crappy, or expensively falling apart Victorian in Highland Park unless its reasonably priced, and theyre somehow OK with roosters etc. Theyre looking for updated housing and new condos. Same thing applies on the westside. People are looking to Playa condos before hunkering down in Westchester. So ya, for home buyers, it applies. But when you look at the infill of dense renters in, say downtown arts district, you have wherehouse envy issues. Slumlords who have been happy to supply commercial/mixed leases are now getting all bent out of shape by the newly renovated “loft living’ prices. 1st it happened on Main and Spring, and now its throughout the Arts District travelling south and East. Its so funny, because they wont have to update the lofts much, maybe subdivide them into smaller units and add a cheap kitchen, but the rent will go up 1,000 each just because of the rent comparables. So thats a big problem with Mark’s model. Building new units works in some neighborhoods, but always works against itself in the dense or happening areas. If things stayed that broken down and dirty, do you think people would still be desperate to move in? Sure, but it would take longer.