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Will building denser housing along transit routes help solve the housing crisis?




The exit at a Los Angeles Metro station in the North Hollywood Arts District, taken on April 16, 2011.
The exit at a Los Angeles Metro station in the North Hollywood Arts District, taken on April 16, 2011.
Chris Yarzab/Flickr Creative Commons

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Los Angeles city planners are considering a new proposal that seeks to rezone pieces of land for denser development along the Metro Orange Line. 

The proposed project, called the Orange Line Transit Neighborhood, would allow construction of taller buildings along the Orange Line bus stops in North Hollywood, Van Nuys and Sepulveda. Under the new proposal, designated areas in Van Nuys and Sepulveda would see residential buildings five and six stories high. The area near the North Hollywood station would allow for buildings up to seven stories high.

The proposal, partially funded through Metro grants, is inspired by SB 375, a measure that requires city planning agencies to develop strategies to cut greenhouse emissions. The plan’s goal is to encourage projects that would develop land around transit routes.

Proponents of the project say that developments in the area will attract new businesses and raise property values. Critics argue that increasing density would require removing rent stabilized units currently occupied by low-wage residents, a move that may end up displacing low-income families.

Meanwhile, there is growing concern over preserving neighborhoods in the area particularly the North Hollywood Arts District. After a review by city planners, the proposal will go to the Los Angeles City Council for approval.

Guests:

Stuart Waldman, president of the Valley Industry & Commerce Association (VICA), a nonprofit representing businesses in the San Fernando Valley

Jill Stewart, executive director for the Coalition to Preserve L.A., a nonprofit organization advocating for government transparency and thoughtful planning in the city of Los Angeles

Paul Storiale, president of the No Ho Neighborhood Council, an advisory board created by the Los Angeles City Charter to provide improved access to government and make government more responsive to local needs in the North Hollywood community; he tweets @NoHoPresident