What Is the Land Use Committee?

If you are building or redeveloping in Pacific Palisades, you already have to deal with city planners and their ever-changing re:code LA rulebook, maybe the California Coastal Commission down in Long Beach, the Design Review Board, which reviews architectural changes in the commercial areas, and the Civic League, which looks over building ambitions in the central area known as Tract 9300.

And now comes along the Pacific Palisades Community Council, which as of July 1, has revived its long-dormant Land Use Committee.

It will meet once per month, just before the full PPCC meetings in the Palisades Branch Library, and under chair Howard Robinson, will set out to take a more-lofty than nitty-gritty view of property developments in the tapestry of concrete and drywall that makes up the Palisades.

Officially this means it wants to “help standardize and professionalize the PPCC Board’s consideration of zoning and land use-related issues by offering thorough, well researched and consistent analysis and recommendations to the board.”

The ambition of consistency, deplored by Ralph Waldo Emerson, prompted the only flare-up at the LUC’s inaugural meeting on Thursday, July 27.

LUC member and Save the Bluffs campaigner Sarah Conner requested that the LUC should bake in a commitment to the Coastal Commission guidelines protecting the Palisades.

LUC members, some of whom are also professional planning consultants, fretted about how building law evolves and baulked at the Conner amendment as potentially restrictive. The LUC kicked that can down the road, to be considered in due course.

And so, the first bid to be truly consistent already appears to resemble Emerson’s hobgoblin. But planning is nightmarishly slippery and there will be other monsters down the road.

Members of the committee include: Howard Robinson (chair), Reza Akef, Richard Blumenberg, Sarah Conner, Gilbert Dembo, Rick Mills, Chris Spitz, George Wolfberg and (ex-officio) Maryam Zar.

—JOHN HARLOW