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Curbed LA - All Love where you live

  • Proposal to cap rent hikes statewide moves forward
    by Jenna Chandler on April 25, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    AB 1482 would restrict rent increases to 7.5 percent With almost unanimous support from the housing committee, a proposal to place a limit on rent hikes statewide is advancing in the California Assembly. State-mandated caps on annual rent increases would be tied to the consumer price index (CPI), a common measure of inflation, plus 5 percent, under AB 1482, which passed the assembly committee on Thursday. “The rent is too damn high, and we should do something about it,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego). With the CPI averaging about 2.5 percent in California, AB 1482 would restrict rent increases to 7.5 percent, according to the bill’s author, Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco). He calls his proposal as an “anti-rent gouging” measure—not rent control. AB 1482 would apply to all types of rental properties, except those already subject to local rent control laws. That would include the cities of Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and Los Angeles, which already have rent control laws on the books. In the city of Los Angeles, property owners of rent-controlled buildings are right now allowed to raise rent 4 percent. The assembly bill is modeled after a proposal from UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation, which found a cap of 5 percent plus CPI would “provide meaningful protection” against “the most egregious rent increases.” Chiu says it would also allow property owners to continue making profits. He points to data prepared by Housing Now that show “the median annual rent increase in California is far below this proposed cap.” It’s also far below the amount that property owners have raised rents in Los Angeles County, where rents are up about 2.9 percent year over year, according to real estate tracker CoStar. Opponents of the bill include the California Rental Housing Association. The organization rejects Chiu’s interpretation of the bill as not being a rent control measure, and argues it would stymie new construction. “Rent control is not the solution as it keeps housing units off the market, discourages new housing, and hinders the preservation and enhancement of aging housing units,” said CalRHA president Sid Lakireddy. AB 1482 is part of a larger package of bills proposed by Democratic lawmakers aimed at protecting renters. […]

  • Classic 1912 Craftsman bungalow with updates asks $999K in Pasadena
    by Elijah Chiland on April 25, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    The charming home has a new kitchen, but the original wood floors remain This welcoming Craftsman sits in Pasadena’s landmarked Garfield Heights district, a cluster of homes north of Old Town built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The residence here was constructed in 1912, when Arts and Crafts-style bungalows were quickly springing up across Southern California. The well-maintained home has a classic covered front porch, with stone supports elevating the overhanging gable. Inside, four bedrooms and two bathrooms are spread across 1,911 square feet of floor space. The home boasts original wood floors and some lovely built-ins, including bench seating beside the living room fireplace and a dining room buffet. The kitchen has recently been remodeled and boasts fresh countertops and appliances, along with a large center island. The master bedroom features recessed lighting and an updated en-suite bathroom, but older casement windows remain in place. The home sits on a 7,090-square-foot lot with a grassy backyard and a two-car garage that currently serves as a recording studio. 981 Worcester Avenue is asking $999,000. The living room has wood floors and a brick fireplace.The dining room flows into the remodeled kitchen.Original molding extends into a guest room/den at the front of the home.The master bedroom has an en-suite bathroom that’s recently been renovated.The detached garage has been converted into a music studio. […]

  • There’s no money for rail on Vermont Avenue, but Metro will pursue it anyway
    by Elijah Chiland on April 25, 2019 at 7:28 pm

    A bus rapid transit line is planned for the busy corridor. But would a train make more sense? Metro’s Board of Directors voted unanimously today to keep examining options for a train along Vermont Avenue, in addition to a bus rapid transit project that the agency aims to complete by 2028. Funding is available for the $310 million bus project through Measure M, the sales tax hike approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2016. Money for a rail route, which is projected to cost between $4.4 billion and $8.4 billion, will be harder to find. “We have to be eyes wide open about this—there isn’t money for a rail line right now,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who co-authored a motion ordering Metro staff to include options for light rail and subway service along the route in an environmental review of the bus project. Still, Garcettti pointed out that money might later become available for a more ambitious project—potentially through a public-private partnership, in which a private company could contribute to development costs in exchange for future revenue. “What we all don’t want to do is have a busway that’s a little faster... but not the same kind of noticeable improvement as with rail,” he said. The stretch of Vermont between Sunset and Wilshire boulevards is already served by the Red Line subway, but buses without a designated lane are the primary transit option for riders south of Wilshire. The rapid bus, similar in concept to Metro’s successful Orange Line, would travel in a bus-only lane running either alongside the curb or in the center of the street. Metro staff estimates that with a rapid busway in place, the length of a trip between Hollywood Boulevard and 120th Street would fall up to 24 minutes, from over an hour to as little as 44 minutes. A rail route—particularly a subway—would likely be faster, and could carry more riders. Metro estimates that a train along Vermont would attract between 91,000 and 144,000 daily passengers. Buses that currently run along Vermont now carry roughly 45,000 riders on a typical weekday. Agency staffers pointed out Thursday that a rail route could later be constructed, replacing the bus rapid transit project, even if the latter project comes first. Garcetti argued that building a line capable of carrying a large number of riders as soon as possible would be a worthy investment, given the amount of development taking place in Exposition Park and other areas along the route. “When we first looked at this, there was a lot of activity that wasn’t happening that’s now happening,” said Garcetti. The mayor’s motion, co-authored by board members Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, Janice Hahn, Hilda Solis, and James Butts, also directs Metro staff to discuss extending the line all the way to Harbor City, where it would link up to the Silver Line at Pacific Coast Highway. Hahn noted that such an extension would give South Bay riders a direct transit connection to Griffith Park and other attractions. At least one member of the board was skeptical of plans to expand upon the project’s original scope. “We may be stepping a little far afield,” warned board member John Fasana, who pointed out that other projects, such as an extension of Metro’s Gold Line rail route, have recently been plagued by budget issues due in part to rising construction costs. “We need to really be careful here,” said Fasana. “I think we’re building a list of projects that we’re not going to be able to fund.&rdquo […]

