LA City Hall Sells Out San Fernando Valley to Rich Developers

Valley leader Richard Close says Measure S is key for fixing LA's rigged planning system

Richard Close, one of the San Fernando Valley's most respected civic leaders, has continually fought City Hall and greedy developers to save the Valley's unique neighborhoods. He believes Measure S is crucial for fixing LA's unfair and broken planning system.

"Today's City Hall is more in the pockets of developers than I've ever seen," says Close, president of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association and chairman of the Yes on Measure S Advisory Committee. "The system is rigged to pave over communities and help developers get rich."

He adds, "We need to have a greater say to fix the rigged system. Please vote Yes on Measure S on March 7."

Close knows what he's talking about.

In Sherman Oaks, developer M David Paul Associates sought to build a zone-breaking mega-project known as Il Villagio Toscano on Sepulveda Boulevard.

With 325 residential units, the developer needed to bend existing city rules and convince LA politicians to hand over special spot zoning favors to build the massive project. 

Hard-working, fair-minded Angelenos would never think of asking City Hall for such zone-breaking gifts.

But since 2001, M David Paul Associates had spent $3.2 million in City Hall campaign contributions and lobbyist fees. The developer had long ago bought insider access to LA politicians and bureaucrats -- and that helped with Il Villagio Toscano.

Against the will of many Sherman Oaks residents, the City Council delivered the zone and height district changes to the politically connected developer.

There are many more examples of such wheeling and dealing at City Hall. It's why Richard Close and other community leaders across LA are saying "Yes on S."

We must return power back to the neighborhoods.

Vote Yes on S on March 7.

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