As our readers are well aware, housing and development are two of the hottest topics right now in the country, state, city…and our local neighborhoods. This week, we learned about three new sources of information that should come in very handy for these ongoing discussions, and we thought our informed readers would find them useful as well.
Postcard on State Housing Legislation
The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously this week to oppose State Senate Bill 50 (better known as SB50), which would drastically alter (or eliminate) most local zoning guidelines across the state of California. But SB50 is far from the only housing and development-related bill making its way through the state legislature right now. In fact, there are currently more than 25 of them, covering an A-Z list of everything from Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) to Zoning. So if you need a quick pocket reference to keep track of this alphanumeric soup of bills (ABs, SBs, ACAs and SCAs), this handy-dandy postcard, from the Bay City Beacon, should do the trick. (Thanks to Jeff Carpenter and Caroline Moser, from the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, for passing this along!)
2018 Population Estimates from U.S. Census Bureau
The U.S. Census Bureau does a full population count across the country every 10 years, at the beginning of each decade. But in the intervening years between formal counts, the agency also compiles data-based annual population estimates. The estimates for 2018 were released this week, and they reveal that while Los Angeles County is still the single most populous county in the nation, its population actually declined slightly in 2018, from 10,118,759 in 2017 to 10,105,518 last year. Of course, one year does not a trend make, and the census bureau reports also estimate that in the eight years since the last full census count in 2010, LA County’s population has grown from 9,818,672 to 10,105,518, a net gain of 286,846.
This year’s estimate report does note, though, that one of the most “interesting” trends identified across the country, is that the counties with the biggest one-year population growth in 2018 were not the 10 most populous counties in the country (as they’ve been in the past), but those that lie further outside major metropolitan areas…including Riverside County in California, which the estimates say had a one-year gain last year of 33,534 people.
And, finally, in case you’re wondering, the next full census count is just around the corner – starting on April 1, 2020 (only 345 days away).
New Interactive Map for Los Angeles Early Planning Reports
Finally, one of the most useful tools for tracking local development has long been the Los Angeles City Planning Department‘s Early Planning Report, which is published every two weeks and lists new entitlement applications from across the city. (Entitlements are developer/owner/builder requests for special permissions – such as conditional use permits, additional density, zone changes, or other kinds of relief from the applicable zoning laws.) Interested parties have always been able to subscribe to the bi-weekly reports via e-mail, and this is still possible…but the reports are delivered in PDF form, which can be a bit cumbersome to scroll through and keep track of from week to week.
Recently, however, the Planning Department introduced a new interactive map of Bi-Weekly Entitlement Case Filings, which contains pins showing the locations and details of each new entitlement application throughout the city. It’s super visual and easy to use, zooming in or out to whatever part of the city you’re interested in, and you can also choose which/how many recent reports to display. And finally, it’s also easy to bookmark in your web browser, so you’ll never lose track of it, and it’s always just a click away. For us here at the Buzz, it may become one of our favorite, and most used, websites…ever.