  • Surprise homeless sweeps aren’t just disruptive, say activists—they aren’t working
    by Nadra Nittle on April 25, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    New campaign calls on the mayor to end random clean-ups of homeless encampments, and to use outreach workers, not police officers David Busch has lived in Venice Beach on and off since the 1980s. He started out with a $350 monthly rental on the boardwalk and continues to live nearby. Only now, he sleeps in a tent and must contend with the city’s periodic sweeps of homeless encampments. “They chase you from spot to spot to spot,” says Busch, 63. “They make you move your stuff constantly.” A former bus mechanic, Busch says during sweeps he’s seen police confiscate items homeless people depend, from sleeping bags to bicycles. That’s why he supports “Services Not Sweeps,” a campaign launched this month by a coalition of local groups, including the Los Angeles Community Action Network, Democratic Socialists of America, and Venice Community Housing. The campaign is calling on Mayor Eric Garcetti to post notifications of all sweeps two to three days in advance rather than randomly and to use outreach workers during the process instead of police officers. Organizers also want the city to provide waste bins and sharps disposal containers during sweeps as well as other health resources. They say the concerns they’ve raised about sweeps stem from the mayor’s “Clean Streets LA” initiative, a citywide cleanup effort he launched in 2015. “The main problem is that homeless residents, for a long time, have been asking for street services and just some general care,” says Becky Dennison, a campaign spokesperson and executive director of Venice Community Housing. “Once the city finally invested the resources, it’s all about policing and moving people and taking their things. It’s using street cleaning as a means of harassment and criminalization, when we could be improving the health and safety of people who live on the streets—and the entire community.” Venice has the the largest concentration of homeless residents on the Westside, with nearly 1,000 residents. More than 85 percent of those residents live outside of shelters and on streets and sidewalks, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. The neighborhood stands out as one where tensions between the wealthy and the homeless have intensified. The Venice Stakeholders Association, a group of property owners, has raised more than $200,000 to fight the city’s plans for an emergency shelter on a former bus yard owned by Metro at Sunset and Pacific avenues. By Simone Hogan/Shutterstock Venice property owners have raised more than $200,000 to fight the city’s plans for an emergency shelter in the neighborhood.Alex Comisar, a spokesperson for Garcetti, says the mayor’s office has already discussed many of the issues outlined by the Services Not Sweeps campaign with “stakeholders.” He declined to say whether city officials have agreed to implement any of the organizer’s demands and, if so, which ones. “We will keep working together toward the goal of ensuring that our policies keep streets clean and sidewalks passable, while protecting the rights of all Angelenos,” Comisar says. A remark Garcetti made during his state of the city address earlier this month has rankled some Services Not Sweeps advocates. The mayor suggested that “lawsuits focused more on keeping people’s stuff on the streets than how quickly we can move them indoors” has slowed down the city’s efforts to curb homelessness. Pete White, founder and executive director of the Los Angeles Community Action Network, called the mayor’s comment a “political cheap shot.” “No one in the coalition or no one doing this work is opposed to street cleaning,” he says. Rather, they want the unhoused population to have “water, soap, hygiene products, and all of the things necessary while forced to live in informal setups.” White says he’s not opposed to sweeps as long as they’re done effectively, but asserted the way the operations are handled now serve to banish homeless people from politically influential communities. “The department of sanitation and the police department don’t get to selectively choose what a person can and cannot have to live on the streets,” he says. “The city of LA has been sued time and time again from the ’80s on for that.” In March, the Los Angeles City Council settled a 2016 lawsuit, Mitchell vs. city of Los Angeles, that accused police of seizing and destroying the property of four homeless people. Their belongings included blankets, tents, and medication. Some business leaders criticized the city’s decision to settle the case, citing health concerns, such as a typhus outbreak in Downtown. But White and other Services Not Sweeps organizers argue that very little cleaning takes place during sweeps of homeless encampments. “Often, they won’t power wash,” says Jed Parriott, a campaign organizer. “They’ll say, ‘We’re here to do a clean up,’ but they’ll leave urine and feces behind on the sidewalk.” Piles of trash have also been found after sweeps, he says. The Washington Post/Getty Images More than 85 percent of Venice’s homeless residents live outside of shelters and on streets and sidewalks, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. Sweeps are used to push out the homeless—albeit briefly, Parriott says. City workers clear the area out, only for them to return a short while later. In Venice, however, homeless residents simply resettle at a different location after a sweep, according to Busch. Then, the police turn up there and clear them out of the newly formed encampments. “The constant sweeping has had a tremendous effect,” Busch said. “It’s sending us the message that, ‘If you come to Venice, we’ll chase you out.’ It’s a battle for the right of poor people to have access to the coast.” He has coined the process the “LAPD shuffle,” though sometimes he solely encounters sanitation workers who haphazardly discard homeless people’s belongings during sweeps, he says. That presents a problem, because while he knows how to file a complaint with law enforcement when such incidents happen, the sanitation department doesn’t have a similar accountability system. “With LAPD, at least, we could go to the police commission and raise holy hell, but with the sanitation department, we’ve been cut off entirely,” he says. “They don’t have public hearings.” Unplanned sweeps are not only disruptive, says Dennis Culhane, a professor of social policy at the University of Pennsylvania, they can also have more serious consequences for homeless residents, especially if they’re fined or arrested. “It can set people back, and make it more difficult for them to work their way out of homelessness,” he said. “It could be counterproductive. The guidance is very clear that there should be 72 hours notices before street cleaning. It’s an adequate amount of time for people to throw their things away. It’s a very clear moral voice.” Gary Painter, a University of Southern California public policy professor, called the sweeps a human rights issue. “We need to be able to do more,” he says. “There’s no research that the tactics described improve housing outcomes for people who are homeless or improves safety in neighborhoods. We need more productive solutions.” The ideal sweep would include a multidisciplinary outreach team with mental healthcare personnel and workers with the resources to actually clean, Dennison says. She would also like to see portable showers and bathrooms during sweeps and for these procedures to be highly publicized ahead of time. Just as the housed population knows which days of the week to expect their yard waste, garbage, or recycling to be collected, their unhoused counterparts should have a schedule to follow for street sweeps, Dennison says. “Obviously, it works better when people know what to expect and are cleaning up and preparing themselves,” she says. “Surprise sweeps are always the worst. They’re really disruptive, and people aren’t treated fairly.” Busch says that last week he saw a notice in Venice announcing that a sweep would take place in three days. Seeing the announcement gave him the chance to help his neighbors collect their belongings, but he said he very rarely sees such alerts posted. Busch says it would also be helpful to give the unhoused population storage space for their belongings. In 2016, Venice planned to allow homeless people to use a senior center for storage, but a community group blocked the plan. Busch still resents the decision and that Venice has become unlivable for not only the homeless population but for middle-class professionals such as teachers and police officers too. He wants the community to focus on solutions to the housing crisis rather than thwarting such efforts. That some Angelenos would rather drive out homeless people than stand up for their rights upsets him. “I can’t say what I want to say,” he says. “So, I’ll say we’re outraged and disgusted.&rdquo […]

