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Development & Land Use

Wherever I go in Council District 5, the most controversial issue is overdevelopment – new developments in communities whose infrastructure cannot absorb the greater impacts. It has long been the case that LA’s infrastructure – our streets, sidewalks, parks, water, power, and other public spaces and utilities – lags behind new and larger developments. Similarly, we must recognize that LA is a growing city with an affordable housing crisis that has been caused by a citywide shortage of housing of all kinds – affordable, rental, and market-rate. Neither the crumbling infrastructure nor the housing shortage will be solved overnight.

But what can change and what must change immediately is greater trust in planning decisions, greater transparency and better planning. To achieve these three-fold goals of trust, transparency, and planning, I will work tirelessly to:

  • Restore trust in the political process.

    • Right now, the people feel like developers and special interests can get whatever they want from the politicians in City Hall – if only they write a check with enough zeros on it. Enough is enough. We need leaders who are making decisions in the best interest of the city and the communities. I have taken a pledge not to accept a cent from lobbyists or developers with projects in the city. I’m the only candidate in the race who has raised money to take the pledge. That will be the only way to look at development policies with an independent eye and a fresh perspective.

    • Because of this coziness, people are skeptical that our politicians are fighting for the community, rather than the developer. With my pledge and vow for independence and the lack of public resources for infrastructure improvements, I will ensure that Council District 5 gets greater benefits whenever discretionary action by City Council like a zoning variance puts millions of dollars into a single developer’s pockets. You can read how I would apply this in real life by looking at my reasons for opposing the 20-story high rise at 333 S. La Cienega Blvd.

  • Restore the rule of law.  

    • The City Council must get out of the planning business and empower the Planning Department to actually do its job of planning our city. The most recent community plan in Council District 5 was adopted over 15 years ago, and most are even 20 or 25 years old. We need to modernize our community plans and the General Plan to reflect the way people live in a 21st century. Immediately after taking office, I will meet with the Director of Planning to identify every barrier and challenge the planning department has to accomplish this urgent and important task and ask the Director of Planning to develop a timeline for its completion.

    • The City Council must end special favors to their wealthy campaign donors and cronyism for their friends. Right now, the City Council has a bad habit of giving their wealthy donors or friends from the old-boys network zoning variances, despite opposition from the community and the planning departments.  

  • Restore trust in the planning process.

    • Right now, a common complaint is that developers are not entirely honest with the community when they describe projects and their impacts in the environmental review documents. That must stop. The single best way to restore trust in the planning process is to reform the environmental review process. Right now, developers direct the environmental consultants on how to do the environmental reviews of their own projects. That must end. The review process must be more independent. The city needs to be the client of the environmental consultant, not the developers, so that the city can do an independent and thorough analysis.

Jesse can’t do this without you.

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