Recently I found the Coalition to Preserve L.A.’s twitter account and I’ve had a fun time using it to point out the hypocrisy.
For some reason they’ve written an article and held a press conference against the proposed 8th and Catalina tower in Koreatown, which has been in limbo for years. It seems unlikely this tower will be built any time soon but I still feel as though I must debunk their article, which is filled with faulty logic. Links to the article and another article about the tower are to the side.
What in the heck is happening in Koreatown?
Community activists don’t want a 27-story, 269-unit residential high-rise to go up in a low-slung, working-class section of Koreatown. The city’s planning commission voted against the proposed skyscraper, with one commissioner describing it as “wildly inappropriate.” Yet Mayor Eric Garcetti, in a rare move, overturned the planning commission and approved the mega-project — but only after Beverly Hills developer Michael Hakim agreed to fork over $1 million to the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
The Coalition to Preserve L.A. always acts as if they support the middle and lower classes, when in fact they don’t care about them at all. If you needed proof they don’t, it’s in the second to last sentence. Mayor Garcetti's decision got the Affordable Housing Trust Fund one million dollars yet the author thinks that's a bad thing.
Today, Hakim is still trying to get final approvals for his mega-project with market-rate (meaning, “not very affordable”) housing. But, things are looking pretty darn good for him, and he can make millions and millions off the wildly inappropriate skyscraper.”
(By the way, take a look at the picture below of the proposed site. The skyscraper would rise another 20 stories above that first palm tree. That “wildly inappropriate” remark is wildly accurate. Wow!)
The tower would also take up land that is currently comprised of a liquor store, a parking lot, and 3 apartment buildings which couldn’t comprise of more than 15 units by my estimate. Over all that’s a net gain of over 250 units which we badly need and $1 million for the city’s affordable housing fund, not to mention all the tax revenue it will generate for the city and the hundreds of jobs it will create for local labor.
“For this 27-story project to be built,” said Stewart at a press conference yesterday, “city officials will have to bend almost every rule in the book – but that happens every day at City Hall. The rigged system at City Hall rewards greedy developers and it is hard to beat. But the public can win and put new controls on reckless development if they vote for our measure when it gets on the ballot.”
The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative will impose a two-year moratorium on development projects that seek height, zoning and General Plan amendments — and require special handling, rule-bending and council intervention to go forward, such as Hakim’s.
These are the kinds of flagrantly obnoxious projects that overwhelm our traffic, our neighborhoods and our environment.
During this review process, citizens will have new opportunities to shape the rules of the road and the destinies of their communities.
There’s a lot on the line with overdevelopment and horrible land-use policy in L.A.
In Koreatown, Yoo said at the press conference that Hakim’s mega-project will result in the destruction of more than a dozen rent-controlled units and cause even more wreckage.
“If this project is built,” Yoo warned, “it will have a domino effect on the rest of the area. All of these mom-and-pop apartment buildings will be swept up by developers. The working families living in them will be evicted, and the developers will put up luxury housing.”
Vasquez added: “I’m not against all development, just irresponsible projects like this one. Unfortunately, many developers don’t have the best interests of the community in mind, and they’re ruining our community and filling the streets with their traffic. In Koreatown, we have a traffic crisis and a parking availability crisis created by too much development. When I get home from work, it’s often almost impossible for me to find a parking space. Many times I have to walk alone several blocks in the dark from my car to my apartment, and it’s scary.”
Thanks for reading. You can follow me on twitter @boxbro39 for tweets of me debunking the Coalition to Preserve L.A.'s tweets, as well as other funny stuff. I'll be posting another article next Tuesday hopefully because Monday I will be attending a development review meeting for a proposed 14-story residential high-rise in Burbank, where I plan to speak in favor of the project.