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Friday, September 29, 2006

Historic Preservation Alliance Says "No" To Special Treatment For Meurelo

Should millionaire developers who contribute to career politicians get preferential treatment when they illegally destroy buildings without permits?

As one of my law school professors said, "to ask that question is to answer it."

The Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) Alliance sent a letter opposing special treatment for bazillionaire developer Meruelo, a massive contributor to Mayor Villaraigosa and other career politicians in this city. (I covered this in an earlier essay: Special Treatment For Special Interests.) Here is the text of the HPOZ Alliance etter:

September 29, 2006

Board of Commissioners
Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety
201 N. Figueroa Street,10th Floor
Los Angeles, California 90012

RE: Meruelo Maddux Properties penalties

Dear Commissioners:

We in the Historic Preservation community-now numbering tens of thousands of Los Angelenos-are strongly opposed to any lessening of penalties, now in place, for the tearing down of four old industrial buildings near Union Station without obtaining demolition permits.

The whole point of creating the so-called "scorched earth" penalties for un-permitted demolition of historic buildings was to make it so painful that nobody would violate this law.

If the Board eases the penalty in this case, it must be with the understanding that more un-permitted demolitions of historic structures will surely take place.

Your decision will be an important part of your legacy to our city.

Please vote for how you want to be remembered.

Sincerely yours,
Murray Burns
Chair HPOZ Alliance


Anonymous Anonymous said:

I hope they don't ease the penalty, but won't be surprised if they do. You know the routine: the boilerplate public rebuke, the "Gee, I'm so sorry," then the wink, wink -- slap on wrist. Same old story; money talks bullshit walks.

September 29, 2006 8:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Finally, someone who has the balls to stand up and say NO. Let's suggest one better...do not vote for anyone or anything associated with Meurelo. From what I hear, the list is long.

September 29, 2006 9:16 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Then stay on top of it. Email your friends. Get people involved. It is time for the people of Los Angeles to make the city obey its' own laws, to favor the constituents over the developers, and to write new laws to solve the problems of the people.

I was told by a city planning employee, today, quite frankly, that zoning in the City of Los Angeles is for sale.

And so are the decisions as to whether to enforce and to penalize.

Fight for your town, Angelenos!

September 29, 2006 9:20 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

The zoning is absolutely for sale. Clowncilmen sell variances the way the priests of the middle ages sold indulgences.

And all the other Clowncilmen "defer" to whatever the Clowncilman for a given district wants, so each one can extract financial contributions without having to worry about the public interest.

September 30, 2006 4:01 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The mayor has proposed massive denisty zone changes without even consulting the neighborhood councils nor the community. His plan is in the paper already. He wants to promote this without community import as a sort of fait acompli. Teh mayor talked about enough and hired a Planning Director to make it happen. She's not called "saint of Denisty" in for nothing. The mayor goal is to help developers maximize their net profits for dense NY-stylehigh rises - sans good public transportation-- at the expense of the Los Angelenos. Why is he doing this, you ask? Why, of course, so developers and their deep pockets will be there for him when he "officially" runs for governor. All that windfull profit from upzoning all over LA is going to amount to some quid pro quo, right developers?

September 30, 2006 11:01 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:


September 30, 2006 11:25 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Just like favoring the rich developers and thos with connectiosn we get this massive denisty planned by the mayor .LA planners need to look at the cost of needed infrastructure for various growth scenarios...and planning explicitly for funding and implementing that needed infrastructure.... . But LA has it backwards. They want to do the rezone mutually exclusive of any hint they know what is required in infrastructure needs. We end up with the growth but inadequate roads and schools and other environment facilities. In other words plan for massive growth it will takes YEARS of research, planning and finding funding sources along with cooperative ventures with develpers while lobbying for special federal and state grants. However how can this every happen when the mayor, Clouwncils and Planning Director are on short terms? What\'s concerns tehm is getting something DONE no matter waht. It\'s not about what\'s good for the City. They haven\'t the will (or ethics and integrity for that matter ) to do the property research and prepare. Contray to pervious posts on the idea \" if the population comes we must take it\" mentality, no community should accept more growth than they are willing to pay for. Yes, LA\'s population will increase and people need places to live and growth will occur one way or other but there is no obligation to degarde this Great City if the we there is no benefit from approving more growth than they LA can handle. The legacy will a degradation of everyone\'s quality of urban life.
This is \"Dumb Growth.\" When a city re-zones at a rate higher than they can sustain. Please don\'t labvel us use \'anti-growth\' and \'anti-business\'.because we won\'t such growth planned properly and prudently.
Wha\'ts wrong with managing growth as a balance between accepting a reasonable and financially-responsible growth rate verses approving high densities like a drunken sailer simply because it\'s the Planning Department is the diciple of the current planing theory de jour?

October 01, 2006 7:59 PM  

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