Category: City of Los Angeles

LADWP Approves New Community Solar Power Program for Renters

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Pilot Program Targets Areas with Low Solar Penetration

LOS ANGELES (September 26, 2018) – Recognizing that a large segment of the city’s population is unable to benefit from solar power, the Board of Water and Power Commissioners voted September 25 to launch a new community solar program to improve solar equity for renters and to expand geographic diversity of solar projects in Los Angeles.

The pilot Shared Solar Program stems from LADWP’s Equity Metrics Data Initiative, which identified the need to expand the benefits of solar to renters as well as improve the geographic solar diversity in Los Angeles, bringing clean energy to more vulnerable communities.

The program will bring the economic and environmental benefits of this clean sustainable resource to customers who live in multifamily buildings and cannot participate in traditional solar programs. To broaden the geographic equity of local solar projects, the solar power will come in part from new projects built by LADWP in areas identified as having a lack of installed solar. These include economically disadvantaged communities as well as those designated by the city as “Clean Up Green Up” neighborhoods—Pacoima-Sun Valley in the East San Fernando Valley, Boyle Heights near downtown, and Wilmington in the Harbor area. If green-lighted by the City Council, LADWP expects to launch the program in January 2019.

“Every Angeleno should have access to clean energy, and you shouldn’t have to be a homeowner to be part of L.A.’s sustainable future,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The Shared Solar Program will make that possible for more people in our communities — and progress today will keep us on the path to a tomorrow powered by 100 percent renewable energy.”

“The shared solar program gives my constituents in the Sixth District the right to access clean energy,” said Councilwoman Nury Martinez, Chair of the City Council’s Energy, Climate Change, and Environmental Justice Committee. “There should not be economic barriers to saving our environment. This program makes solar power affordable and also creates good, clean energy jobs that our community need most.”

Under the pilot program, participating customers will be able to purchase blocks of solar power—up to 100 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month—at a 10-year fixed rate, enabling customers to better manage their electricity bill. LADWP has committed to providing up to 10 megawatts (MW) of solar power under the pilot program. LADWP will build new local solar on rooftops of LADWP and City-owned buildings, parking lots, and other structures. Part of the solar power for the program will also come from a large-scale 90 MW solar project due to be completed in 2019 in the Mojave Desert.

“Los Angeles is already America’s No. 1 Shining City, and now thousands more Angelenos will be able to enjoy the benefits of solar power,” said Mel Levine, President of the LADWP Board of Water and Power Commissioners. “At the same time, the program will help us achieve the Sustainable City pLAn local solar goals and our aggressive renewable energy targets.”

Expanding community solar has been an important component of Mayor Garcetti’s Sustainable City pLAn. Shared Solar is another example of LADWP’s commitment to delivering on the goals of that plan.

“We are absolutely committed to reducing economic barriers to solar power in Los Angeles, and so we are initially giving priority to customers who rent and live in areas that have not benefited from solar through other LADWP solar programs,” LADWP General Manager David H. Wright said.

Wright said the Board’s action today is just a first step. “The program’s end goal is to carve out a reduced rate for Shared Solar to make it affordable for income-qualified and disadvantaged customers,” he said. Toward that end, LADWP is working with community partners to obtain external funding, such as grants, to offset the cost of a discounted low-income rate. The Shared Solar program was crafted to be revenue neutral for non-participants, so that the proposed rate covers the cost of procuring, building, operating, and maintaining the solar projects along with program administration.

“What we won today is one of the nation’s first community solar programs that prioritizes reducing inequities while setting the course for a meaningful transition to renewables,” said Allison Mannos, Director of the RePowerLA Campaign at the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE). “Since 2014, Repower LA has organized for a new clean energy future at LADWP that benefits low-income ratepayers and could grow over time.”

