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Friday, June 23, 2006

Where Does L.A. Get Its Planners?!

As per a story story in the L.A. Times, L.A.'s genius city planners want to amend the municipal code to allow homeowners to post signs in their front yards for their home-based businesses. Yeah, that's EXACTLY what I want to see when I come home from work each day: a bunch of "pop-up" ads in the lawns in my neighborhood.

Homeowners have risen up in protest, of course, and the City is "re-thinking" the proposal.

So the question is, where are we getting these planners? Are they all renters who live in urban areas? Have they never seen grass, lawns and real houses?

32 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Walter, finally someone who picks up on policy issues related to all of us instead of just politics in CD 14 or what Jim Alger has to say.
Folks, this issue affects all of us. Like Walter said, who wants to see ads on the front lawns as we drive by. Hell, i don't want to see ads for businesses on my block.
This proposal is just ridiculous. The erosion of the neighborhood will begin. Can you imagine a sign going up for almost anything. Pre-paid legal, tax preparation, sign making, cell phone accessories, cable repair, shoe shine, lemonade, advise, shoe laces, used jeans, etc. This can go on and on. So if someone is selling items on ebay, they can make a sign that says "ebay auctioneer lives here, come see my inventory before it's gone". Not to mention the alread unregulated taco stand industry. It's bad enough that they exist on corners with no signage. Imagine if they had a sign in their yard.

Please tell me that my favorite councilman Herb Wesson is going to speak up on this. I know Jan Perry isn't. She doesn't care about anything south of the 10 freeway in her district. Eddie, my compadre, speak up man! As a planner, you know what that will be like.
Would a policy like this result in a land use change, or a change in zoning? How would it affect this homes in the Historic districts?
If i crash my car while driving, i'll just say, "I was trying to read the sign on somoene's lawn and did not see the car in front of me".
Come on folks, please care about L.A. It's obvious AV doesn't "dream" about L.A. He "dreams" of lining his own pocket.

June 23, 2006 7:39 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Walter, finally someone who picks up on policy issues related to all of us instead of just politics in CD 14 or what Jim Alger has to say.
Folks, this issue affects all of us. Like Walter said, who wants to see ads on the front lawns as we drive by. Hell, i don't want to see ads for businesses on my block.
This proposal is just ridiculous. The erosion of the neighborhood will begin. Can you imagine a sign going up for almost anything. Pre-paid legal, tax preparation, sign making, cell phone accessories, cable repair, shoe shine, lemonade, advise, shoe laces, used jeans, etc. This can go on and on. So if someone is selling items on ebay, they can make a sign that says "ebay auctioneer lives here, come see my inventory before it's gone". Not to mention the alread unregulated taco stand industry. It's bad enough that they exist on corners with no signage. Imagine if they had a sign in their yard.

Please tell me that my favorite councilman Herb Wesson is going to speak up on this. I know Jan Perry isn't. She doesn't care about anything south of the 10 freeway in her district. Eddie, my compadre, speak up man! As a planner, you know what that will be like.
Would a policy like this result in a land use change, or a change in zoning? How would it affect this homes in the Historic districts?
If i crash my car while driving, i'll just say, "I was trying to read the sign on somoene's lawn and did not see the car in front of me".
Come on folks, please care about L.A. It's obvious AV doesn't "dream" about L.A. He "dreams" of lining his own pocket.

June 23, 2006 7:40 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

where do i send my resume?

June 23, 2006 7:43 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

All people do is whine and complain but how many will actually be at city council speaking out against this? That's what needs to be done. Otherwise those moron city council members will vote to pass this.

Get your somberos ready for 3 days of B.S. from the National Council of La Raza starting on Ju;y 8th....Kicking off the Conference, President Clinton will speak to Conference attendees at Café con Clinton, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina will speak at the National Affiliate Luncheon beginning at 12:30 p.m....Following the luncheon seminar,'Toward Immigration Reform and Beyond: Latinos and Labor Unions Working Together"

June 23, 2006 8:04 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This fucking city already looks like Tijuana! Fire every fucking Mexican and the entire City planning commission!

When are the fucking hearings on this Tijuana front yard bill going to be held?

I will bring 300 people to City Hall. These fucking Mexicans have to go.

LA is a shithole!!!!!!!

Fucking assholes!!!!!!!

June 23, 2006 9:11 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Agree with 7:39. This is a terrible idea. These moronic planners don't let up.

June 23, 2006 9:15 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Bravo, Walter!

From the article, it's not just bone-headed city planners like Jane Blumenfeld who are to blame, but the brain trust in the city attorney's office who are guiding these sheep.

June 23, 2006 9:41 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I can just imagine the outrage from the Westside and Valley on this issue. They don't have any idea what's coming. The minority communities do because its already happening and the councilmembers ignore it. Pack city council when this is on the agenda. Who benefits from this and what does the planning commission have to gain from this?

