The Southern California Planning Congress
invites you to our
ANNUAL HOLIDAY MIXER
Thursday, December 15, 2011 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant
(Consistently voted a Downtown News happy hour best)
At 4th and Hope
Adjacent to 400 S. Hope Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Three hours free self-parking, with validation at the US Bank Tower. Enter parking from Hope Place
Always Drink Responsibly
Please email us with your name and the name of any guests by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday December 13th, at
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Southern California Planning Congress Event – November 2011
“The Future of Union Station:
Who’s On Board and Where Are They Going?”
The event began with a meet-and-greet in the Champagne Room at Taix French restaurant on Sunset Boulevard, before the presentation on the Union Station project.
SCPC President, Dr. Julianna Delgado, opened the program by welcoming everyone in attendance and following dinner, introduced the evening’s speaker, Mr. Calvin Hollis, Executive Officer of Countywide Planning and Development for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)
Mr. Hollis is one of the state’s leading authorities on redevelopment financing and has influenced successful public/private urban investment throughout California.
After the presentation SCPC Vice President for Programs, Bob Fazio, provided some closing comments.
From the presentation, we learned about the scope of the forthcoming Union Station Master Plan and its focus on preserving the historic Union Station facility with additional focus on infill and reuse within designated parcels on the site. Metro recently purchased Union Station from its former owner, Catellus, the real estate arm of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. Metro now owns the historic buildings, the Metro Headquarters building, all of the planned development pads, and the railroad tracks from the platforms to the Los Angeles River. Reuse of the adjacent former Denny’s restaurant parcel is also within the planning area.
Ever wonder why the Metro Headquarters parking garage is so difficult to navigate? Two development pads are located on top and the internal walls and columns were designed to support future buildings.
Mr. Hollis stressed that regarding future development plans, nothing is set in stone and nothing is “off the table,”with one firm exception, and that is the preservation of Union Station itself . Another item that needs to be considered is access by a future California High Speed Rail line. The Plan would not necessarily rely on this project but it must facilitate a direct connection. Other station improvements could include two-way rail access or a second level of platforms. Union Station was not designed to handle multimodal transportation, nor was it designed to handle the current high level of pedestrian traffic resulting from an expanded regional transportation network.
Progress on the project can be followed through the Metro Union Station project web site at:
In early December, a nationally organized Urban Land Institute Advisory Services Panel will convene to provide strategic advice regarding land use and planning policies for the area immediately surrounding Union Station and the master plan site. For more information, please visit the Urban Land Institute Union Station web page at:
Southern California Planning Congress Event – April 2011
2011 Legislative Update
Related links to the two items summarized below:
Before the meeting agenda began, our Boardmembers and attendees settled into the quaint Burgundy Room at Taix Restaurant in Los Angeles.
After the opening mixer, we began the event with a presentation by Andre Parvenu, who is with the City of Los Angeles Planning Department and is also a Commissioner for the California State Citizen’s Redistricting Commission. Mr. Parvenu provided an overview of the Commission makeup, its functions, and the complexities involved in the balancing of districts.
Every 10 years, after the federal census, California and every state in the country must redraw the boundaries of its legislative and other political districts to reflect the new population data. When voters passed Proposition 11 (the Voters FIRST Act) in the November 2008 general election, responsibility for redrawing the legislative and Board of Equalization district lines transferred to the people in the form of a new Citizens Redistricting Commission. In November 2010, voters passed Proposition 20 (the Voters FIRST Act for Congress), adding to the responsibilities of the Citizens Redistricting Commission the task of adjusting the boundary lines for the Congressional Districts as well. California’s first Citizens Redistricting Commission is a new 14-member Commission charged with redrawing California’s Senate, Assembly, State Board of Equalization, and now Congressional Districts based on information gathered during the 2010 census. The Commission must draw the State Senate, Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts.
The Commission’s web site can be accessed via this link.
The next item on the agenda was a presentation from David M. Snow, AICP and Diana H. Varat of the firm Richards | Watson | Gershon. This Legislative Update covered many state laws, initiatives, and court case developments critical to planning programs and projects. Some of the items that garnered the most discussion included the following:
- Guggenheim vs. City of Goleta – Rent control ordinances
- Sunnyvale West Neighborhood Association vs. City of Sunnyvale – Projected traffic conditions and baselines for environmental documents
- AB2406 (Blakeslee) – Formation of JPAs
The Legislative Update covered five items regarding housing, 13 items regarding zoning powers and state building codes, a Subdivision Map Act item, and four items regarding redevelopment. A summary of the update is provided within this PDF file.
Southern California Planning Congress Event – CleanTech (Feb 2011)
CleanTech Corridor and CleanTech LA
After a mixer with our attending Boardmembers and officers, our general membership attendees, and our friends Mr. Gaurav Srivastava, AICP and Mr. Michael Swords, we listened to the Cleantech Corridor presentation.
Our own Bob Fazio introduced the project, and the presentation team that he had brought together for that evening.
Mr. Srivastava is a Senior Associate with AECOM. He presented an overview of the urban design issues associated with the project, and the relationship to other CRA/LA redevelopment project areas, such as the Adelante/Eastside and Central Industrial and the relationship to the Cleantech LA business incubator project.
Mr. Swords is Executive Director of Strategic Research & Global Partnerships for UCLA. He presented the details of the partnership between UCLA, CRA/LA, USC, and other local institutions. He spoke of the Cleantech LA project, a planned rehab of an existing industrial building that would house a number of small business in an incubator style setup, as the seed for the corridor.
The environmental issues associated with the project, the details of the planned partnerships, the extents of the project in relationship to other planned revitalization projects, and the feasibility of the project economics, were discussed during a question and answer period.