A sweeping ballot initiative is being circulated in San Diego. It’s called The Citizens’ Plan for the Responsible Management of Major Tourism and Entertainment Resources, or simply the “Citizens Plan” ballot initiative. The initiative is a joint effort by public interest attorney Cory Briggs and real estate developer John Moores. There have been a number of opinions issued in the media lately about whether the initiative is legal and if it is, whether it requires 2/3 voter passage or merely a majority. However, these opinions did little to explain the legal issues.?? This article will seek to provide greater insight into the first issue – or at least one aspect of it. A later article will examine the voter percentage required for passage.
Where are we now on homelessness in Los Angeles?
Much has happened in the three months since my UrbDeZine colleague Michael Russell unpacked the arc of the homeless crisis in Los Angeles. In early 2016, both the City of Los Angeles and County of Los Angeles approved comprehensive plans to tackle homelessness within their respective jurisdictions. Largely thanks to Home Rule, inter-cooperative city/county policy making has never been a regular trait of L.A. politics. But with L.A.’s homeless crisis reaching a state of emergency across jurisdictional boundaries, the old “policy making in silos” approach simply wouldn’t work here. Even the New York Times took note in a story highlighting collaboration between the two governments on Los Angeles’ homeless crisis response. The million dollar question remaining for Los Angeles City and County is, “How do we pay for it?”Continue Reading Urge Pasadena to Approve the Measures to Address Homelessness
John King just keeps getting better and better. In his second Cityscapes volume, published by local treasure Heyday Books, he classifies fifty notable San Francisco buildings and spaces under the sobriquets of Towers, Connection, Clues and Waterfront. This builds on Volume 1’s Icons, Styles and Masters, Landscape, and Change (Cityscapes , San Francisco and Its Buildings, 2011). Another couple of volumes and we will have the complete ‘how to read a city.’Continue Reading Cityscapes 2: Reading the Architecture of San Francisco
Have you ever heard of Westlake Park? This was a park that was once referred to as “the most popular open-air resort in the city” (page 17 of Kevin Roderick’s book on Wilshire Boulevard). Opened in 1890, the park was loved by the people of Los Angeles and offered the perfect venue for leisurely strolls, boating in a lake, and popular Sunday concerts. The park was surrounded by luxury hotels and the area even became known as the Champs-Élysées of Los Angeles. You may be wondering, where is this great park and how come I have not been there yet? Continue Reading What about MacArthur Park?
The oldest river crossing in New York City is now the newest. The 1848 High Bridge that spans the Harlem River and links upper Manhattan to The Bronx has recently emerged from a multi-year, $61.8 million renovation. It re-opened to the public on June 9th. Whether the initial enthusiasm of using this restored public space can reenergize a neighborhood will take years to find out, however, for the moment this project is bringing tourists and residents to an area that was previously known only to locals and intrepid urban explorers. Will it spur new economic activity to an ungentrified area? Is that indeed what is wanted or needed? Questions to be answered later.Continue Reading The High Line? No, The High Bridge!
- Of or relating to the habitat or environment.
- The doctrine, theory, or science of a subject.
- Branch of science concerned with the interrelationships of organisms and their environments, especially as manifested by the natural cycles and rhythms, community development and structure, interaction between different kinds of organisms, geographic distribution, and population alternatives.
- The totality or pattern of relations between organisms and their environments.
~ Webster’s New International Dictionary, 3rd ed., 1976
_____________________________________Continue Reading Reyner Banham, Mike Davis, and the Discourse on Los Angeles Ecology
The IDEA 1 Building came before the San Diego Downtown Community Planning Council last week amid concerns that it lacked the density desired for East Village as established in the 2006 amendments to the Downtown Community Plan. The DCP goal for downtown is 90,000 residents – 46,000 of which are to be in East Village. The proposal as it stands is six stories tall. It was unknown at the time of this writing what the DCP recommended, since the minutes have not been published (and I didn’t attend). Please feel free to add info as a comment below. Continue Reading East Village San Diego’s IDEA 1 Building proposed amid concerns about “under-building.”
A new “retro-modern” 22 story apartment tower is being proposed across Park Blvd. from the Central Library on what is now an empty lot. The site straddles an active seismic fault leaving a small triangular portion severed from the main portion. Continue Reading New Retro-Modern 22 Story Apartment Tower Proposed Next to San Diego Central Library
Spoiler Alert. Despite being one of the worst tales of NIMBYism I have been involved in, it all turned out as it should. The project proponent, the official project opponent, and the Planning Commission all ended up doing the right thing. 420 desperately needed housing units are being built according to the City General Plan, the Neighborhood Plan, and the existing zoning, at one of the most underutilized transit accessible locations west of Chicago.Continue Reading SPOILER ALERT: 420 Housing Units Under Construction
A few weeks ago, I was in Seattle for the American Planning Association (APA)’s National Planning Conference. In addition to learning with and from other planners, I also had the opportunity to present in a session entitled “Collaboration for Healthy Communities in LA County” that focused on the creation and accomplishments of Los Angeles County’s Healthy Design Workgroup (which I shared about previously in Coordination: Can’t Plan Without It). Like the conferences I attended in recent years, this one offered a wide variety of informative and useful sessions and mobile workshops. As a park planner, I naturally gravitated towards those related to parks and recreation. Summarized below are the sessions that I found most interesting and want to highlight in this article:Continue Reading APA Conference: Lessons from Seattle