NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS--Thank you for your support. Thank you for standing up for your property rights. Thank you for being someone who wants to allow Los Angeles to flourish. If it were not for you, we would have never brought light to this abuse of the planning system. We have received calls from other neighborhoods in which HPOZs are in process inquiring how to stop theirs. The answer is to organize and stand up early enough in the process, not be afraid to speak out. We did that. Without us taking a stand together, we could not have achieved what we did: a significantly liberalized Preservation Plan. Your energy gave us a voice.
Yesterday’s Planning Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee was a stark reminder that even when it appears you have a chance, the cards may be stacked against you. It was a stark reminder of the inequalities of politics. It was a stark reminder that we live in a great city which can make great errors in judgement. Government is a machine oiled with backroom promises and lack of discussion. Yesterday was a reminder of that. PLUM’s decision to push the Miracle Mile HPOZ to City Council is an indication of everything that is wrong with our City government.
What have we accomplished? We prevented a horrible Preservation Plan from being adopted and instead we will have the most lenient in the City. We made sure you can paint your house any color you like. We made sure an arborist report will not be required if a property owner decides to remove mature trees. We made sure that solar panels are permitted as per state law (and if they try to prevent drought tolerant, just let us know). We replaced the language that would mandate transparent gates with allowances for solid. Many additions that were prohibited under the old rules will now be allowed, including many second stories. And for those who don’t want to imitate ‘20s architecture, we forced the City to allow contemporary. To be sure, the language is still a mess, but it’s not what it was.
What did we learn? We learned that had we been involved and organized earlier, this abuse would likely never have happened. We learned that we could make a difference. And we learned that the people who were drawn to our group saw the future not as something frightening or repugnant, but to be embraced. That is why we are setting up Miracle Mile Forward. We look forward to seeing you all at future meetings - more information to come.
(Say No HPOZ is a citizen group formed to fight a proposed Miracle Mile HPOZ. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)