The Green Party supports livable urban environments with affordable housing, mass transit, schools, jobs, health care, public spaces, bicycle and walking paths, community gardens, open spaces, parks, playgrounds, and urban growth boundaries. Too often this type of urban development has not occurred, for a variety of reasons, some recent, some that go back decades. The question is what to do about it today.
The Green Party of Los Angeles County (GPLAC) shares the frustrations that many people have about development in the City of Los Angeles, particularly regarding displacement of residents, spot zoning for developers, environmental impacts, gentrification and loss of neighborhood and community character.
However, the GPLAC opposes Measure S on the March 7, 2017 ballot – officially titled “Building Moratorium / Restriction on General Plan amendments / Required Review of General Plan. Initiative Ordinance” (and sometimes called the "Neighborhood Integrity Initiative") – because the GPLAC believes Measure S will exacerbate these problems, rather than solve them. The GPLAC also believes Measure S simultaneously fails to address the structural problems around per capita representation in Los Angeles City elections that might actually give residents more voice in local development questions.
The GPLAC recognizes that some Los Angeles residents support Measure S out of desperation to stop spiraling rents, evictions, development, and traffic. Some also hope that Measure S's two-year building moratorium may give them a chance to stay in their homes.
The GPLAC shares opposition to spot zoning generally, and specifically supports Measure S's mandate to update the General Plan and neighborhood plans.
However, there are several problems with Measure S, particularly around affordable housing and transit-oriented development, that make it fatally flawed:
And it continues at http://losangeles.cagreens.org/ballot-measures/2017-03-07/no_on_s_los_angeles
Text of Measure S: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2016/16-1054_misc_12-23-16.pdf
I'm pretty annoyed by the propaganda on both sides. The eastside has been blanketed with pro-S billboards, presenting it as a way to stop gentrification. Sorry, but that is not true.
The character of gentrification in the eastside is driven by two main things: big development, and middle class speculation. Big developements include the Sears building condos, Wyvernwood's ultra-gentrification, rich and upper middle class art galleries in the flats (and there is a boycott happening there), USC takeover of the Hazard Park area, and a big development on Lorena. Some affordable housing projects might also be included here. The middle class speculation is in houses and apartment buildings.
The big projects are split between market rate and affordable. So affordable housing is a force for gentrification here -- largely because affordable housing subsidies go only to green card holders and citizens, while many of the poor are undocumented, or perhaps have a relative in a gang, or are in a gang, and cannot qualify for assistance.
These larger developments, for the most part, don't exceed the 45 foot height limit, or are sited on commercial lots, and aren't restricted by the height limit. The middle class speculation are renovations and flips, mainly sold to middle class or upper middle class people. S won't affect these.
The anti-S material says the rule would stop projects. I think the rebuttal has been that it'll stop 4 projects for two years. The real underlying issue is that measure JJJ which passed creates a formal way for projects to get exceptions to the height restrictions by paying into an affordable housing fund, or by providing affordable units.
So, when S says the measure stops political contributions/bribes, it's actually a little bit of a twisted logic. The political contributions have basically been transformed into a fee, by JJJ. The fee funds affordable housing. So S would reduce funding for affordable housing.
Passing S would only slow down the big gentrification projects, but the middle class speculative buying would continue unabated.
What this means is that the character of gentrification would be different. Instead of shiny new apartments for poor, working class, and even some middle class people, mainly people of color, you would get more renovations, more middle class, upper middle class, and a few wealthy people, multicultural, but heavily white.