Shared Solar is part of LADWP’s umbrella of Community Solar Programs. LADWP launched the first Community Solar Program in February 2017—the pilot Solar Rooftop Program (SRP)—which also prioritizes customers who reside in areas of low solar penetration. Under this program, customers receive a fixed payment from LADWP to lease their roof space for a solar system that LADWP installs at no cost to the homeowner. Participating customers receive an annual $360 check for the year for 20 years. Currently, 43 homes have been approved for the Solar Rooftop Program, representing about a total of 110 kilowatts of new clean solar energy for customers who couldn’t install solar on their own.

LADWP is also developing a pilot Virtual Net Energy Metering Program (VNEM) as part of community solar. A VNEM program enables customers in multifamily housing to receive a credit on their bill for solar that is installed on their building. “LADWP’s efforts toward solar equity are growing and so is the Community Solar Program,” Wright said.

Under a Board resolution in June 2018, LADWP committed to accelerating the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from its power facilities while expanding energy efficiency and community solar programs that primarily benefit renters in multifamily housing. That action led to an increased investment of $10 million in Community Solar Programs to launch Shared Solar and started the development of the new VNEM Program.

http://www.ladwpnews.com/ladwp-approves-new-community-solar-power-program-for-renters/

Los Angeles May Make Businesses Disclose NRA Ties

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The LA City Council will consider a motion requiring businesses wishing to contract with the city disclose their ties to the gun lobby.

Saying the National Rifle Association is one of the biggest roadblocks to gun safety reform, a Los Angeles city councilman introduced a motion Friday that would require city contractors to disclose any ties they have to the organization.

Councilman Mitch O’Farrell’s motion, if passed into law, would not ban NRA-connected contractors from doing business with the city, but require them through a new ordinance to disclose any contracts or sponsorships they have with the gun rights advocacy group.

The City Council approved a similar ordinance last year that requires contractors or prospective contractors to disclose that they have placed bids on President Donald Trump’s border wall. Although it did not place a ban on them working with the city, the ordinance sent the message that Los Angeles would be unlikely to hire a contractor with ties to the wall.

“The National Rife Association (NRA) has been one of the most significant roadblocks to sensible gun safety reform at every level of government across the nation,” O’Farrell’s motion states. “In Congress, next to nothing has been done due to the NRA’s stranglehold and propaganda machine. According to an audit obtained by the Center for Responsive Politics, the NRA’s spending on political activities from 1998-2017 aggregated to over $200 million.”

The motion says the city of Los Angeles historically has enacted ordinances in support of gun safety.

The motion notes there have been more than 1,600 mass shootings in America since the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in 2012, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which quantifies a mass shooting as when four or more people are wounded or killed in a shooting, not including the shooter.

The NRA did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

“For the sake of transparency the city’s residents and stakeholders deserve to know how the city’s public funds are being spent, and whether taxpayer funds are being spent on contractors that have contractual or sponsorship ties with the NRA,” the motion states.

Following a mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on Feb. 14, a number of corporations that had offered discounts to NRA members cut ties with the organization, including Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and the Hertz rental car firm.

O’Farrell’s motion does not state if the city currently has any contractors with ties to the NRA.`

Plan to Steer Air Traffic over the Valley Hits Turbulence

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Residents in western San Fernando Valley are trying to halt FAA plans to direct more air traffic over the neighborhood.

More than 1,900 residents have signed a petition against an FAA plan to allow more passenger flights from Hollywood Burbank Airport over several San Fernando Valley communities, it was reported Friday.

The group, called Studio City for Quiet Skies, launched the petition in response to Federal Aviation Administration plans to move departing flights on a trajectory farther south over Studio City, Sherman Oaks and Encino, the Los Angeles Daily News reported. The petition was on the online site Change.org.

Residents say the changes would bring more noise, traffic and pollution to the area, and they slammed the plan in a series of comments on the petition, according to the Daily News.

“We object to flight paths that expose residents and visitors, our school children, student athletes and people seeking recreation in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area, to constant jet noise and pollution,” according to the petition.

