Los Angeles County

 

Sprawl Depends on More Than Just Density

In the ever-lasting debate over sprawl, the most enduring argument centers on the definition of sprawl itself. The latest entrant is, perhaps, the oldest entrant: density. 

As reported by Richard Florida in his CityLab column this week, NYU doctoral student Thomas Laidley has introduced a new method to measure sprawl. Laidley's "Sprawl Index" uses the following methodology: 

"Laidley uses these aerial images to estimate sprawl at the Census block level, the smallest level available, estimating the share of metro population in those blocks below three key thresholds: 3,500, 8,500, and 20,000 persons per square mile. His index is based on the average of these three values, with higher scores reflecting higher levels of sprawl."

An Underwhelming Attitude Towards Density

Consider this headline, which accompanied a recent Citylab article on a townhouse development in Echo Park: “In Los Angeles, Density That Doesn't Overwhelm.” It doesn’t take much to unpack that statement. It implies that density is inherently overwhelming.

Parallel Newhall Ranch Cases: the CA Supreme Court Won't Decide Them All

In addition to the state Supreme Court dispute on the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's action, three other Newhall Ranch cases continue in litigation, all brought by plaintiffs and attorneys overlapping with the group before the high court. (See http://www.cp-dr.com/node/3461 for more links on these cases.)

»   Please Login or Subscribe to view this article.

California's Supreme Court About to Consider One Strand of the Newhall Ranch Tangle

The Newhall Ranch environmental review litigation, itself a mighty matter of land use legend, has an important strand of its multiply braided conflicts awaiting an oral argument date before the state Supreme Court. 

The parties' briefing is complete. The court has accepted a deep layer of amicus briefs from state-level land use players. And with the confirmation of Justice Leondra Kruger, the court has finally returned to full membership. So the court has little reason to delay setting an argument date.

»   Please Login or Subscribe to view this article.

Battle between Football, Brunch Rages in L.A.

I went to brunch a few Sunday mornings ago at Louie’s, a place that I will unironically describe as a gastropub. My Sunday rituals usually consist of visits to the farmers market and worrying about deadlines.

Los Angeles' Slow Burn

I noticed the da Vinci apartment complex for the first time only a few months ago. How could I not notice it? It looked like a plywood ocean liner beached against the northbound side of the 110 freeway. Rising 4-5 stories at the time, it hovered over the freeway, uncomfortably close to the roadway. I remember hoping that it would have serious soundproofing. And air filtering. 

Advocates For Vets' Housing Seek Injunction To Stop Amphitheater Construction On VA's West L.A. Campus

Some important institutions got an awkward surprise last August when U.S. District Judge James Otero ruled that the Veterans Administration's sumptuous 387-acre West Los Angeles Campus was reserved for the provision of health care to U.S. military veterans, to the exclusion of several third-party lease agreements. His order sided with a group of chronically homeless veterans living with mental disabilities and/or brain injuries who argued that veterans like themselves had a priority right to receive care on the campus, including through supportive housing.

»   Please Login or Subscribe to view this article.

Planning redesign in north LA County complicated by Tejon Ranch's 'Centennial' and rules for solar arrays

East branch, California Aqueduct, north of Centennial site

A new template for land use and preservation is forming across some 1,800 square miles of Los Angeles County's high, dry northeastern backlands. Its first increment could establish some key development permissions by mid-November, especially affecting the large Centennial new-town design, other construction plans, and solar energy arrays.

»   Please Login or Subscribe to view this article.

An Unfortunate Education in Prop 13

As if we needed another story about Prop 13's unintended impacts on education, here's a new twist. 

A Beachhead Against Placelessness

It’s no secret that Walmart stores have caused the entire economies of small towns to decamp for some highway strip and, ultimately, wind up in Bentonville. But at least you know a Walmart when you see it – from miles away, no less.

A similarly insidious trend toward generic placelessness has been taking place in smaller-scale communities, even in many of the places that progressive planners hail as attractive, functioning communities.