Measure S and the Future of Los Angeles
Buzz Yudell, FAIA - 2007 AIA|LA Gold Medal
Measure S is a badly conceived prescription for real and chronic problems. The lack of an up-to-date General Plan for Los Angeles has led to an ad hoc system where most development approvals are decided as individual cases and predicated on amendments. This undermines the confidence of the community and can create the perception of unfair and uneven implementation. We need to revise both the General Plan and neighborhood plans on a regular basis.
Measure S goes beyond this with a moratorium that would limit the availability of affordable housing, reduce jobs and damage the regional economy. It is a backward looking proposal. We should be looking forward to creative ways to encourage housing and mixed uses near transit, to improve traffic through transformative technologies, and to create a more vibrant, diverse and affordable city.
As you may already know, Measure S is on the ballot on March 7th and it is an issue that deeply effects the future of the City of Los Angeles, the built environment and the architecture profession.
AIA|LA reached out several AIA|LA Past-Presidents and Gold Medalists to share their individual thoughts. We will be sharing those thoughts over the course of the next few weeks.
The AIA|LA Board of Director’s voted to oppose Measure S in January 2016 back when it was referred to as the 'Neighborhood Integrity Initiative'. The Board voted to re-iterate that opposition at the January 2017 board meeting and instructed staff to communicate that opposition in a constructive manner and to elevate the architect’s role as the bridge builder between developers who are investing rapidly in the transformation of Los Angeles and communities who may feel uncomfortable with the intensity of our current development boom.
Yes, the AIA|LA opposes Measure S - but we also want to share with the public our pro-active ideas for how we can ensure Los Angeles evolves as a more beautiful, equitable and prosperous place and yet preserves its authentic character. For well over the past twelve years, we’ve been strong advocates encouraging City Council to invest more robustly in an inclusive community outreach process to update community plans. However, that investment has never occurred at the scale we’d like to see - hence the community backlash that is manifested in the Measure S initiative.
We’ve noticed how divisive Measure S has become between professionals (architects, developers, city planners) and the community-at-large. Therefore, rather than inflame that division, we’d like to deliver a carefully crafted article that captures the voices of a diverse set of design professionals and offer that blended perspective as a bridge that connects the two camps so that we can underscore the role of the architect to serve clients AND communities with a thoughtful approach to inclusive community outreach.
To read the Measure S initiative in its entirety, please CLICK HERE
Will Wright, Hon. AIA|LA
Director, Government & Public Affairs,
American Institute of Architects/Los Angeles Chapter
3780 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 800
Los Angeles, CA 90010
tel: (213) 639-0764