  • Stylishly revamped Buff and Hensman in Nichols Canyon on the market for $7M
    by Pauline O'Connor on April 25, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    The 1960s post and beam was “restored and reimagined” in 2010 by design firm Commune One of several Buff and Hensman-designed homes in Nichols Canyon, this two-story post and beam, known as the Ajioka House, was built in 1960. According to a 2011 Architectural Digest feature on the home, decades of alterations had left it with a “built-by-duct-tape feel” by the time it was acquired by its current owner, menswear designer and tech entrepreneur Derek Mattison, in 2008. To restore and renovate the property, which contains four separate structures, Mattison enlisted the services of design firm Commune, whose efforts were honored with a Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in 2015. During its two-year overhaul, the three-bedroom, three-bath main residence was clad throughout with reclaimed oak planks. Interior walls were removed, and windows and skylights were returned to their original locations, though all windows now slide into walls or stack. Other notable interior features include concrete floors, a dramatic two-story brick fireplace with a mirrored wall, a “floating” staircase, extensive ceramic tiling, and built-in walnut seating. The home’s outdoor space is reminiscent of a luxury resort, replete with a full bar, dining patio, outdoor shower, firepit, swimming pool, spa, and towering wall sculpture by celebrated ceramicist Stan Bitters. Surrounded by trees on a .82-acre lot, the property is asking $6.995 million. Steve Frankel of Coldwell Banker and Carl Gambino of Westside Estate Agency share the listing for 2563 Nichols Canyon Road. The home’s walls are clad in rustic oak planks reclaimed from barns.Amping up the drama in the living room is the two-story mirrored fireplace wall.The deluxe kitchen sports a 24-foot stainless-steel-and-walnut counter.In the master bedroom, you’ll find built-in walnut day beds and grasscloth walls.The master bath is lined with ceramic Heath tiles, and looks out to a water-wall sculpture by artist Stan Bitters.The house is on a .82-acre lot with abundant trees. […]

