Los Angeles Voters Won't Decide on Anti-Development Measure in November

Saying that their controversial "Neighborhood Integrity Initiative" would be 'buried' in a November ballot, the Coalition to Preserve L.A. will revise it and gather signatures to put it on the March ballot next year.
March 17, 2016, 12pm PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"Backers of a ballot measure to crack down on L.A. real estate 'mega-developments' announced a sharp change in tactics Tuesday [March 15], saying they have rewritten their proposal and abandoned their drive to reach the Nov. 8 ballot," writes David Zahniser, who covers Los Angeles City Hall for the Los Angeles Times.

The Coalition to Preserve L.A., a group backed by the Hollywood-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said it would start a new round of signature-gathering while targeting the March 2017 municipal election ballot, when voters choose a mayor and eight council members.

Coalition spokeswoman Jill Stewart said her group's proposal -- billed as a way to stop "reckless approval of outsized development projects" -- would have been overshadowed by an assortment of tax hikes, wage increases and other measures planned for the state ballot.

When the language for the revised initiative is completed, it will be "resubmitted to the City Clerk and then must gather 61,486 signatures by the end of August to qualify for the March 2017 ballot, writes Howard Fine of the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Groups opposing the slow-growth L.A. initiative have formed a coalition known as the Coalition to Protect L.A Neighborhoods and Jobs. "[They] issued a statement saying the move was an attempt to limit voter input," writes Fine. "There is a projected 60 percent drop off in voter participation between November and March," said spokesman Mike Shimpock. 

No word on whether the Stop Manhattanwood public awareness campaign, a parallel and independent effort to the Neighborhood Protection Initiative, though it is also funded by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, would be halted while the coalition alters its ballot trajectory.

"The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has taken the lead in promoting the initiative because it opposes the Hollywood Palladium project next to its headquarters; that project calls for two mixed-use towers up to 28 stories tall," notes Fine

No word as to whether the competing "Build Better LA" initiative, backed by labor unions and housing advocates,  would change its target for being on the ballot this November. 

According to a March 15 Planetizen post, "a series of anti-density ballot initiatives" were headed for the November ballot in Southern California cities. In addition to the Neighborhood Protection Initiative targeted for L.A. voters is the Land Use Voter Empowerment (LUVE) Initiative that Santa Monica voters will decide in November.

Niki Cervantes of the Santa Monica Lookout writes that "(t)he slow-growth 'LUVE' initiative proposed for Santa Monica sure isn’t getting much of that sentiment from members of the City Council, including those considered part of the slow-growth majority."

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Published on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 in Los Angeles Times - L.A. NOW
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