The Coalition to Preserve LA announced this week that its put-the-brakes-on-development ballot measure, known as the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, was approved for signature gathering for the March, 2017 ballot. The measure, introduced last fall and originally intended for the fall, 2016 election ballot, has been both rescheduled and revised (from 23 pages to 8 pages) to simplify the language and modify some provisions.
One change in the revised measure will allow planners more flexibility in proposing changes to neighborhoods to avoid grandfathering density if it no longer suits a neighborhood, explained Jack Humphreville, a Windsor Square resident active in the Coalition. According to Humphreville, the change was in response to concerns raised about the measure.
Mott Smith, an opponent of the initiative, raised the grandfathering issue in a recent video interview with Miracle Mile Residential Association Vice President Ken Hixon. Smith, the co-founder and Principal of Civic Enterprise, told Hixon that, “the fatal flaw of the initiative is how it hamstrings revising community plans by mandating that they be consistent to existing development – even if it is the consensus of the community to change the density or uses in a particular area,” wrote Hixon in a recent article on CityWatch.com.
According to the Coalition, other changes include:
- Exempting 100-percent affordable housing projects from the two-year moratorium, allowing those projects to proceed even if they need height district or zone changes;
- Requiring City Hall to go to the people, holding its public reviews and updates of the General Plan and the 35 Community Plans, and the Harbor District Plan and Airport District Plan, solely at night and on weekends and within the affected communities;
- Removing several pages explaining L.A.’s existing parking rules and leaving in place only the paragraph that would be changed. That paragraph stops favored developers of small lot subdivisions, condo conversions and outsized projects from being able to vastly cut back their required parking.
The move to the spring ballot puts the measure on a slate filled with city-wide races and issues. Contests for Mayor, City Attorney and City Controller as well as eight City Council members will be in play at the same time. As a result, said Humphreville, some opponents have criticized the Coalition for ballot “shopping,” because the March 2017 voters are also more likely to white, own homes and be more conservative in their views about development.
“The November ballot will be so crowded,” he said, “the measure would have been way down the ballot and voters may not go all the way to find it.”
The revised measure can be found here.