June 23, 2006 11:23 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Dear Anon 9:41 am: The use of the words "brain" and "trust" in relation to the City Attorney's Office is funny -- as in ha! ha! The Valley folks can always bring back the issue of splitting from the city and let the Mayor, City Council and all of the labor unions have the central city area while the valley neighborhoods take back their communities through actual planning, smart growth, controlled density and open space.

June 23, 2006 11:30 AM  

Blogger Mitch Glaser said:

Mr. Moore, I agree with you on this issue. Allowing business signs in residential areas is a bad idea.

That being said, it's unfair to dump all the blame on the planning staff. As the L.A. Times article and previous comments indicate, it seems that the City Attorney's office is really the driving force behind this ordinance. It's a shame when zoning policy is driven by fear of litigation rather than the neighborhood aesthetics and the desires of property owners and residents.

Planners have to juggle the interests of a multitude of stakeholders in a highly politicized landscape. They are charged with finding a "middle ground" that usually pleases no one completely. It truly is a thankless job.

We have to stop creating artificial divisions between owners and renters and between those who live in suburban and urban areas. (It's a stretch to call any part of L.A. urban anyway)We all live in the same city, we share the same streets, and we all want quality neighborhoods for our families. We have to work together to make Los Angeles a better place.

June 23, 2006 11:55 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What you don't want "Hot Asian Massages Special TODAY" on a house in your neighborhood?

How about a law that fines the venues that allow "Tatoo EXPO" "Bridal EXPO" "Salsa Night" "Boggie Nights" etc outdoor advertising on every fricken telephone pole, street light, chain link fence, and freeway off ramp in the city! Since you can't catch these illegal advertisers in the middle of the night...the city of LA only has to collect the signs and fine the venues for each and every sign. Then the burden is on the venues to hold the event organizers to stop these fly by night advertising outfits.
It worked in my city!

June 23, 2006 12:21 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Re: anonymous at 12:21,

Street Use Services will remove illegaly placed signs & fine the companies. Call 311 & ask for Street Use Services.

--Bonita Applebaum

June 23, 2006 2:06 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Looks like i'm going to have to move to the valley where folks care about the neighborhoods and the quality of life.

This is just ridiculous.

June 23, 2006 4:42 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Bonita...

Kinda hard to "fine" somebody, when all most of these signs have on them is a cell number (prepaid, cash) -- for some roaming Rave in Azusa, etc.

And let's be honest... street services will be out to pick them up when, MAYBE middle of next year?

There are still "Elect Bernard Parks/Mayor" signs up all over the city.

June 23, 2006 5:10 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Goodie! Signs on lawns.

MORE TO TAG!

-- Lil' Ghost and 52XS Krew

June 23, 2006 5:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hey Walter, you're never going to get elected mayor if you continue to believe that suburban homeowners are the only people who matter. The city is majority renters, and as old Valley/Westside WASPs and South Central blacks die off/move out and noncitizens buy up their homes, the majority of the voting electorate will be renters too.

(You're never going to get elected mayor anyway, but I figured I'd make a rhetorical point.)

June 23, 2006 5:18 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

Focus, Sparky, focus: the issue is the sign ordinance, not whether the City will elect me mayor. It was funny the first nine jillion times, but now it's passe. Raise the bar on your goals an inche or three.

June 23, 2006 5:57 PM  

Blogger ubrayj02 said:

When one takes even a casual look at human history, one will find that "workplace" and "home" are essentially one and the same.

In America, we created zones for certain types of activity to keep the noise and pollution of modern commerce and industry far away from where we live. This makes sense with certain types of industries.

However, a convincing case can be made that we have separated homes from the world of commerce and industry too much. We're now so disconnected from the most basic resources that we have to get in our cars and drive several miles over publicly subsidized roads to take part in the economy in a meaningful way.

The design of the R-1 neighborhood has its flaws, and the total exclusion of commerce from within its boundaries is one of them.

If a lawyer, an accontant, or another unobtrusive , small-time, business can operate out of someone's den or living room - we are all the better for it.

Kudos to planners, and others, who are trying to find a way for people to win back time for their families, neighbors, and community by working from home. They keep cars off the roads, and they keep tax revenue within our city boundaries.

That is one less child in child-care, one less disengaged consumer, it is one more set of eyes on our streets.

June 23, 2006 6:27 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

ubray, you have no clue. you said all of that to say nothing.

June 23, 2006 6:29 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Well, at least all the front-yard signs will go together nicely with the city's thicket of attractive power poles and electical lines!

June 23, 2006 7:55 PM  

Blogger Matt said:

So where should advertising be allowed? I don't see anyone making the case to keep people from putting signs on their personal property, and I don't see any really clear justification when we allow billboards, bench signs, etc.

Plus, I remember the discussion about hedge walls... how is this really different from a city enforcement angle? Could someone clue me in?

