Neighborhood Integrity Initiative Makes the Ballot

Editor: Recently TNN was contacted by one of our previous advertisers Zoe Guillory, owner of Zoes Vintique Boutique located in the up and coming strip on Adams west of La Brea.  She reported that developers had purchased 5 buildings in her community and had given her and other long time businesses 30 days to vacate. Since the developers, CIM, were questioned by the Times, the businesses have been given an additional 30 days. Although no plans have yet to be submitted to Building and Permit, (as of press time) concerns from local residents about the impact a slew of rumored new apartment buildings mushrooming around them would have on their community, makes the following report by Jill Stewart, head of the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative especially timely....

On Friday, the Los Angeles City Council voted to place the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative on the March 7, 2017, ballot. Although the City Council will fight to stop our measure, by law they were required to place it on the ballot after our Coalition to Preserve LA collected 104,000 signatures.

The fight is now on between Angelenos who want to reform City Hall’s broken and rigged planning and land-use system, and the wealthy developers who currently call the shots.

Our opposition is funded by three global development billionaires who see Los Angeles as a chess board, and its people as chess pieces. Displacement of residents and thoughtless gentrification are their bread and butter.

Those three global billionaires are: the Lowy family of Australian billionaires who control $68 billion worth of Westfield Malls around the world, the Kahn family of Miami billionaires who have littered the Florida coastline with skyscrapers, and the Lowe billionaires of L.A. who control a vast collection of high-end luxury resorts around the world. 

Although our opponents tried this past month to paint the Coalition to Preserve LA and our March ballot measure as wild-eyed forces that disrupt the status quo, we continue to attract backing from L.A.'s neighborhoods, from poor to working-class to middle-class to rich. 

Our backing ranges from the Westwood Neighborhood Council on the Westside, to the Elysian Valley Riverside Neighborhood Council on the Eastside, to the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council in Hollywood, all which have endorsed our movement.

Communities are sick of the surface street gridlock, destruction of neighborhood character, displacement of longtime residents and spiking homelessness — fueled by developer greed and the City Council's failure to plan. Developers are being allowed to plan our city.

We can look out our windows and see the results. So we oppose such gridlocking, anti-community developments as the proposed 320-foot tall, 30-story Cumulus Skyscraper of $3,500 luxury units at Rodea and La Cienaga; the “Frank Gehry blob” of $4,000 luxury units at 8150 Sunset that would place an entire neighborhood in shadow; and the sprawling North Hollywood mall/luxury housing that would place hundreds of children in danger of lifelong lung damage next to one of the world's busiest freeways. 

The Coalition to Preserve LA will, next March, force the City Council to take a breath and write a General Plan, which it has refused to do for 11 years. Our measure forces the 15 council members to write a General Plan for fixing the roads, finding the water, repairing the ancient water mains, providing the safety services and giving us our long-promised parks, all of it now being taxed by over-development. 

Our measure also enacts a narrowly crafted, two-year timeout on City Council mischief — the process in which council members accept money from big-time developers, then grant those same developers exemptions from the zoning rules through so-called “Zone Changes” and “Height District Changes” and “General Plan Amendments.” Our message is: No more money-greased backroom zoning deals. 

These backroom City Hall deals are ruining Los Angeles. The Council's own actions have created a luxury housing glut in which about 15% of all luxury units built in the past decade stand vacant, while nobody else can find a reasonable rent anymore. And because huge hidden profits are built in, developers can flip their half-empty luxury buildings — for a profit. 

Developers win, we lose. That's why the fight is on to save, not pave, Los Angeles.
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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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