“I don’t understand why commercial air traffic is not being directed over the San Fernando Valley’s commercial and industrial zones, or above our numerous freeways,” a Studio City resident wrote. “Our residential neighborhoods are under constant assault with traffic from major thoroughfares being redirected to side streets where people live and children play by Google Maps and Waze. Now the FAA wants to direct planes over our homes and playgrounds as well. Why?”

Airport officials are also concerned about the change, and the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association and the Studio City Residents Association have both opposed it, the Daily News reported.

Patrick Lammerding, deputy executive director of planning and development at the airport, wrote a letter to FAA officials on Aug. 21, noting his office “cannot express support for the proposed” plan, according to the newspaper.

“It is equally important to us that we act as a good neighbor to the surrounding communities that we serve and who support us,” he wrote.

A spokesman for the FAA said in a statement that the federal agency “is proposing to update two existing routes for aircraft that depart off Runway 15 at Hollywood Burbank Airport. The purpose of the updates is to keep Burbank Runway 15 departures better separated from LAX arrivals to the south and from aircraft that are arriving to Burbank’s Runway 8.”

Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian, whose district includes North Hollywood and Studio City, said in a statement in August that the new paths will “focus more noise over a smaller area, including over schools and quiet residential neighborhoods.” He added that “the FAA’s unwillingness to be transparent about this process and its complete inability to articulate a true public benefit to be derived from the new flight paths wrongly shuts the public out of the discussion,” the Daily News reported.

https://patch.com/california/northridge/plan-steer-air-traffic-over-valley-hits-turbulence

New Tree Removal Notification for Neighborhood Councils

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The Bureau of Street Services’ Urban Forestry Division (UFD) is now copying EmpowerLA when a permit has been filed with UFD and has been deemed complete to move to the notification phase.  Once EmpowerLA receives a notification with the address of the tree to be removed, staff will identify which Neighborhood Council the tree(s) is located in and forward the notification to the board.

A Neighborhood Council can weigh in on the removal of the tree(s) in the following way:  

If the removal is for 1 or 2 trees, the UFD provides a 3 day notice to the affected Council District, the Community Forest Advisory Committee and the affected Neighborhood Council.  If no objections are raised within the 3 days, the tree(s) will be removed shortly thereafter.  The board members should contact their City Council Office if your Neighborhood Council has any concerns about the tree(s) removal.  

If the removal is for 3 or more trees, the UFD provides a 3 day notice to the affected Council District, the Board of Public Works, the Community Forest Advisory Committee and the affected Neighborhood Council.  The UFD is also required to submit a report to the Board of Public Works for review, and the proposed removal must be posted for 30 days prior to removal in order to allow for public comment.  In addition to contacting the City Council Office if your Neighborhood Council has any concerns about the trees removal, board members will also be able to provide public comment with the Board of Public Works within the 30 days.

Please note that if your board has not taken official action on the tree(s) removal, board members can only speak in their individual capacity.

For more information about the tree removal process, click here for the information sheet and click here for the Tree Removal Permit Application.  For a list of the proposed removals, click here for the Tree Removal Notification System.

If you have any questions about this tree removal application list, please contact the Urban Forestry Department directly by calling 213-847-3077

Review and Comment on the CAO’s 2018-19 Appropriation Limit Report for the City Budget

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The CAO (City Administrative Officer) has released the Neighborhood Councils’ review of the 2018-19 Appropriation Limit Report for the Gann Initiative, a California state law that limits the amount of revenue which can be appropriated in any fiscal year for publicly-funded programs.

This report is provided to the public for review at least 15 days before adopting the appropriations limit, in accordance with Section 7910 of the Government Code. If your NC would like to issue a CIS on the CAO’s report, the associated Council File is the one for the 2018-19 City budget, CF 18-0600. CIS should be submitted by Friday, August 3rd, to ensure your letter is received within the 15-day public review period.