Curbed LA - All Love where you live

  • Proposal to cap rent hikes statewide moves forward
    by Jenna Chandler on April 25, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    AB 1482 would restrict rent increases to 7.5 percent With almost unanimous support from the housing committee, a proposal to place a limit on rent hikes statewide is advancing in the California Assembly. State-mandated caps on annual rent increases would be tied to the consumer price index (CPI), a common measure of inflation, plus 5 percent, under AB 1482, which passed the assembly committee on Thursday. “The rent is too damn high, and we should do something about it,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego). With the CPI averaging about 2.5 percent in California, AB 1482 would restrict rent increases to 7.5 percent, according to the bill’s author, Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco). He calls his proposal as an “anti-rent gouging” measure—not rent control. AB 1482 would apply to all types of rental properties, except those already subject to local rent control laws. That would include the cities of Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and Los Angeles, which already have rent control laws on the books. In the city of Los Angeles, property owners of rent-controlled buildings are right now allowed to raise rent 4 percent. The assembly bill is modeled after a proposal from UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation, which found a cap of 5 percent plus CPI would “provide meaningful protection” against “the most egregious rent increases.” Chiu says it would also allow property owners to continue making profits. He points to data prepared by Housing Now that show “the median annual rent increase in California is far below this proposed cap.” It’s also far below the amount that property owners have raised rents in Los Angeles County, where rents are up about 2.9 percent year over year, according to real estate tracker CoStar. Opponents of the bill include the California Rental Housing Association. The organization rejects Chiu’s interpretation of the bill as not being a rent control measure, and argues it would stymie new construction. “Rent control is not the solution as it keeps housing units off the market, discourages new housing, and hinders the preservation and enhancement of aging housing units,” said CalRHA president Sid Lakireddy. AB 1482 is part of a larger package of bills proposed by Democratic lawmakers aimed at protecting renters. […]

  • Classic 1912 Craftsman bungalow with updates asks $999K in Pasadena
    by Elijah Chiland on April 25, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    The charming home has a new kitchen, but the original wood floors remain This welcoming Craftsman sits in Pasadena’s landmarked Garfield Heights district, a cluster of homes north of Old Town built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The residence here was constructed in 1912, when Arts and Crafts-style bungalows were quickly springing up across Southern California. The well-maintained home has a classic covered front porch, with stone supports elevating the overhanging gable. Inside, four bedrooms and two bathrooms are spread across 1,911 square feet of floor space. The home boasts original wood floors and some lovely built-ins, including bench seating beside the living room fireplace and a dining room buffet. The kitchen has recently been remodeled and boasts fresh countertops and appliances, along with a large center island. The master bedroom features recessed lighting and an updated en-suite bathroom, but older casement windows remain in place. The home sits on a 7,090-square-foot lot with a grassy backyard and a two-car garage that currently serves as a recording studio. 981 Worcester Avenue is asking $999,000. The living room has wood floors and a brick fireplace.The dining room flows into the remodeled kitchen.Original molding extends into a guest room/den at the front of the home.The master bedroom has an en-suite bathroom that’s recently been renovated.The detached garage has been converted into a music studio. […]

  • There’s no money for rail on Vermont Avenue, but Metro will pursue it anyway
    by Elijah Chiland on April 25, 2019 at 7:28 pm

    A bus rapid transit line is planned for the busy corridor. But would a train make more sense? Metro’s Board of Directors voted unanimously today to keep examining options for a train along Vermont Avenue, in addition to a bus rapid transit project that the agency aims to complete by 2028. Funding is available for the $310 million bus project through Measure M, the sales tax hike approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2016. Money for a rail route, which is projected to cost between $4.4 billion and $8.4 billion, will be harder to find. “We have to be eyes wide open about this—there isn’t money for a rail line right now,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who co-authored a motion ordering Metro staff to include options for light rail and subway service along the route in an environmental review of the bus project. Still, Garcettti pointed out that money might later become available for a more ambitious project—potentially through a public-private partnership, in which a private company could contribute to development costs in exchange for future revenue. “What we all don’t want to do is have a busway that’s a little faster... but not the same kind of noticeable improvement as with rail,” he said. The stretch of Vermont between Sunset and Wilshire boulevards is already served by the Red Line subway, but buses without a designated lane are the primary transit option for riders south of Wilshire. The rapid bus, similar in concept to Metro’s successful Orange Line, would travel in a bus-only lane running either alongside the curb or in the center of the street. Metro staff estimates that with a rapid busway in place, the length of a trip between Hollywood Boulevard and 120th Street would fall up to 24 minutes, from over an hour to as little as 44 minutes. A rail route—particularly a subway—would likely be faster, and could carry more riders. Metro estimates that a train along Vermont would attract between 91,000 and 144,000 daily passengers. Buses that currently run along Vermont now carry roughly 45,000 riders on a typical weekday. Agency staffers pointed out Thursday that a rail route could later be constructed, replacing the bus rapid transit project, even if the latter project comes first. Garcetti argued that building a line capable of carrying a large number of riders as soon as possible would be a worthy investment, given the amount of development taking place in Exposition Park and other areas along the route. “When we first looked at this, there was a lot of activity that wasn’t happening that’s now happening,” said Garcetti. The mayor’s motion, co-authored by board members Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, Janice Hahn, Hilda Solis, and James Butts, also directs Metro staff to discuss extending the line all the way to Harbor City, where it would link up to the Silver Line at Pacific Coast Highway. Hahn noted that such an extension would give South Bay riders a direct transit connection to Griffith Park and other attractions. At least one member of the board was skeptical of plans to expand upon the project’s original scope. “We may be stepping a little far afield,” warned board member John Fasana, who pointed out that other projects, such as an extension of Metro’s Gold Line rail route, have recently been plagued by budget issues due in part to rising construction costs. “We need to really be careful here,” said Fasana. “I think we’re building a list of projects that we’re not going to be able to fund.&rdquo […]

