Friday, January 15, 2010

Draft Hollywood Community Plan Fails To Follow Housing Element Program

When the Housing Element of the City of Los Angeles' General Plan was being updated in 2008, the Department of City Planning advocated including a downzoning provision to "preserve stable multi-family residential neighborhoods".

Recently, when I examined the Draft Matrix of Existing, Planned and Proposed Land Use of the Draft Hollywood Community Plan, looking for what is NOT included rather than what is included, I was unable to find any proposed downzoning following this program. Here is the text from the Housing Element:

Program F under Policy 2.4.3, Neighborhood Preservation -Downzoning.
F. Neighborhood Preservation – Downzoning
Preserve stable multi-family residential neighborhoods that provide older, and therefore, relatively affordable, but high quality housing stock. Evaluate the feasibility of downzoning such neighborhoods to approximate the existing densities in order to eliminate the incentive to demolish and replace such neighborhoods with higher density, more expensive, new construction. Assure that there is no net loss of capacity in the Community Plan by assuring that any such downzoning occurs only when accompanied with a corresponding shift of the capacity that would have been been created in the downzoned neighborhood to other areas of the Community Plan where the additional housing units can be better accommodated.
Lead Agency: DCP
Funding Sources: General Fund
Objective: Rezone appropriate areas in 12 Community Plans
Schedule: 2008 – 2014

Gail Golberg, Director of Planning, was in strong support of this program being incorporated into the Housing Element. However, the draft matrix shows no indication that the Department of City Planning intends to follow the program during the Hollywood Community Plan update process. For one thing, none of the following multi-family residential neighborhoods are designated as subareas for protective treatment in the draft matrix:

Lyman Place and Rodney Drive N 1600 Blocks

Ambrose Ave. - W 4500 Block

Vermont Ave. - N 1900-2100 Blocks

These particular multi-family residential neighborhoods in Los Feliz are only a few examples of areas that are overzoned for development. Certainly, many other multi-family residential neighborhoods within the Hollywood Community Plan area should also receive the protection intended by the Housing Element program.

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