See the full CAO report, including attachments, at http://empowerla.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/20180719-CAO-2018-19-APPROPRIATION-LIMIT-CF-18-0600.pdf

Share Your Opinion on the City’s Trees & Help Shape LA’s Urban Forest Management Plan

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The City of Los Angeles is in the initial stages of developing an Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP) funded by a grant from CAL FIRE. The goal of the UFMP is to help guide the planting, care, protection, and sustainability of the City’s urban trees. LA’s Urban Tree Canopy cover is only 21% – lower than the national average of 26%, which makes the health and sustainability of the City’s park trees critical.

To ensure this plan for managing the City’s trees considers and incorporates resident priorities, the following survey is provided, so you may tell the City how you feel about local trees.

This survey will be collecting responses through Wednesday August 15, 2018. We appreciate you taking part in this important process! Click the links below to take the survey:

Link to English survey: http://tinyurl.com/UFMPsurvey
Link to Spanish survey: http://tinyurl.com/UFMPencuesta

http://empowerla.org/urban-forest-management-plan-public-input-survey/

GHNNC Street Repair Blitz 2018

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The Neighborhood Council Initiative (known to us as the Street Blitz), run by the Bureau of Street Services (BSS), will be in Granada Hills North real soon.  Our area will be assigned a two-person crew on a hot asphalt truck for one day to patch street potholes, pop-outs, small eroded or cracked areas, and do minor curb and sidewalk patching.  The crew is not equipped to handle tree roots that have damaged the street, or are they able to do any major repair for uplifted sidewalks.

Up to 15 locations will be inspected, so we’re looking for the worst spots that can be patched.  Depending on the conditions and amount of asphalt required, not all identified locations will get fixed during the blitz.  Remember, you can always report troublesome locations via 3-1-1. We’re asking for your help in preparing that list for submission to BSS. Since this is based on Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council boundaries, the locations MUST be north of the 118 freeway, west of the 405 freeway, and east of Aliso Canyon, up to the County line. Click here for a map of our boundaries.

Please make your submission no later than July 6.

Include the type of repair (pothole, pop-out, depression, minor lifted sidewalk, etc.), the address (preferred) or intersection, and which side of the street (north bound, east side, etc.). The more info you can provide, the less time spent by BSS trying to find the location. Remember, potholes and minor repairs only. Tree root damage is out, as are streets and sidewalks that require more extensive repairs.

Send your request to [email protected].

Mayor Garcetti: Proposed Gondola that Could Take Fans to Dodger Stadium

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Here’s the first look at renderings of the proposed gondola that could take fans from Union Station straight to Dodger Stadium.

Councilmember Englander proposes floating solar panels on reservoirs

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This week, Councilmember Mitchell Englander joined LADWP Chief Operating Officer Marty Adams, LADWP Chief Sustainability Officer Nancy Sutley, Los Angeles County Business Coalition President Mary Leslie, Actor/Environmental Activists Ed Begley Jr. and Matt Walsh, and students from Porter Ranch Community School to introduce legislation calling for LADWP to explore options to install “floating solar” panels on Los Angeles reservoirs.

Floating solar is an emerging and extremely efficient form of renewable clean energy. By covering the surface of reservoirs, floating solar conserves water by reducing evaporation and prevents harmful algae growth by blocking sunlight. Additionally, there is no land costs associated with the installation and there is greater efficiency of output due to the cooling effect of water.

unnamed (32)Los Angeles reservoirs provide hundreds of acres of local surface area that can be used as a platform for capturing solar energy.  The initial pilot calls for approximately 11.6 MegaWatts of solar installation on DWP reservoirs. That is enough energy to power approximately 3,190 homes per year and the offset 15.9 million lbs. of CO2 emissions per year or the equivalent of removing 1,567, cars from the road. LADWP estimates that Los Angeles Reservoirs have an achievable potential of 53 MW which translates to the electrical use of 21,000 homes annually or the equivalent of taking 10,320 cars off the road.

According to the State Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), retail sellers and publicly owned utilities are required to procure 50 percent of their electricity from renewable energy resources by 2030.

Los Angeles is in a unique position to lead the country in the adoption of clean, renewable energy. With our geography, our climate, and our city-owned and operated utility, we have all the ingredients necessary to push for the wide-use and adoption of solar energy. By co-locating these panels on city-owned reservoirs, we eliminate the land-use cost and impacts of traditional solar panels.

