CHARLOTTE LAWS - DREAM AND ACHIEVE TOGETHER
Council passes Density Bonus Ordinance
By Charlotte Laws
After several years of spirited debate and great resistance from communities, the City Council passed the Density Bonus Ordinance giving incentives--such as increased height by 11 feet and fewer parking requirements--to developers who provide some affordable housing units in multi-family developments. State law SB 1818 mandates that all municipalities provide affordable housing through density bonus incentives.
Opponents, such as Zev Yaroslavsky, argued that the ordinance would compromise single-family neighborhoods, result in a decrease of affordable units, and prohibit Los Angeles from controlling density in a common-sense geographic manner with attention to infrastructure and traffic. The City Council failed to examine how other localities are implementing state law before passing their own version. Dennis Zine, Bill Rosendahl, Janice Hahn and Tom LaBonge were the only councilmembers to vote against the motion.
L.A.ís implanting ordinance gives more to the developers than is required and trumps zoning ordinances that would normally provide protection, particularly those within 1500 feet of a rapid busway station. To see the final ordinance, go to www.lacity.org. On the right side, under L.A. City Council, click on Ordinance Search. Next, type in the number 179681.
Despite the bad news, there is hope. Two lawsuits have been filed against the Density Bonus law, and Councilmember Janice Hahn is calling on the LA City Council to send a resolution to Sacramento objecting to SB 1818.
Los Angeles is growing at approximately .6% per year, but there is no vision for how Los Angeles should look in 10, 20 or 100 years. Which communities need protection and which ones need growth? Through a coalition of neighborhood councils, we can come up with a long-range plan for our city. Letís roll up our sleeves and work to overturn the Density Bonus law and to preserve the quality of life in Los Angeles.
Laws, Ph.D. is the Chair of the Density Bonus Committee for the Greater Valley
Glen Council (GVGC) and a delegate to the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council