  • Surprise homeless sweeps aren’t just disruptive, say activists—they aren’t working
    by Nadra Nittle on April 25, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    New campaign calls on the mayor to end random clean-ups of homeless encampments, and to use outreach workers, not police officers David Busch has lived in Venice Beach on and off since the 1980s. He started out with a $350 monthly rental on the boardwalk and continues to live nearby. Only now, he sleeps in a tent and must contend with the city’s periodic sweeps of homeless encampments. “They chase you from spot to spot to spot,” says Busch, 63. “They make you move your stuff constantly.” A former bus mechanic, Busch says during sweeps he’s seen police confiscate items homeless people depend, from sleeping bags to bicycles. That’s why he supports “Services Not Sweeps,” a campaign launched this month by a coalition of local groups, including the Los Angeles Community Action Network, Democratic Socialists of America, and Venice Community Housing. The campaign is calling on Mayor Eric Garcetti to post notifications of all sweeps two to three days in advance rather than randomly and to use outreach workers during the process instead of police officers. Organizers also want the city to provide waste bins and sharps disposal containers during sweeps as well as other health resources. They say the concerns they’ve raised about sweeps stem from the mayor’s “Clean Streets LA” initiative, a citywide cleanup effort he launched in 2015. “The main problem is that homeless residents, for a long time, have been asking for street services and just some general care,” says Becky Dennison, a campaign spokesperson and executive director of Venice Community Housing. “Once the city finally invested the resources, it’s all about policing and moving people and taking their things. It’s using street cleaning as a means of harassment and criminalization, when we could be improving the health and safety of people who live on the streets—and the entire community.” Venice has the the largest concentration of homeless residents on the Westside, with nearly 1,000 residents. More than 85 percent of those residents live outside of shelters and on streets and sidewalks, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. The neighborhood stands out as one where tensions between the wealthy and the homeless have intensified. The Venice Stakeholders Association, a group of property owners, has raised more than $200,000 to fight the city’s plans for an emergency shelter on a former bus yard owned by Metro at Sunset and Pacific avenues. By Simone Hogan/Shutterstock Venice property owners have raised more than $200,000 to fight the city’s plans for an emergency shelter in the neighborhood.Alex Comisar, a spokesperson for Garcetti, says the mayor’s office has already discussed many of the issues outlined by the Services Not Sweeps campaign with “stakeholders.” He declined to say whether city officials have agreed to implement any of the organizer’s demands and, if so, which ones. “We will keep working together toward the goal of ensuring that our policies keep streets clean and sidewalks passable, while protecting the rights of all Angelenos,” Comisar says. A remark Garcetti made during his state of the city address earlier this month has rankled some Services Not Sweeps advocates. The mayor suggested that “lawsuits focused more on keeping people’s stuff on the streets than how quickly we can move them indoors” has slowed down the city’s efforts to curb homelessness. Pete White, founder and executive director of the Los Angeles Community Action Network, called the mayor’s comment a “political cheap shot.” “No one in the coalition or no one doing this work is opposed to street cleaning,” he says. Rather, they want the unhoused population to have “water, soap, hygiene products, and all of the things necessary while forced to live in informal setups.” White says he’s not opposed to sweeps as long as they’re done effectively, but asserted the way the operations are handled now serve to banish homeless people from politically influential communities. “The department of sanitation and the police department don’t get to selectively choose what a person can and cannot have to live on the streets,” he says. “The city of LA has been sued time and time again from the ’80s on for that.” In March, the Los Angeles City Council settled a 2016 lawsuit, Mitchell vs. city of Los Angeles, that accused police of seizing and destroying the property of four homeless people. Their belongings included blankets, tents, and medication. Some business leaders criticized the city’s decision to settle the case, citing health concerns, such as a typhus outbreak in Downtown. But White and other Services Not Sweeps organizers argue that very little cleaning takes place during sweeps of homeless encampments. “Often, they won’t power wash,” says Jed Parriott, a campaign organizer. “They’ll say, ‘We’re here to do a clean up,’ but they’ll leave urine and feces behind on the sidewalk.” Piles of trash have also been found after sweeps, he says. The Washington Post/Getty Images More than 85 percent of Venice’s homeless residents live outside of shelters and on streets and sidewalks, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. Sweeps are used to push out the homeless—albeit briefly, Parriott says. City workers clear the area out, only for them to return a short while later. In Venice, however, homeless residents simply resettle at a different location after a sweep, according to Busch. Then, the police turn up there and clear them out of the newly formed encampments. “The constant sweeping has had a tremendous effect,” Busch said. “It’s sending us the message that, ‘If you come to Venice, we’ll chase you out.’ It’s a battle for the right of poor people to have access to the coast.” He has coined the process the “LAPD shuffle,” though sometimes he solely encounters sanitation workers who haphazardly discard homeless people’s belongings during sweeps, he says. That presents a problem, because while he knows how to file a complaint with law enforcement when such incidents happen, the sanitation department doesn’t have a similar accountability system. “With LAPD, at least, we could go to the police commission and raise holy hell, but with the sanitation department, we’ve been cut off entirely,” he says. “They don’t have public hearings.” Unplanned sweeps are not only disruptive, says Dennis Culhane, a professor of social policy at the University of Pennsylvania, they can also have more serious consequences for homeless residents, especially if they’re fined or arrested. “It can set people back, and make it more difficult for them to work their way out of homelessness,” he said. “It could be counterproductive. The guidance is very clear that there should be 72 hours notices before street cleaning. It’s an adequate amount of time for people to throw their things away. It’s a very clear moral voice.” Gary Painter, a University of Southern California public policy professor, called the sweeps a human rights issue. “We need to be able to do more,” he says. “There’s no research that the tactics described improve housing outcomes for people who are homeless or improves safety in neighborhoods. We need more productive solutions.” The ideal sweep would include a multidisciplinary outreach team with mental healthcare personnel and workers with the resources to actually clean, Dennison says. She would also like to see portable showers and bathrooms during sweeps and for these procedures to be highly publicized ahead of time. Just as the housed population knows which days of the week to expect their yard waste, garbage, or recycling to be collected, their unhoused counterparts should have a schedule to follow for street sweeps, Dennison says. “Obviously, it works better when people know what to expect and are cleaning up and preparing themselves,” she says. “Surprise sweeps are always the worst. They’re really disruptive, and people aren’t treated fairly.” Busch says that last week he saw a notice in Venice announcing that a sweep would take place in three days. Seeing the announcement gave him the chance to help his neighbors collect their belongings, but he said he very rarely sees such alerts posted. Busch says it would also be helpful to give the unhoused population storage space for their belongings. In 2016, Venice planned to allow homeless people to use a senior center for storage, but a community group blocked the plan. Busch still resents the decision and that Venice has become unlivable for not only the homeless population but for middle-class professionals such as teachers and police officers too. He wants the community to focus on solutions to the housing crisis rather than thwarting such efforts. That some Angelenos would rather drive out homeless people than stand up for their rights upsets him. “I can’t say what I want to say,” he says. “So, I’ll say we’re outraged and disgusted.&rdquo […]