Read the motion, here and watch news coverage below.

http://abc7.com/science/la-councilman-proposes-floating-solar-panels-on-reservoirs/3366827/

2018 State of the City Address: Highlights & Potential Partnerships for Neighborhood Councils

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Thank you to EmpowerLA’s Octaviano Rios for letting us share this thoughtful overview of Mayor Garcetti’s 2018 State of the City address, which Octaviano originally wrote for the Harbor area Neighborhood Councils that he supports. He highlights the Mayor’s callouts to Neighborhood Councils, and issues that Councils might wish to partner with the Mayor on during the coming year.

In his State of the City address Monday morning, Mayor Garcetti said that he needs the help of Angelenos to improve our quality of life in Los Angeles. This coming fiscal year, please consider joining the Mayor, the City Council, City departments, and community partners to spur economic growth in key industries, improve regional infrastructure connectivity, and ensure everyone benefits from the progress of the City.

In his address, the Mayor said the word “neighborhood” 25 times, which is a call not just to City Departments to take action, but a partnership opportunity for all Neighborhood Councils to engage in those instances where resources are being planned for neighborhoods. Here are a few objectives for the year: Read more »

Turning Down the Volume on Party Houses

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L.A. City Council to impose new fines in crackdown on ‘party houses’

On Wednesday, February 21st, the City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to rein in out-of-control party houses in Los Angeles. The ordinance creates a series of escalating fines against the homeowners or those who rent from them, who use their homes for massive gatherings that disturb neighbors, block the public right-of-way, and threaten public safety. It includes increasing fines of up to $8,000. The ordinance also requires those who violate the ordinance to post a public notice for 30 days notifying neighbors of their unlawful conduct.

The new law, first proposed by Councilman David Ryu in 2016, expands the definition of “loud and unruly conduct” to include loud noises, obstruction of a street or public right-of-way, public intoxication and more.

The ordinance, which was supported by a variety of neighborhood councils and community organizations, is meant to dissuade property owners from renting out their homes to professional party-throwers and reduce the likelihood of future violations, freeing up law enforcement personnel for other purposes.

“Too often, we have seen people renting out their homes for the express purpose of turning it into a venue for elaborate events,” Councilmember Paul Koretz noted. “These aren’t barbeques or birthday parties, these are massive events with cover fees and throngs of people tossing cigarette butts in fire prone areas. Trying to control them has been a challenge for the City because the laws and jurisdictional authority have not been clear. This ordinance changes that.”

The new ordinance provides the City with a focused set of procedures and punishments to better address the phenomenon.

“With this new ordinance, the party is over for these completely out-of-hand neighborhood headaches,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. “With escalating fines into the thousands of dollars, this ordinance has the teeth to help us continue our house party prosecutions with greater effectiveness.”

Apologies in advance to party fans Chad Kroeger and JT Parr.

Creek Fire’s Mass Horse Deaths Prompts Calls For Change

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After 29 horses died in last month’s San Fernando Valley wildfire, the City Council voted to address shortcomings to evacuation strategies.

In the wake of the deaths of 29 horses in last month’s Creek Fire in the San Fernando Valley, the Los Angeles City Council voted Friday to devise some new strategies on the evacuation of horses and other large animals during emergencies.

The wind-driven Creek Fire, which broke out near Sylmar on Dec. 5 and grew to more than 15,000 acres, destroyed a number of buildings, including a stable where the horses were killed.

The 11-0 vote by the council directs the Department of Animal Services, with the assistance of the fire and police departments and Los Angeles Equine Advisory Commission, to report on strategies to increase cooperation and partnership between the city and the equestrian community on the evacuation of horses and other large animals during emergencies.

Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, who represents the area impacted by the Creek Fire, introduced the motion.

“I know that this would be a tremendous benefit to the city overall …,” she said. “I think it’s important to look at the lessons learned and be sure that we address some of our shortcomings so that we’re more effective in these evacuations going forward.”

