Planning and Land Use 101

Sat, October 8th, 10am – 1pm

Confused about what’s being built in your community (and what isn’t)?  Learn how City Planning works!

Free Planning & Land Use 101 crash course with special guests:

Kevin Ocubillo | Transportation & Planning Deputy
Office of Councilmember José Huizar, City Council District 14 | City of Los Angeles

Craig Weber | Principal City Planner
Department of City Planning | City of Los Angeles

Haydee Urita-Lopez | City Planner
Community Planning Bureau | Boyle Heights Plan | City of Los Angeles

Saturday, October 8th, 2016, 10am – 1pm
3750 Verdugo Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90065

Vote for the Dog Park

Our Dog Park, the Sepulveda Basin Off-Leash Dog Park, has been chosen as one of the four dog parks to participate in the Beneful Dream Dog Park Contest!!!! Winning Dog Park receives $20,000 worth of improvements!
Here is the link, you can vote once a day!!!

Vin Scully, All-Time Great, to Call His Last Dodgers Home Game Sunday

The voice of the Dodgers, the voice of baseball, Vin Scully will call his final game at Dodgers stadium Sunday after 67 years in the booth.

It’s the endless and favorite debate of all sports fans: Who is the greatest of all time?

Babe Ruth? Wayne Gretzky? Michael Jordan? Joe Montana?

When it comes to baseball broadcasters, few would debate Vin Scully’s place at the top of the list.

This weekend’s series against the Rockies will mark the last time Vin Scully will call a game from Dodgers stadium. His 67 years with the Dodgers is the longest tenure of a broadcaster in any sport. City Councilman Gil Cedillo declared Friday Vin Scully Day, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will present Scully with the key to the city.

But it’s too late. Scully’s been in LA’s homes and hearts for the better part of a century. Read more

City Launches Online Business Portal

The City of Los Angeles is making it easy to start a business with the launch of its new online platform: Los Angeles Business Portal, a one-stop-shop that has all the information you need to get your business of the ground.

The online portal is a hub of resources that will guide new business owners through what can sometimes be a daunting process. The site’s features, such as the “Start Up Guide,” can quickly map out how to register your new business and be compliant city city rules, while other features share information on growth and management. The easy-to-navigate resource finder details what roles each City Department plays for your business.

See what the LA Business Portal has to offer by visiting business.lacity.org.

City Council Takes Action on Granny Flats

This week, the City Council voted to grant legal status to existing second dwelling units, i.e., granny flats, and impose greater restrictions on future units. To help understand the Council’s new ruling, here is a breakdown of how it will impact you.

What are the New Restrictions?

As a result of the City Council’s recent action, granny flats that were constructed, under construction or received building permits, between June 23, 2003, and September 30, 2016 are granted legal status. The law applies to roughly 550 granny flats citywide, many of which were constructed years ago. Secondly, the City Council also fixed LA’s granny flats law to keep it more restrictive than state law. Beginning in October, anyone who applies for a granny flat can only build one that is 640 square feet or smaller, on a lot larger than 7,500 square feet. Granny flats will have the same setback, height and floor area limitations as primary residences and will not be permitted in hillside neighborhoods.

Why is the new ordinance necessary?

Prior to 2002, LA permitted the construction of granny flats under a discretionary Conditional Use Permit process. In 2002, the state legislature enacted AB 1866, which required California cities to allow granny flats by right. The state law removed LA’s local discretion from the process. The new city ordinance appropriately bridges the local and state guidelines

Why is grandfathering fair?

People across Los Angeles who built, were building or applied to build a granny flat from 2003 to today were treading in legally ambiguous waters. They had done everything right under city rules, but those rules were found to be faulty. The Planning Department said, and the City Council agreed, that it would be fundamentally unfair to deny legal status to granny flats in this situation, especially since Angelenos invested considerable time and money to comply with the law that existed when they applied for a granny flat permit.

The grandfathering period expires on Sept. 30, in less than a week. The City Attorney recommended a date certain to provide a clear end to the grandfather period to prevent confusion for future permit seekers. Over the past six months, the Department of Building and Safety has reported only about 20 applications for granny flats citywide. There has not been a “rush to the counter” by developers or others seeking to grandfather a granny flat.

How this will impact your neighborhood?

There should be little impact and minimal disruption to your neighborhood resulting from this ordinance. It fixes a legal problem for the city and provides certainty and fairness to homeowners moving forward. Homeowners have been able to build granny flats throughout California for many years. Now, there is the benefit of certainty about exactly what is and is not legal.

Two-Year Moratorium on LA Developments Qualifies for Ballot

A proposal calling for a moratorium on building projects so big they require zoning or land-use exceptions, has qualified for the ballot.

The city clerk said today proponents of a ballot initiative that would temporarily halt development in Los Angeles have turned in enough signatures for the measure to go before voters.