  • Stylishly revamped Buff and Hensman in Nichols Canyon on the market for $7M
    by Pauline O'Connor on April 25, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    The 1960s post and beam was “restored and reimagined” in 2010 by design firm Commune One of several Buff and Hensman-designed homes in Nichols Canyon, this two-story post and beam, known as the Ajioka House, was built in 1960. According to a 2011 Architectural Digest feature on the home, decades of alterations had left it with a “built-by-duct-tape feel” by the time it was acquired by its current owner, menswear designer and tech entrepreneur Derek Mattison, in 2008. To restore and renovate the property, which contains four separate structures, Mattison enlisted the services of design firm Commune, whose efforts were honored with a Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in 2015. During its two-year overhaul, the three-bedroom, three-bath main residence was clad throughout with reclaimed oak planks. Interior walls were removed, and windows and skylights were returned to their original locations, though all windows now slide into walls or stack. Other notable interior features include concrete floors, a dramatic two-story brick fireplace with a mirrored wall, a “floating” staircase, extensive ceramic tiling, and built-in walnut seating. The home’s outdoor space is reminiscent of a luxury resort, replete with a full bar, dining patio, outdoor shower, firepit, swimming pool, spa, and towering wall sculpture by celebrated ceramicist Stan Bitters. Surrounded by trees on a .82-acre lot, the property is asking $6.995 million. Steve Frankel of Coldwell Banker and Carl Gambino of Westside Estate Agency share the listing for 2563 Nichols Canyon Road. The home’s walls are clad in rustic oak planks reclaimed from barns.Amping up the drama in the living room is the two-story mirrored fireplace wall.The deluxe kitchen sports a 24-foot stainless-steel-and-walnut counter.In the master bedroom, you’ll find built-in walnut day beds and grasscloth walls.The master bath is lined with ceramic Heath tiles, and looks out to a water-wall sculpture by artist Stan Bitters.The house is on a .82-acre lot with abundant trees. […]

  • 1970s modern with stunning wood interior seeks $1.4M in Rancho Palos Verdes
    by Bianca Barragan on April 24, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    Plus, high ceilings and walls of glass There’s a lot that’s very chic about this striking Rancho Palos Verdes home, starting with its tongue-and-groove cedar exterior. The cool factor of the multi-level, sprawling four-bedroom, two-bathroom home, which was built in 1974, only increases inside, where beautiful wood paneling, vaulted and beamed ceilings, skylights, and walls of glass abound. The house was designed by Claremont-based architecture firm Tozier and Abbott, but has recently been updated to include dual-paned windows, central air conditioning, and quartz counters in the kitchen. The 2,200-square-foot house sits on a half-acre lot, and makes use of the outdoor space through a number of patios and a rear balcony with ocean views. 28987 Palos Verdes Drive East is asking $1.42 million. It’s listed with Tony Accardo of Compass. Walls of glass and beamed ceilings are just a few of the house’s best features. Access to the outdoors from this bedroom is a major plus. There are new quartz counters in the kitchen. One of many patios and outdoor spaces the home has to offer. The cedar exterior of the home. […]

