Measure S Condemns Developers' Control Over LA City Planning

The City Council's approval of Rick Caruso’s mega-project is a sharp reminder that developers call the shots at City Hall

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council, in a unanimous vote, approved billionaire Rick Caruso’s towering, and probably illegal, luxury mega-development on one of L.A.’s worst gridlocked intersections. This unanimous 15-0 vote is a sharp reminder that developers control the city planning in Los Angeles. 

Unanimous votes, which we saw Tuesday, are not because all City Council members agree that a tower, breaking the zoning rules, should be built.

Rather, it is because each Council member is preparing for the day when they want to break the rules on a development they want built and will need the votes of the other 14 Council members. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours is how the game is played in City Hall.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “Caruso and his associates gave more than $476,000 to L.A. politicians and their initiatives over a five-year period, donating to all but one of the Council members.”

Further, in this same article, the Los Angeles Times reported that Dick Platikin, a board member for the Beverly Wilshire Homes Association and an endorser of Yes on Measure S, in reaction to the approval of the project said, “Any developer with deep pockets will be able to do whatever they want with land in this neighborhood.”

The association has threatened to sue over the project. Yes on Measure S encourages them to sue the city over its backroom dealings and rule breaking.

Yes on Measure S holds our city officials accountable to do their jobs, and follow the rules. It ends corruption by stopping pay-to-play backroom deals with developers, all while encouraging smart planning, done legally.

Yes on Measure S puts an end to rule-breaking developers who have created chaos, gridlock and human displacement using "spot zoning" -- a trick in which City Hall grants an exemption from zoning to developers who first give our Council members campaign donations. A troubling truth.

When the city itself breaks the land-use rules, developers gain -- with profits in the millions -- by building far bigger or taller than local zoning allows.

Yes on Measure S requires City Hall to update the 20-year-old General Plan and Community Plans -- crucial blueprints that spell out our need for roads, parks, housing, safety services and infrastructure.

Yes on Measure S also requires the key planning hearings to be held in the communities, at night and on weekends only. Not at City Hall when nobody but developers can attend.

Yes on Measure S is going to end this rigged and broken system that favors developers over the citizens of Los Angeles.

Vote Yes on S on March 7.

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