Monday, April 14, 2008

Smart Growth? No, Zev Growth!

Ah good 'ole Zev Y. in LA is up to no good again. For those who don't know, he is one of the good folks that brought us the Orange Line busway because of a law he created that said no subways or rail on that corridor. Well he's at it again saying that LA shouldn't grow denser. That smart growth thing is for sissies. But basically he is just playing politics with the frames. He's all about smart growth, just not density. He also wants to keep parking requirements...nothing says don't drive like an open parking space!
Urged on by some elected officials, city planners have decided that the "smart" and "elegant" way to grow the city's housing stock is to double the allowable size of new buildings,bust through established height limits and reduce parking-space requirements -- effectively rolling back more than two decades of neighborhood-protection laws.
What is it with these neighborhood protection folks that they actually want to stunt neighborhood evolution and affordability? It's actually not protection but rather a form of Nimbyism. What annoys me most about these clowns is that they just don't want any growth, it has nothing to do with Smart Growth at all. Here is a perfect example.
But it makes no sense to reflexively boost residential density and building size along every Metro Rapid bus route, as the city's version of the state's density-bonus law allows, when the streets that the buses travel often cross low-density, pedestrian-friendly commercial districts serving some of the city's most charming neighborhoods.
Let's not build more density near the high capacity pedestrian friendly transit. That'll make our transit work better! No one is going to go into the center of a single family neighborhood and build a high rise. All of this is just scare tactics to get elected. I for one hope he gets destroyed.


Robert Cruickshank said...

Zev is an idiot. I ripped him a new one at Calitics when the column first appeared.

This story has something of a silver lining - his likely replacement on the Board this year will be the progressive Sheila Kuehl, who will hopefully take a 21st century approach to density and subways. Zev's 1970s-era thinking needs to go.

Robert Cruickshank said...

Oh, wait, I didn't realize this was Zev's response to the earlier column. Wow. He is, for lack of a better word, "dense" on this subject - his attack on density is nothing more than protecting a few well-heeled Westside residents while everyone else in LA is screaming for affordable housing that can only be provided through density.

Zev lives in a perpetual 1978. I guess the only silver lining is how well he is exposing the ridiculousness of his position.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

I think he's afraid of a ghost. He's basically saying don't build density except for in job centers but what about the corridors in between. His ideas will perpetuate the oil dependency that this country has been about for the last 60 years. Perhaps someone should ask him about why the growth he's looking for with those available parcels hasn't happened yet.