Los Angeles City residents will vote on Measure S next Tuesday. Measure S would reduce the amount of development that can take place in Los Angeles.
According to the voter information guide for Los Angeles, any building that will have intense land use, will increase in floor space area, density and height, or will create a loss of land zoned for open space will not be able to be built for a two-year period.
It will apply to community areas, Neighborhood Council areas, areas measuring 15 acres or more and any area included in a specific plan. Affordable housing projects, a city-issued order or state sanctioned developments will be exempt during those two years.
The measure would also create a public system to review amendments to the Los Angeles General Plan, community plans and airport and port district plans every five years. Third party consultants, rather than developers, will have to submit environmental reports for any new buildings. Finally, the measure, if passed, would not allow developers to restrict parking areas.
Supporters of the measure, some of whom protested at an AIDS Healthcare Foundation-sponsored rally Tuesday afternoon in Leimert Park say that Measure S will help take people off the streets and place them in affordable housing, including U.S. veteran Laila Goring.
"I think as a society that we have a debt to our veterans to provide them with the ability to live in a safe place after their service of our country and fight for our freedom," Goring said, also mentioning that the measure would hold politicians accountable and avoid corruption. "We have to think about the environment, think about affordable housing and what is good for the community as a whole."
AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein echoed the same sentiment. He used the vast homeless population as context for his argument.
"The reality is that you can't erase the fact that there are 26,000 homeless people, you cannot erase the fact that [there are] 1,200 homeless tents in Los Angeles," Weinstein said.
Those who oppose the measure, however, say that it would create a shortage in housing for a growing LA population and cause increased homelessness.
The No On Measure S website says that the measure will "make our housing crisis much, much worse by severely restricting housing supply." Conversely, the Yes On Measure S campaign say that it "is designed to stop LA City Hall's elected leaders from rewarding developers who support their pet projects, giving them special treatment."
An LA Times Op-Ed, which ran in January, said that Measure S would make the housing problem in Los Angeles worse. Writer Shane Phillips argues, using housing information dating back to 1939, that Los Angeles is in a housing slump. Philips says Measure S will create an even bigger shortage, which has "empowered landlords to raise rents on existing homes and has driven up the cost of new development."
Both campaigns have raised around $2 million for their respective causes, with the Yes on Measure S campaign pulling slightly ahead in funds. Yes on Measure S has recently come under fire by the County of Los Angeles Sheriff's Department for re-creating a eviction letter for one of its campaign mailers that said "this could be you or a loved one."
Voters in the city of Los Angeles will also be asked to consider measures to regulate and tax marijuana and extend the maximum duration for harbor leases. Angelenos can go to lavote.net to find their voter information.
Reach staff reporter Hawken Miller here.