Judge Tosses Area Planning Commission Decision on Controversial South L.A. Project

The California Housing Accountability Act, approved by the State Legislature in 2017, is cited in a court ruling that soundly rebuffs the decision by the South Los Angeles Area Planning Commission to veto a controversial project.

November 17, 2020, 12:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


"A Superior Court judge has ordered the city of Los Angeles to give the go-ahead to a 577-unit residential complex planned in South L.A., saying its previous decision to reject the six-story project violated state housing law," reports David Zahniser.

The development is one of the most controversial and closely scrutinized projects in the city. In September, the controversy surrounding the project inspired the city councilmember representing the area to propose a new "anti-displacement zone" policy. The South Los Angeles Area Planning Commission rejected the proposal at the end of 2019, leading to a lawsuit filed by the developer in February 2020.

"Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant offered a scathing assessment of [the area planning commission's] decision, saying the panel 'clearly acted in bad faith,'" reports Zahniser.

In the ruling, Zahniser report, "Chalfant said the commissioners disregarded advice from their own lawyer, who publicly warned them that the reasons for their decision were too vague and would not comply with the Housing Accountability Act, which bars cities from rejecting residential projects that comply with planning and zoning rules, unless there is an unavoidable threat to public health or safety."

Friday, November 13, 2020 in Los Angeles Times

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