Friday, December 12, 2008

Odds and Ends 95

I had to change the opening sentence of this post because of developments that occured on December 12, 2008. I think you can understand why I needed to change the line.

The Steering Committee of R Neighborhoods Are 1 is continuing its work on dealing with the Ponte Vista matters and the 'Guidelines' established by the Planning Department for the northwest San Pedro site.

SRHS 15 has been given the go ahead and SRHS 14 may be coming back online once the Board of Education decides how and where to allocate some of the Seven Billion Dollars in new bond money provided by the voters and taxpayers residing within the District's boundaries.

If you have noticed recently, some block walls are being replaced along Western Avenue, north of Avenida Aprenda. If that agrees with you, you can thank the folks of Rancho Palos Verdes Code Enforcement. Property owners whose older walls have crumbled were required by the city to replace them.

Now if only the city of Los Angeles had a code enforcement program to get rid of that blight on their side of Western Avenue. L.A. has over 3 Million residents while R.P.V. has around 44,000.
The following two posts from other sites is simply for your information. The lawsuit referred to in the posts deals with an apartment complex and is not under the same conditions at Ponte Vista at San Pedro is.

However, Mayor V. may be able to appoint a new member of the Planning Commission to replace Ms. Usher. Mayor V. is a big proponent of Density Bonus programs, so if you wish to be concerned, please go ahead and be concerned.

This item is from Ron Kay L.A. at:
Jane Usher Out as Planning Commission Head
By Ron Kaye
December 11, 2008 11:18 AM

It doesn't pay to stand up for the a greater Los Angeles -- not with City Hall committed to a poorer, denserj, more congested and uglier Los Angeles.

Just ask Nick Patsaouras who spent most of his adult life as an unpaid public servant, a watchdog on public spending and public policy who, as head of the Department of Water and Power Board, ran afoul of City Hall's corrupt political culture by trying stand up for ratepayers.

He finally quit and is running for City Controller.

Now you can ask attorney Jane Ellison-Usher who is resigning today as head of the Planning Commission after running afoul of those same forces that have done such disservice to the city.

Usher has done many courageous acts such as proposing 14 bold principles last year for a better city under the title "Do Real Planning."

She created a row in March with an email saying the city's efforts to give housing developers carte blanche to roll back zoning laws was "fatally flawed" and would lead to lawsuits, which it has.

And she recently pushed through proposal for a six-month moratorium on those hideous digital billboards that are blighting the city's neighborhoods.

Such acts of leadership, such passion for a better city are clearly unacceptable to the mayor, the council and the special interests who pull their strings.

Thanks, Ms. Usher, for trying to change L.A.
Now this from Curbed L.A. at:

Usher's Exit Follows City's Loss in Density Bonus Case

Why did Jane Usher resign from the Planning Commission? Apparently she wrote a "multi-page letter" today that could explain why (it may be circulating, but we haven't seen it yet), but it's important to point out that this week the city lost its first lawsuit resulting from handling of the SB1818 Density Bonus issue, an topic that Usher had been extremely vocal about. This was the case of Louise Apartments, which sued the city for blocking its project, alleging that the City Planning Commission ignored the Density Bonus law by essentially invoking CEQA and killing the project through mitigation measures. In his decision (dated December 8th) Judge David Yaffe writes that the "action taken by the Planning Commission is arbitrary, capricious, and is not justified by any evidence. It is an abuse of discretion because it constitutes a refuse to comply with the literal wording and the legislative intent of Government Code section 65915 (d) (i)." According to the reader who forwarded us the court decision, the next step is that the court will take written arguments about any penalties that should be levied against the city and the city automatically has to pay the developer's attorney fees. Download the court order here. Over at the Ron Kaye LA blog, Kaye writes in defense of the Usher, stating "it doesn't pay to stand up for a greater Los Angeles -- not with City Hall committed to a poorer, denser, more congested and uglier Los Angeles...Usher is resigning today as head of the Planning Commission after running afoul of those same forces that have done such disservice to the city."

1 comment:

km said...

Bravery is rarely rewarded in Lost Angeles. Jane's "Do Real Planning" was brilliant.