By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
The Los Angeles City Planning Commission met virtually on Thursday, February 25, to review a proposed ordinance to adopt permanent regulations for the demolition, loss or conversion of residential units and development of residential units throughout the city’s coastal zone, which includes Pacific Palisades, Venice and San Pedro.
The ordinance would add a section to the Los Angeles Municipal Code to implement the state Mello Act, which went into effect in January 1982 as an attempt to protect existing residential units and increase the supply of affordable housing in California’s coastal zone.
The proposed ordinance accomplishes the intent of the Mello Act by regulating the demolition, conversion, change of use and new construction activities that involve existing or proposed dwelling units in coastal zone communities.
The ordinance is designed to promote a more equitable distribution of housing opportunities by cost and type to all residents of the city and preserve quality rental and ownership housing for households of all income levels and special needs, according to the CPC’s recommendation report.
“It has a pure purpose and that’s really supporting affordable housing,” Deputy Director of Community Planning Shana Bonstin said.
According to the CPC’s recommendation report, the proposed ordinance is consistent with the goals, objectives and policies of the Brentwood-Pacific Palisades Community Plan—which includes the promotion of adequate housing for all persons regardless of income, age or ethnic background, and the development and maintenance of rental units to ensure housing for a variety of income groups.
Following discussions, CPC decided to continue the vote to have enough time to review recommendations given by the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.
LAFLA sent the commission a letter on February 12 with suggestions, including the prioritization of extremely low-, very low- and low-income households instead of moderate income, and changing “demolition” to include substantial renovation work and more.
Krista Kline, deputy chief of staff for Councilmember Mike Bonin, relayed his statement to the CPC and said Bonin believes affordable housing is imperative everywhere, especially in the coastal zone.
“The city of Los Angeles has a legal responsibility and a moral requirement to protect, preserve and promote affordable housing in all neighborhoods,” she said. “Unfortunately the interim rules the city has been using for decades has not done that.”
Kline said Bonin also supports LAFLA’s recommendations.
“Councilmember agrees with LAFLA that the proposed definition for demolition is not tight enough and should include substantial work that may occur on-site,” Kline said. “He also supports LAFLA’s concerns … the councilmember agrees with the methodology submitted in the LAFLA letter to City Planning on February 12.”
The CPC will review the ordinance again during its meeting on Thursday, May 13.
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