  • New report analyzes how SB 50 would impact LA. Here are 5 takeaways
    by Jenna Chandler on April 24, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    An estimated 43 percent of land citywide could qualify for the bill’s density incentives A new report by city planners finds Senate Bill 50 could have “far-reaching effects” in Los Angeles. SB 50 would create new incentives for developers to build apartments and condos near train and bus stations, even in areas zoned strictly for single-family homes—and the report finds it has the potential to reshape 43 percent of developable land in the city. Nearly half of all developable land citywide is currently reserved for single-family homes. The report was released Tuesday night, just before Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) announced a couple of key changes to the bill, including scaling back the types of bus stops that would qualify. The bill has also now merged with Senate Bill 4, and a revised SB 50 would allow fourplexes “by right” across the state. By encouraging denser housing, SB 50 would help address the region’s housing shortage and boost affordable housing production, the city report finds. But it cautions that those benefits “should be considered in light of the loss of long established” planning standards in the city of Los Angeles. “SB 50... may compromise the ability to maintain unique community scale and form, as well as neighborhood features such as yards, trees, adequate off-street parking, sunlight and privacy,” the report says. The proposed legislation would waive or relax local minimum parking requirements and density restrictions for developers looking to build housing near train stations and “high-quality” bus stops. SB 50 would also allow developers to build up to four-stories within a half-mile of a train station and up to five stories within one-quarter mile. Some of those incentives would also be available to developers who build in “jobs rich” areas. Those areas have yet to be defined, but would be mapped by the Department of Housing and Community Development, based on “employment density and job totals.” For its report, the city planning department used the Haas Institute’s “opportunity maps.” Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz has called SB 50 a “handout for developers,” and led the charge earlier this month to have the council adopt a resolution opposing it. But the bill’s author says California needs to embrace denser housing if the state is going to build enough supply to drive down costs. “It moves away from mandating that single-family homes are the only thing that’s allowed to be built,” Wiener has said. “If you’re near transit or jobs, you should be allowed to build various types of housing.” Here are five key takeaways from the report: 1. The council district represented by Paul Koretz, a vocal opponent of SB 50, stands to be most impacted. The report finds that 59 percent of land in the fifth district—which covers a wide swath of central Los Angeles, including Bel Air, Carthay Circle, Pico Robertson, Fairfax, Melrose, Westwood, and Palms—would eligible for the bill’s incentives. Other districts most likely to be impacted include those represented by Greig Smith, David Ryu, Curren Price, Herb Wesson, and Bob Blumenfield. Under SB 50, a building erected on a “high-quality bus corridor” or a jobs-rich area might look like this building, depicted on a 5,000-square-foot lot zoned for a single-family home. A building on a 5,000-square-foot lot zoned for a single-family home might look like this under SB 50. The building depicted here is 12,500 square feet and could hold up to 12 units. LA’s current zoning code would allow for a 2,250-square-foot home. 2. SB 50 may shift development away from commercial corridors and denser neighborhoods into lower-slung neighborhoods. “This is contrary to many of the current planning and land use policies adopted by the city, which prioritize new development along underutilized commercial corridors,” the report notes. The largest impacts are likely to be in lower-density areas within a half mile of a rail station. That’s about 6 percent of all single-family zoned parcels. “These areas would be eligible for significant increases in allowable height, mass (floor area ratio) and/or density,” the report says. 3. But even in those areas, developers will be more likely to build on the smaller side to avoid affordability requirements, the report predicts. While many typical single-family zoned sites near rail stops in Los Angeles could allow for the development of about 4 to 12 smaller units, developers would likely seek to construct projects with 10 or fewer units to avoid the affordable housing requirement. 4. While SB 50 has provisions to help prevent displacement, it could override even stronger protections already adopted by the city for South LA. The report says SB 50 could negate “strong affordable housing replacement requirements” and “innovative” anti-displacement measures in new community plans for West Adams, Baldwin Hills, and Leimert Park; South LA; and Southeast LA. “While SB 50 allows for future local planning efforts to occur before the incentives would be required in lower income areas, these recent planning efforts in all of south Los Angeles would not appear to be recognized,” it says. Still, residents in South LA have argued that even the city’s community plans don’t go far enough to protect renters. 5. Because SB 50 would focus growth in communities served by public transportation and near jobs, it could help LA reach its sustainability goals. As the report notes, that type of development can have a lower carbon footprint, because it encourages residents to drive less. […]