Granada Hills Community Forum for the Los Angeles General Plan

GH General Plan Community Forum Flyer

Thursday, January 18, 2018, at 7:00PM

St. Euphrasia School Auditorium
17637 Mayerling St
Granada Hills, CA 91344

Help Shape the Future of Los Angeles

The Neighborhood Councils of Granada Hills want YOUR input on the update to the General Plan for the City of Los Angeles.

We will be soliciting community feedback on:
– Long-Term Growth
– Air Quality
– Conservation
– Housing
– Mobility
– Noise
– Open Space
– Public Services and Recreation
– Safety
– Anything YOU think is important

 

SoCal Edison Investigated for its Possible Role in CA Wildfires

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Fire Investigators may be looking at the role Southern California Edison utilities could have played in the region’s wildfires.

Southern California Edison on Tuesday said it believes fire officials are investigating the company for its possible role in the catastrophic wildfires raging across the region.

About 250,000 acres have been burnt by multiple wildfires since last week, triggering some of the largest fire evacuations in the region’s history. Nearly 1,000 structures have been lost, and one person died in the fires.

The largest of the blazes, Ventura County’s Thomass Fire, continues to rage and is now the fifth largest in state history. The fires broke out during an intense Santa Ana windstorm that downed power lines across Southern California. The cause remains undetermined for most of the wildfires with the exception of Bel Air’s Skirball Fire, which investigators traced to a homeless encampment cooking fire.

In a press release, SCE officials said they believe CAL FIRE investigators are looking at the role of its utilities.

“The causes of the wildfires are being investigated by CAL FIRE, other fire agencies and the California Public Utilities Commission. The investigations now include locations beyond those identified last week as the apparent origin of these fires,” the company stated. “SCE believes the investigations now include the possible role of its facilities. SCE continues to cooperate with the investigations. The wildfire investigations may take a considerable amount of time to complete. SCE will provide updated information as circumstances warrant. ”

It’s not the first time this year that a utility has been investigated for its role in California’s wildfires. Authorities have been investigating Pacific Gas & Electric as a potential factor in the wine country fires that killed dozens of people.

How to Create a Great Mural of Los Angeles

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We’re excited to share with our stakeholders, how to work with us to create a public mural through the City’s Citywide Mural Program. Visit the Department of Cultural Affairs website http://culturela.org/murals for the mural registration application and for a robust Frequently Asked Questions section that can answer many of the questions for your Neighborhood Council.

There are a couple of key points to be mindful of with murals. Early research and preparation is key to a successful mural project.

1. Please contact the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment’s, [email protected] for guidance if you would like to work on a project involving a mural or providing money for a mural.

2. Money may only be expended toward mural projects when the mural is registered with the Department of Cultural Affairs, including murals located on public or private property. In addition, murals are currently only allowed on residential property in Council Districts, 1, 9, 14, and 15. Granada Hills North Neighborhood is in District 12.

3. If the mural is located on private property, please visit the Department of Cultural Affairs website http://culturela.org/murals for the mural registration application and for a robust Frequently Asked Questions section that can answer many of the questions for your Neighborhood Council.

Murals located on City property must go through a different process, reviewed and approved by the Public Art Committee and Cultural Affairs Commission. For more information, see DCA Public Art Approval

4. The property owner must sign the application certifying permission (notary is required) and accepting maintenance responsibility. A 2-year covenant is filed with the County Recorder’s Office to ensure that the mural remain for a minimum of 2 years. There is a registration fee of $60.00 for mural registration implementation.

5. There is a required neighborhood involvement meeting for each new mural proposal and is a great opportunity to expand your neighborhood’s Outreach. Reach out to your  Neighborhood Council to collaborate!

