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

Chicago Commute

Planning for Congestion Relief

The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.

May 12, 2022 - James Brasuell

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

Single-Family Housing Construction

New White House Housing Initiative Includes Zoning Reform Incentives

The Biden administration this morning released a new program of actions intended to spur housing construction around the United States.

May 16, 2022 - The White House

Complete Street Vancouver

Study: Most of Vancouver Is a ‘15-Minute City’

A large majority of Vancouver residents can access a grocery store in 15 minutes or less by bicycle or on foot.

May 20 - Vancouver Sun

Montreal, Quebec

Urban Design, Transport, and Health

The Lancet medical journal published a series of articles that explore how to evaluate and guide urban planning decisions to create healthy and sustainable cities. Live long and prosper!

May 20 - The Lancet - Urban Design, Transport, and Health

MoGo Bikeshare Bikes

Detroit Bike Share Celebrates Five Years

In its five years of operation, Detroit’s MoGo bikeshare has added electric and adaptive bikes to its fleet of more than 600 bikes.

May 20 - MoGo

HUD’s 2022 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Expanding HUD’s Eviction Protection Grant Program

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.