Is One L.A. Developer A Modern Day Mr. Scrooge?

<p>Geoff Palmer, a successful developer who has constructed hundreds of new apartments in downtown Los Angeles, has consistently fought the city's attempts to force him to include affordable units in his developments.</p>
December 8, 2006, 6am PST | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"Based on appearances, it would seem that Los Angeles developer Geoff Palmer is doing OK. This past summer, he bought a $17-million beachfront house in Malibu, with solid bronze doors, teak cabinets and his-and-hers bathrooms."

"Given Palmer's obvious good fortune, some folks are surprised to see how vigorously he keeps fighting a city requirement that 15% of the units in the massive downtown apartment projects he builds be reserved for low-income renters, meaning for families that make up to about $40,000 a year."

While Palmer has been reluctant to respond to questions from the press about his strong opposition to the affordable housing requirements, he argues in documents that since his developments require no public assistance, he should not be required to provide for public needs.

"Whether he's just greedy, or ideologically opposed to government regulation, I don't know," said Peter Dreier, who chairs the Urban and Environmental Policy Program at Occidental College. "But either way, he's gotta live by the rules."

With the city blocking his latest development due to his resistance, Palmer is planning a possible lawsuit to challenge the current regulations.

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Published on Wednesday, December 6, 2006 in The Los Angeles Times
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