For questions and/or more information, visit http://culturela.org/murals/ and reach out to: [email protected]

Citywide Economic Development Stakeholder Survey

LA Citywide Economic Strategy

The City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department has been tasked with developing a Citywide Economic Development Strategy and Five-year Implementation Plan. Your feedback will help us identify the importance of various business, workforce, and community issues, as well as actions that the City’s economic development strategy should prioritize. This survey is critical to ensuring that the Strategy represents a robust and equitable Los Angeles economy in the years ahead. Take the survey at LAEconomicDevelopmentSurvey.com.

GHNNC Proposal Regarding the Future Permitting Process for Street Vendors in the City of Los Angeles

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https://www.ghnnc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/GHNNC-Street-Vending-10-2017.pdf

WHEREAS, on January 06, 2015, Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council recommended that the City of Los Angeles should prohibit all street vending within the City limits;

WHEREAS, on March 01, 2016, Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council reaffirmed its opposition to street vending, and further resolved that if the City of Los Angeles chose to support street vending then Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council would, in principal, support Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition’s conditions on such street vending;

WHEREAS, on February 15, 2017, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to decriminalize the act of vending food and products along the streets of the City of Los Angeles;

WHEREAS, Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council now seeks to provide a more definite statement on the conditions under which the community would support a street vending ordinance for the City of Los Angeles;

WHEREAS, the City of Los Angeles is one of the most diverse and populous cities in the world, and is comprised of neighborhoods with such substantially different characters and needs that those neighborhoods will desire significantly different types and amounts of street vending;

WHEREAS, each of the ninety-seven Neighborhood Councils recognized by the City of Los Angeles is in the best place to determine what types, amounts, and locations of street vending their own community will be willing to support, able to maintain, cause the least detrimental effects associated with street vending, and be to the most benefit to the community;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council supports the following conditions and requirements on the permitting of street vending, and urges the Los Angeles City Council to integrate these suggestions into any ordinance in the City of Los Angeles that establishes a legal framework for permitted street vending:

  1. Prior to the City issuing a permit, any applicant seeking a permit should be required to submit to a review and obtain an opinion from the Neighborhood Council(s) wherein they seek to engage in vending activities;
  2. There should be a process for the local Neighborhood Council(s) to be able to recommend to the permitting agency: (a) conditions on the hours of operation, (b) conditions on the location(s) in which the applicant may conduct business within the neighborhood, and (c) conditions on the types of products they may vend;
  3. Prior to a permit-holder being issued a renewal for an existing permit, the permit-holder should be required to return to the local Neighborhood Council(s) and obtain another opinion under the same conditions as for new applications;
  4. There should be different lengths of time that a permit can be valid prior to requiring a renewal depending on whether food it being sold at the location: (a) permits for the sale of non-food (products-only) should be able to be approved for a period of either one-year, two-years, or three-years; and (b) permits for the sale of food and non-food products, or only food, should be renewed every year;
  5. There should be different categories of permit for street vendors that will primarily sell their food and/or products: (a) at a stationary location, or (b) in a manner that is non-stationary (i.e. using handcarts, at multiple temporary locations, using trucks, et cetera);
  6. An applicant seeking a permit for a stationary location should be required to submit a plan that describes: (a) the proposed location of their merchandise, (b) their plan for any deliveries or drop-offs, (c) the proposed locations of any signs, and (d) how their proposed location will permit the free flow of (i) foot traffic, and (ii) automobile traffic;
  7. Any permits issued for a non-stationary street vendor should specifically delineate the boundaries within which they are permitted to vend;
  8. No permit for a stationary street vending location should be issued within 100 feet of a single-family residence or a school;
  9. Non-stationary street vendors should be barred from selling anything (food or products) within 100 feet of a school;
  10. After obtaining an opinion by the local Neighborhood Council(s), and prior to the issuance of any permit, the agency in charge of the permitting process should review the application for compliance with all relevant laws and deny the applicant if the applicant is not in full compliance;
  11. The agency in charge of the permitting process should take the opinion of the local Neighborhood Council(s) into consideration when determining whether to grant or deny a permit;
  12. The City should not set minimums on the number of permits the agency in charge of the permitting process should be required to approve;
  13. If an applicant seeks a permit with a component that includes the on-site preparation of food, the Department of Health & Safety and the agency in charge of the permitting process should review the application for compliance with all relevant food-handling laws and deny the applicant if the applicant is not in full compliance;
  14. Depending on the types of food or products that an applicant seeks to vend, the applicant should be required to demonstrate compliance with any of the following on an as-needed basis: a Food Handling Certificate, FTB Resale License, Los Angeles County Health permit, and compliance with relevant federal, state, or local statutes, ordinances, or regulations;
  15. Upon receipt of a permit, the permitted street vendor should be required to openly and visibly post their permit during all hours they are engaged in vending, including setting up and tearing down a stationary location;
  16. The permit should clearly and visibly list: (a) hours of operation, (b) the location(s) in which they may engage in business, and (c) the types of products they may vend;
  17. Failure to adhere to the permitting, display, or operational limitations and requirements should lead to incrementally more severe punishments, including but not limited to: (a) impounding of any products on offer by a noncompliant vendor, (b) a fine that can incrementally increase, and (c) up to 6 months in jail for egregious violations or repeated violations by the same person(s).

