A review of Los Angeles’s Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, or Measure S, which is aimed at clamping down on the recent run of high-density projects there, has found that the measure is not as likely as its proponents claim to reduce rent-control evictions, according to Curbed Los Angeles, citing a review by the Los Angeles Times.
The measure would put a two-year ban on zoning changes and other amendments for many large-scale construction projects. However, many high-end residential projects that replace rent-controlled homes don’t require a zoning change, the Times determined.
- Advocates say the NII will prevent evictions, but the Times found that the measure would have stopped few such instances that have occurred recently. Fewer than 10% of rent-controlled units taken out of the market from 2011 to 2015 to make way for new developments could have been saved by Measure S.
Time is ticking on the proposed NII as voters are set to decide next week whether to accept the measure. Supporters contend that such a rule will help to preserve affordable housing in the city at a time when it is struggling to meet rising demand. Critics, meanwhile, suggest it may actually fuel the shortage and drive up rents and home prices.
Developers, meanwhile, are attempting to push their megaprojects through the approvals process in a bid to beat the potential rezoning moratorium.
Earlier this month, developer L&R Group of Companies lodged plans with the city for a 52-story, mixed-use residential tower designed by Gensler and expected to include 336 residential units as well as retail, office and dining and entertainment spaces. In December, developers attempted to fast-track the development of a Bjarke Ingels Group-designed high-density development in Los Angeles that would include 250 residential rentals and 800,000 square feet of office space; the development will require density variances.
Other large-scale schemes like The Reef, a $1.2 billion, 35-story mixed-use luxury project set for the city’s South Central neighborhood, have been green-lighted despite concerns around the displacement of homes and their occupants currently on the site. In a bid to counter their removal, The Reef’s developers have earmarked 5% of the project’s apartments for low-income residents and will contribute $15 million to an affordable housing fund, among other initiatives.
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