Here's Why Measure S is Important … in a Nutshell

Election Stories

DEEGAN ON LA--Developer wants to build where he is not allowed to by current zoning, so he asks his Councilmember, who gives an informal backroom nod, to change the zoning. (It is not a variance—-those are small changes that do not change the land use at all, and are unaffected by Measure S). 

  • Entire City Council then backs the local Councilman and suddenly a tower is next door to a two-story business or residence. Had the zone change been denied, this would not be allowed. 
  • The zone change is called spot zoning. 
  • Measure S asks for a two-year moratorium on spot zoning, to give the City Council a good start on its long delayed updating of the City’s General Plan. Measure S does not call for a halt to all construction, it affects only 5%—-the developer who get spot zoning fro the City Council. 
  • 95% of building permits and projects in the pipeline are not asking for spot zoning, so there will be no slowdown in growth, employment, etc. In fact, Los Angeles is less likely to be importing workers to keep up with the historic permanent transit tax construction and historic homeless construction and approved by voters in November. 
  • Developers currently hire their own consultant to conduct Environmental Impact Reports that tell the public, and the city, the environmental consequences of the building project, and what mitigation the developer is willing to make. The developer controls the content of the report, including reading any bad news first, then reshaping the conclusions, before going public. 
  • Measure S will take this power to hire environmental cops away from developers and force them to use independent environmental consultants that the city selects. Developer would pay, but city would hire from their approved consultants. 
  • Think about this, among the blizzard of rhetoric and well-financed scare tactics against Measure S that are flooding the city. 
  • Then, vote Yes on Measure S.


(Tim Deegan is a long-time resident and community leader in the Miracle Mile, who has served as board chair at the Mid City West Community Council and on the board of the Miracle Mile Civic Coalition. Tim can be reached at Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.