Measure S and the Future of Los Angeles

Julie Eizenberg, FAIA – 2012 AIA|LA Gold Medal

Measure S oversimplifies the relationship between community process, traffic, affordable housing supply and scale of development. The Measure has troubling unintended consequences and will compound issues that undermine quality of life for our generation and the next. This must be a NO vote.

Hank Koning, FAIA, FAIA – 2012 AIA|LA Gold Medal

Unfortunately the Los Angeles Zoning Code is really old and was based on a different city, a different cultural mindset, a different set of community needs. Because of this, many proposed developments require variances and/or zone changes and this can lead to the perception that campaign contributions by developers result in approvals. But that is not the case. 90% of applications being approved is an indication that the Zoning Codes and Specific Plans are simply out of date.  Having a two-year moratorium so the City can update the Zoning Code and Specific Plans sounds like a good idea but it will take longer than 2 years to complete that task. Since the Planning Commission and City Council who are approving these projects are also the ones who will ultimately approve the Zoning Code and Specific Plans updates there should be a consistency of vision between the approved projects and the future updated Codes. Proposition S will just serve to delay the construction of much needed housing and commercial buildings in the 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

For more information, please contact:

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



Last updated: 16-Feb-2017 03:30 PM
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