Los Angeles County


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.

The Hollywood earthquake fault: geology as a matter of opinion

In a case that could reset the parameters of reality, the developer of a mixed-use development under construction in Hollywood has asked the state geological service to change the earthquake map of Los Angeles.

Slow Train to Los Angeles: Book Review of 'Railtown'

Had it been written about, say, Shanghai or Dubai, Railtown would have been scarcely longer than a page. Autocracies have a knack for infrastructure development.

A Black Hole On Wilshire Boulevard

The tar pit–inspired scheme by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor to replace the eastern half of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is a rare misstep by one of the world’s most gifted architects. Surprisingly for a Pritzker-winning architect famed for his sensitivity to context and site, this ink blotch of a design shows little understanding of its park site, or, for that matter, the context of Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles as a whole, or museums as a building type. It should not be built.

L.A. County Can't Take Coastal Control Unilaterally

The California Second District Court of Appeal has sided with the Coastal Commission against organic farmers accused of damaging habitat on a ridge above Topanga Canyon. In a January 24 ruling, the Second District refused to block cease and desist and restoration orders issued by the Commission to property owners Stefan, Kathryn and Rahel Hagopian.

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County of Los Angeles v. City of Los Angeles

The latest illustration of intergovernmental non-cooperation examines the circumstances in which cities can route sewer lines through county rights of way, all without county approval.

Redondo Beach Voters Decline to Phase Out Power Plant

After a bruising campaign that saw energy company AES spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, Redondo Beach voters have rejected a local ballot initiative that would have rezoned AES’s beachfront power plant to parks and commercial uses.

AES still must receive California Energy Commission approval to rebuild the plant, which must stop using ocean water to cool its steam turbines no later than 2020. Defeat of Measure A, however, makes CEC approval of continuing power plant operations more likely.

Plastic Bag Fee Not Subject to Proposition 26

A 10-cent-per-plastic-bag fee imposed by Los Angeles County is not subject to Proposition 26 because the revenues are retained by the retailers and not given over to the county, an appellate court has ruled.

Will Villaraigosa Replace LaHood At DOT?

Now that Ray LaHood has finally announced he is stepping down as President Obama's Secretary of Transportation, speculation has immediately focused on whether outgoing L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will succeed him.

Attorney Fee Award Depends on Pecuinary Interests, Even for Public Agencies

When deciding whether to award a public litigant its attorneys’ fees against another public entity under Code of Civil Procedure section 1021.5, the trial court may only consider the public litigant’s “pecuniary interests and the pecuniary interests of its constituents” in determining the third requirement of that statute.  The court may not consider the nonpecuniary motives of the public litigant in bringing the lawsuit.