June 23, 2006 8:00 PM  

Blogger Mitch Glaser said:

Ubray, you make an excellent point. Home-based businesses aren't a problem, provided that they aren't intrusive to the residential character of a neighborhood. I think the issue here is not home-based businesses, but the ability of those businesses to erect signs that would be intrusive to neighborhood character.

Matt, you also make an excellent point. In a city already bombarded by advertising of all stripes, this seems to be a trivial issue. Home-based businesses do not need on-site advertising to succeed, and allowing such signage would detract from the aesthetic qualities of residential areas. Home-based businesses shouldn't rely on "drive-by" traffic; those types of businesses (lawyers, CPAs, Internet firms, etc.) can advertise through other media or by "word-of-mouth"

Billboards are heavily restricted. They have been prohibited in residential areas for decades. Fairly recently, the City prohibited new billboards almost everywhere. The rationale is that they detract from the visual qualities of their surroundings, just as signs for home-based businesses would.

Bus bench ads are a different issue. It's property owned by the City or by MTA, so they can post advertising if they so choose. The government isn't always bound by the same rules that private property owners are. I'm sure that if enough political pressure were brought to bear on the City and the MTA, transit advertising wouldn't exist. Unfortunately, the outdoor advertising lobby is extremely powerful.

Matt, you are also right to point out that this is an enforcement issue. It gets difficult to distinguish to permitted home-based businesses from illegal ones and to distinguish legal signs from the illegal ones. If you permit a certain type of home-based business sign, it becomes very difficult to demand that illegal ones to come down. People propose laws too often without thinking about how they will be enforced.

I never thought I would so vigorously defend a position offered by Walter Moore!

June 23, 2006 9:02 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Instead of passing ridiculous ordiinance giving home based businesses the right to advertise on their lawn and cause further blight to this city why don't they go after all the illegal vendors first and clean that up instead of adding to the problem. We already have too many garage sales, auto repair shops, taco stands etc. on lawns in neigborhoods.

June 24, 2006 7:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This city has been going downhill since Bradley was mayor. It's third world now. Street vendors, roach coaches, junk sales on every and any empty corner, and now business signs in residential areas. How sad.

June 24, 2006 8:45 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Good points 7:00 am. Hopefully the city hacks will come to their senses and not pass the ridiculous yard sign ordinance. They should also shut down those little ice cream push carts.

June 24, 2006 9:05 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Ubray
First it was the students rights to party and ruin quiet neighborhoods around Loyolla Marymount, now you say its OK and a right to run a business out of a single family home in a zoned residential district. And Mitch would a 28 ft sea/land cargo container dropped in a front yard driveway exchanged every two weeks for someones "home" ebay business be OK in your neighborhood. Or how about a "Starving Students" moving van completely blocking the entire view from the front of your modest LA home so you can't even see the street or your neighbor across the street? Why have a nieghborhood watch if you can't see from between the signs. (were #79 on the CMAV list) How about a mulit family complex having a swap meet every darn Saturday afternoon, and their customers parking in your driveway?

and for Bonita
apparently you haven't got out of your city provided car and really read any of these signs, either cell number to answering machines or a web address for info. A dead end. We have eliminated the problem by going after the venues with fines and put hurt were this starts those who profit directly from these events and look to continue making profits.

June 24, 2006 10:10 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Is anyone else as creeped out as I am that the wacky racist post was ironically done at 9:11?

June 24, 2006 3:22 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I love a tough gang banger who uses the word, "goodie".

June 24, 2006 3:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mitch,

You obviously never sat through an Education and Neighborhood Committee meeting when billboards were on the agenda.

The company from France that puts the bus shelters at the bus stops for MTA FORCES us to take the advertising. We're hostage to them. If we want their bus shelters, we have to let them put up the latest movie that is being released. Same thing with their bathrooms. Here we have an excellent idea with the 25 cent bathrooms that self clean (no matter what others may think of them) and we can only have them if we allow Viacom to sell advertisement to them.

The planners and council members in the city of LA need to tell Viacom to fuck off. We can purchase our own bus shelters.

Stop. I forgot - Viacom donates heavily to campaigns.

Never mind.

June 24, 2006 3:41 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

One important point that no one has brought up is parking in these in neighborhoods. Where the hell are the customers of these "home" businesses suppose to park? There's no parking on most streets in neighborhoods anymore cause there's all type of signs and permits needed etc. These damn people who make these decisions don't have a clue.

June 25, 2006 6:52 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I've met some of these planners at LA-APA board meetings. They are rather elitist in an odd way. Granted none of them are highly intellectual or "captains of industry". It's almost like a homeless man making fun of your car because it needs to be washed.

June 25, 2006 11:02 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hmm, where does L.A. get its planners? I know -how about termed out politicians who send their crooked planning deputies there.

June 27, 2006 1:56 PM  

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