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How To Weed Out City Hall Corruption? One Proposal Is To Take Land Use Decisions Out Of The Hands Of Councilmembers




Los Angeles County Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson speaks onstage at the Los Angeles premiere of AMAZING GRACE, Presented by LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas held at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church.
Los Angeles County Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson speaks onstage at the Los Angeles premiere of AMAZING GRACE, Presented by LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas held at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church.
Rachel Murray/Getty Images for NEON

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In an op-ed published yesterday by the L.A. Times, three former Los Angeles officials proposed installing a planning reform commission to minimize developers’ influence on City Council matters and modernize our city’s outdated planning and zoning systems.

Council president Nury Martinez and council member Marqueece Harris-Dawson filed a joint motion in August calling for a future planning reform ballot measure. However, the authors of the op-ed contend that reform shouldn’t be left to City Council members because their power is at the heart of the city’s land planning problems.

Instead, they advocate for a planning reform commission comprised of diverse civic leaders, including acknowledged planning experts, with appointments free of influence from real estate interests. 

Today, we talk with Rick Cole, former deputy mayor of Los Angeles and city manager for Santa Monica, on the consequences of outdated zoning codes, developers’ current involvement in City Council land-use approvals, and other cities’ success in updating their codes. Has your neighborhood been impacted by lack of affordable housing and expensive new developments? Let us know your experience by calling 866-893-5722.

Guests:

Rick Cole, deputy mayor of Los Angeles (2013-2015); city manager for Santa Monica (2015-2020); he co-wrote the L.A. Times Op-Ed “Prevent future L.A. City Council scandals by fixing our planning system

David Ambroz, member of the L.A. City Planning Commission and past president (2013-2017)