LA Considers Controversial Airbnb Regulations

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Proponents of short-term rentals say many depend on it to cover their mortgage while critics say it exacerbates the housing shortage.

A Los Angeles City Council Committee is set to debate Tuesday proposed regulations for Airbnb and short-term housing rental companies in an effort to please both passionate advocates of the practice and those who say it is contributing to the city’s housing shortage.

The highest concentration of listings appear to be in neighborhoods like Venice, Hollywood, Mid-Wilshire, Echo Park, Downtown, East Hollywood, Beverly Grove, Los Feliz and Sherman Oaks, according to a Department of City Planning report.

The Planning and Land Use Management Committee last discussed a proposed ordinance on home sharing in June, when it heard several hours of testimony from public speakers and also asked for a number of reports from city staff.

So many people showed up at the meeting an overflow area was set up outside on City Hall’s south lawn with an audio feed directly into the council chamber so that more people could voice their opinion.

The city does not have an ordinance regulating Airbnb, which connects travelers with hosts looking to rent out their home or a bedroom in their home, but struck a deal with the company last year for it to pay hotel taxes on behalf of its hosts under a three-year agreement, even though short-term rentals are illegal in many residential neighborhoods.

Among the most controversial parts of the proposed ordinance is limiting the number of rental days per host to 180 days a year. Other cities have enacted short-term rental limitations, with Santa Monica limiting them to 60 days and San Francisco limiting them to 90 days.

Los Angeles projects it could collect over $33 million in taxes from Airbnb for the upcoming fiscal year, and has banked on the number in its approved budget, but the company has warned that capping rental days would significantly cut into that number.

Many speakers at the last meeting told the committee that limiting the number of rental days could severely impact their finances or even their ability to keep paying their mortgage.

While Airbnb is fighting the 180-day ordinance, the city has been receiving pressure from other groups to pass a more stringent one. In March, a group that included representatives of the Venice Community Housing Corporation, the Coalition for Economic Survival and the California Hotel & Lodging Association called on the city to limit rentals to 60 days because it said Airbnb is helping create a housing shortage for L.A. residents.

At the June meeting, the committee asked the Department of City Planning to produce an analysis of the current state of short-term rentals in the city, best practices with other cities and provide answers to other related questions.

According to the department’s report, there are approximately 23,000 unique short-term-rental listings within Los Angeles. Of these 23,000 active unique listings, approximately 15,900 are “entire home” listings, of which there are a total of 11,400 renting for more than 90 days in the last year, with about 6,600 rented for more than 180 days.

This total represents “a relatively small portion of the 1.45 million total housing units in the city,” the report found, but added that the “fast growth of the practice and its concentration in certain neighborhoods threatens housing availability, affordability and residential stability of an increasing number of communities throughout Los Angeles.”

https://patch.com/california/northridge/s/g9hzh/la-considers-controversial-airbnb-regulations