  • Los Angeles named smoggiest U.S. city
    by Elijah Chiland on April 24, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    It’s won that title 19 of the last 20 years Los Angeles holds the dubious distinction of being the smoggiest city in the U.S., according to a new report from the American Lung Association. It’s not exactly an unexpected result; LA has topped the list in 19 of the 20 years since the association began releasing the annual report. More alarming is that Los Angeles’s air quality got worse since last year’s report. The analysis draws data from three years (2015 to 2017), gathering average ozone levels from that time period. In that period, LA County averaged 119 days per year during which ozone, or smog, was at unhealthy levels. In last year’s report, the county averaged 111 unhealthy days. Air quality was actually worse in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, which are lumped in with Los Angeles for the study’s city rankings. Those counties averaged 161 and 130 ozone days, respectively. The negative effects of smog go beyond obscuring views from the Griffith Observatory. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, ozone can cause permanent lung damage, make asthma attacks more likely, and can even heighten the risk of early death for those exposed to high levels. The LA area fared slightly better when it came to particle pollution, which can be aggravated by a range of sources—from diesel engines to vacuum cleaners. In terms of short-term particle pollution, when the level of harmful particulate matter in the air spikes for a brief time period, Los Angeles ranked seventh among cities affected by these temporary hazards. Longer term levels of particle pollution in Los Angeles were high enough to place the city fifth on that list. It was one of six urban areas in California to rank among the top ten. Particle pollution, which can trigger heart attacks, strokes, and asthma attacks, can be especially exacerbated by wildfires, which have plagued California in recent years. In the Los Angeles area, fires caused air quality levels in some parts of the region to twice hit “maroon,” the most severe level on the EPA’s Air Quality Index. Smoke from the massive Thomas Fire likely contributed to a major deterioration in air quality around Santa Barbara during the period analyzed in the report. The region went from one of the cleanest urban areas in last year’s report to the 17th-most polluted this time around. Since this year’s report doesn’t include data from 2018, it’s likely that California will fare poorly again in next year’s analysis. Major fires throughout the state triggered air quality warnings in the Bay Area and Southern California. […]

  • What $2,800 rents in LA right now
    by Bianca Barragan on April 24, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    Apartments in Brentwood, Silver Lake, the Arts District, and more Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, where we explore what you can rent or buy for a certain dollar amount in various LA ’hoods. We’ve found five rentals within $100 of today’s price, $2,800. Vote for your favorite below Courtesy of Randelle Green/The Randelle Green Group Arts District There’s plenty of room to spread out in this 1,040-square-foot apartment in the Barker Block complex. The unit features hardwood floors, exposed brick, in-unit laundry, central air conditioning, and high ceilings. The complex has a spacious rooftop lounge area and covered parking. The unit rents for $2,900. Via Zillow Silver Lake Down toward the 101 freeway, this Silver Lake one-bedroom offers an open, bright living room, an updated bathroom, central air conditioning, a dishwasher, and in-unit laundry and a laundry room. The pet-friendly complex has its own pool. One parking space is included with the unit, which rents for $2,795. Via Zillow Venice This spacious, 920-square-foot one-bedroom apartment sits just a block away from the Venice Canals and about the same distance from the beach. The unit features updated cabinets and appliances in the kitchen, ceiling fans, and a balcony. There is laundry on-site and one parking space. It rents for $2,895. Via Zillow North Hollywood Located less than a block from the North Hollywood Red Line station, this 930-square-foot apartment is loft-style (read: one big room). The apartment has a walk-in closet, a dining area, and an L-shaped kitchen. The complex offers a gym, a pool, and a hot tub. The apartment rents for $2,725. Courtesy of Kaptain/Kaptain Real Estate Group Brentwood Located just off Barrington and San Vicente, this two-bedroom condo in Brentwood has a strong cabin vibe while being close to shops and restaurants on San Vicente Boulevard. The apartment features high ceilings, a balcony, walls of glass, stainless steel appliances, and an updated bathroom. Parking for one car is included. The apartment rents for $2,700. […]

  • City says speeding driver, wet road caused fatal Los Feliz hit-and-run—not ‘unsafe road’
    by Elijah Chiland on April 24, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    It’s recommending changes anyway Three months after a woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver on Hyperion Avenue, city transportation officials responded Monday to letters from the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council warning that the street was unsafe. In a response dated Monday, transportation engineer Brian Gallagher writes that the department has determined that “a driver traveling at unsafe speeds on wet roads was the primary cause of the collision, not a lack of traffic control devices or unsafe roadway conditions.” Still, the department is making several recommendations to help make the corridor safer, including speed feedback signs that show drivers how fast they’re traveling and a left-turn signal at the intersection of Hyperion and Fountain. According to Gallagher, the department also plans to create a working group to identify further safety measures that could eventually be implemented along the corridor. The neighborhood council had contacted the department two years before the January crash with concerns about the stretch of Hyperion and Fountain avenues between Sunset and Rowena boulevards. Part of that corridor includes a segment of Fountain included on Los Angeles’s High Injury Network, a database of the city’s deadliest streets. After the fatal collision, the neighborhood council wrote another letter, requesting “immediate action” to prevent future incidents. In March, City Councilmember David Ryu sent a letter of his own, urging the department to “provide recommendations for measures that would immediately reduce the likelihood of traffic collisions and fatalities” along Hyperion. Los Feliz Neighborhood Council member Danny Cohen, who wrote the neighborhood council’s initial letter calls the department’s long-awaited response is “a good first step in the right direction,” In an email, he tells Curbed he’s looking forward to seeing what strategies the working group recommends. “Hopefully,” he says, that work will result in “a safer corridor for everyone.&rdquo […]

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