Will LA City Hall Retreat On Miracle Mile Historic Preservation Overlay Zone?

Council member David Ryu appears unsure about protecting historic buildings and affordable housing

LA City Council member David Ryu appears to be waffling on creating a Miracle Mile Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (MMHPOZ) that protects historic buildings and rent-stabilized units from demolition. Developers will be only too happy if Ryu backs off the important measure that was supported by his predecessor, Council member Tom LaBonge.

CityWatch Los Angeles columnist Tim Deegan lays out the troubling new developments that have been unfolding at LA City Hall over the MMHPOZ.

Once supported by LaBonge and the city's Cultural Heritage Commission, and even Ryu himself, Ryu is now polling Miracle Mile residents about whether they support a preservation overlay zone. It's the kind of move that's done by politicians to get political cover for a decision that may not be so popular down the road.

A driving force behind the recent reversal of City Hall support for the MMHPOZ is one of Mayor Eric Garcetti's appointees, City Planning Commission president David Ambroz. 

Deegan writes:

"Ambroz played a divisive role in the looming removal of several hundred affordable housing units in the Miracle Mile when he called for two CPC votes on the issue.

"The first vote, that would have protected affordable housing, was a tie, while the second, after a quick huddle, broke against the affordable housing renters to insure that the Miracle Mile HPOZ boundaries approved by the Cultural Heritage Commission (and previously supported by Ryu) were denied.

"With that came the abandonment of protection for the renters of affordable housing."

Ambroz would not have made such an extraordinary move without Garcetti's approval.

Deegan notes:

"This is happening at a time when Mayor Garcetti says he is working hard to create more affordable housing.

"It’s as if the Mayor’s City Hall colleagues Ambroz and Ryu are working against him by not emphatically protecting affordable housing in the Miracle Mile and opening the way for developers of market rate and luxury housing.

"That is…unless they are working in collusion with him."

If the MMHPOZ does not happen, developers will benefit -- and residents in historic and rent-stabilized units will be under threat.

Read about the billionaires funding the campaign to stop Measure S and its citizen-driven movement.

LA's planning system is clearly broken and rigged. We must fix it. Vote Yes on S on March 7. 

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