The city clerk’s office examined a random sampling of the 103,816 signatures turned in by the Coalition to Preserve L.A. and found that the group’s petition met the minimum threshold of 61,487 valid signatures needed to qualify the measure for the ballot.

The City Council now has 20 days from Sept. 16 — the official issuance of the clerk’s sufficiency certificate — to decide if it wants to adopt the proposed ordinance as-is, without any changes, or put the issue before voters in a special election or regularly scheduled city or county election, the earliest of which would be in March.

The initiative would temporarily ban, for up to two years, projects that are denser, taller or contain more floor area than is allowed in existing zoning and land-use rules for the area.

Developers must routinely ask the city to grant exceptions — known as general plan amendments — for those types of projects to be built. The coalition contends the process has become standard practice and creates cozy relationships between City Council members and developers.

Read more

City Council Supports Measure M to Improve Transit

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a resolution to support Measure M, the half-cent sales tax measure on the Nov. 8 ballot that, if approved, will raise $860 million a year countywide to revolutionize LA’s transportation network and add 465,690 new jobs across the region. With Measure M, the City of Los Angeles also will receive nearly $9 billion in local return money for local transportation projects over the next 45 years.

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“As our population grows, congestion will only get worse unless we do something about it today. Measure M is the long-term solution we need,” said Councilmember Krekorian. “It will ease traffic, create hundreds of thousands of jobs for local families, fill potholes and fix streets, expand our rail and bus system, and enhance bike and walking paths for every Angeleno to enjoy.”

Angelenos spend an average of 81 hours a year stuck in traffic. Currently, there are 10 million people living in LA County, and we are projected to grow by 2.3 million people in the next 40 years. Traffic congestion and air pollution are expected to get worse with more growth, and the measure is intended to raise money to meet those needs. Measure M’s goals are as follows:

  • Ease traffic congestion, improve freeway traffic flow, and reduce bottlenecks.
  • Expand rail and rapid transit system; accelerate rail construction and build new rail lines; enhance local, regional, and express bus service; and improve system connectivity.
  • Repave local streets, repair potholes, and synchronize signals; improve neighborhood streets and intersections, and enhance bike and pedestrian connections.
  • Make public transportation more accessible, convenient, and affordable for seniors, students, and the disabled; and provide better mobility options for our aging population.
  • Earthquake-retrofit bridges, and keep the transit and highway system safe and in good working condition.
  • Embrace technology and innovation; incorporate modern technology, new advancements, and emerging innovations into the local transportation system.
  • Create jobs, reduce pollution, and generate local economic benefits; increase personal quality time and overall quality of life.
  • Provide accountability and transparency; protect and monitor the public’s investments through independent audits and oversight.

Read the Krekorian/Bonin Measure M resolution here: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2015/15-0002-S213_reso_08-31-2016.pdf

Valley Disaster Preparedness Fair Video Promo

Come join us Saturday, October 1 at Fire Station 87 in Granada Hills.

Thank you to Mark Hovater for this video.

Homelessness Townhall

On September 12, Councilmembers Bob Blumenfield and Mitchell Englander organized a town hall conversation focusing on the homeless problem in the West Valley. You responded with a full house that was standing room only. There was also an overflow room which was filled with attendees.

On a regular basis we hear complaints about the shopping carts blocking sidewalks, of groups of shopping carts and their “owners” scattered around parking lots and under bridges, as well as RVs parked on our streets with people living in them.

Councilmembers Blumenfield and Englander shared their views on the problem and introduced a panel of people involved in solving the problem, from the Los Angeles City and County and several non-profit groups that are addressing the problem. After each of them spoke, questions submitted were discussed.

Panelists included Read more

Bidens, Garcetti Launch Free Community College Program

The program to provide a free year at Los Angeles Community College District was inspired by calls made under America’s College Promise.

Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom joined Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles education officials Wednesday to launch a program that will provide a year of free community college tuition to Los Angeles Unified School District graduates.

The program to provide a free year of tuition at Los Angeles Community College District schools was inspired by calls made under America’s College Promise, a national campaign spearheaded by President Barack Obama and chaired by Jill Biden, an educator whose doctoral dissertation in 2007 was “Student Retention at the Community College: Meeting Students’ Needs.”

The program is expected to be available to LAUSD graduates next fall, according to Yusef Robb, a spokesman for LACCD.

Biden, Newsom, Garcetti and others will discuss the program during an event this morning at Los Angeles City College.

Garcetti first hinted at the local College Promise program during his State of the City speech earlier this year. The mayor was helping with the college district’s fundraising efforts to get the program implemented, LACCD President Scott Svonkin said at the time.

Other districts and colleges have already implemented their own programs, but Los Angeles’ will be the largest and would affect the most low-income students who are unable to afford college otherwise, according to LACCD spokeswoman Maria Iacobo.

 

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