FROM Dana Cuff
Can granny flats help solve the housing crisis? So-called granny flats are detached second units, like converted garages or guest houses, that homeowners build on their properties. City officials are scrambling to come up with new rules for these structures, after a lawsuit recently threw them into legal limbo. On one side, critics say allowing more and bigger granny flats could destroy the character of some neighborhoods. On the other, supporters argue that granny flats are one way to ease LA’s affordability crisis.
LA to Revise Its Community Plans There are widespread tensions surrounding the runaway construction of large-scale residential developments in Los Angeles, many marketed as luxury projects. Many are built after developers receive zoning variances and planning amendments, a process critics describe as "spot zoning." Now the Mayor's office is vowing to revise the city's 35 community plans in the next decade. Will this be enough to stop a proposed moratorium on some development?
Bootlegged Apartments and Affordable Housing Housing in Los Angeles is notoriously expensive. One way to address that is to create more supply, and the city council is considering a plan that would do that. The proposed measure would legalize so-called bootlegged apartments in the city. These are unpermitted units that are otherwise safe. The law would provide amnesty for those who built units without proper approval, provided the landlords guarantee some units would be affordable for 55 years. Some property owners, however, call that requirement a “dealbreaker.”
Does Luxury Housing Trickle Down to Affordable Apartments? Can you create affordable housing by building luxury towers? A boom in development of large apartment towers has prompted a fight for a two-year moratorium on new projects that don't comply with the city's general plan. But planners say this moratorium will stymie efforts to create much-needed affordable housing. We visit the people at the heart of a development fight.
Rick Caruso's 'Main Street' Style L.A. developer Rick Caruso has spent three years and more than $10 million promoting a new luxury shopping mall in Carlsbad, north of San Diego. But local opposition has been fierce, forcing a special election. As of last night, the noes led by 186 votes, but there are still a few thousand mail-in and provisional ballots to be counted. Rick Caruso is the man behind The Grove and the Americana in Glendale. He's also set to revamp the downtown area of Pacific Palisades. Caruso is just one of several big developers to shape the way our city looks and works. But while L.A. is home to ultra-powerful developers, it's also home to an incredibly powerful group of NIMBYs. We examine the tension.
Preparing for El Niño Yesterday, a federal forecast predicted that the El Niño weather system is gathering strength and could bring record rainfall to California. If yesterday’s mudslides on the 5 Freeway in Southern California are any sign, El Niño could bring unexpected consequences. Are we prepared?
Making L.A.: The Built Environment One hundred years ago, Los Angeles was barely a city at all. Over the last century, it has blown up into a giant metropolis. And during all this rapid growth, L.A. has continued to struggle with an inferiority complex, questioning its own identity and place in the world. Are we a world-class city? Can we match those older and more sophisticated cities of the Northeast? Do we have great cultural institutions? We tackle some of these questions and more in our new series, Making L.A., which will examine how we can make L.A. more liveable. This is part one. Downtown Los Angeles Photo by Steve Devol
Trump cuts protections for ICE detainees, and Alaska saves Obamacare With the crackdown on illegal immigration, jail space is becoming harder to find. So the Trump administration is cutting back some of the regulations on immigrant detention centers. Also, when it comes to healthcare, Alaska’s insurance marketplace was on the brink of implosion until the state came up with a plan to save Obamacare.
San Francisco, Santa Clara challenge Trump's sanctuary policies San Francisco and Santa Clara have filed suit to block President Trump’s executive order to withdraw federal funding from cities that don’t cooperate with federal immigration officials. A hearing is set for Friday.
Symbols of protest, lighting up EDM festivals The Women's March made a huge impact, in part because of its widely worn pink knitted "pussyhat." Does the March for Science need its own unifying symbol? Lighting designer Steve Lieberman is "the man behind the lights" for the country's leading electronic music festivals and nightclubs. He talks about his early experiences with rave culture, and what it takes to spark the excitement of today's EDM fans.