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Elbow room in Los Angeles

March 21, 2008

Re "Zev tours growth areas in a fury," column, March 19

Thanks for Steve Lopez's wild tour with L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. In our neighborhood, we're asking the same kinds of questions about development. Will we be at maximum density when we all bump heads picking up our morning paper?

In our case, a developer purchased nearly an entire block of homes and has a large condo project underway. So is that enough density on one block? Apparently not in the eyes of city planners, as they're now considering allowing the same developer to do a similar condo project on our side of the Monopoly board too.

When I asked a city department if the project required a traffic plan, I was told, "Nope, the project's too small." Interesting to note that the developer says he's buying into the area because of its charm. Too bad he's planning to tear it all down.

Keith Johnson

Los Angeles

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If only Lopez and Yaroslavsky had driven south to Marina del Rey, they would have found large lessee-developer footprints all over the marina. Heard of mansionization? Now we have yacht- ification, as small-boat slips are reduced by 50% and those that remain have greatly increased fee hikes. A 19-story hotel in a residential neighborhood is projected, as well as an extended-stay hotel on the long-neglected Mothers Beach. The rents in the marina have already zoomed to $2,500 in older buildings; the recently completed new buildings can't find renters. I wonder why.

Residents and boaters have been working against this insanely excessive development for years. The Coastal Commission has listened and ruled accordingly, but the fact that its report is very slow to be published allows the lessee-developers and the supervisors to hurry plans and approvals, swallowing up parking lots, views and boat-slips. A very old local coastal plan has not been amended; a new master plan has not been provided. The process is undemocratic because the Planning Commission and the Small Craft and Harbors Commission are all appointed by the county supervisors.

Lynne Shapiro

Marina del Rey

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