CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 11, 1990
In his op-ed article "Transit Options Must Deal With Real World" (Feb. 26), Bruce Nestande said that Orange County can't have fixed-corridor mass transit because its density is too low. His only suggestions are to improve the bus system and create more commuter lanes. This is not very creative, and judging by current usage, it also won't be very successful. In reality, higher-density development is needed only at the destination point for a monorail-type system to work. The origination point is unimportant: People can drive a mile to a collection point, park their cars and get on a monorail as long as it drops them off within walking distance of where they want to go. Do we have enough "density of destinations" to justify a monorail?
July 6, 1986
Councilman Marvin Braude and Zev Yaroslavsky have qualified a ballot initiative designed to reduce density and size of new commercial structures in the city of Los Angeles. Present density is three times the buildable area of a lot. The initiative proposes that such density be reduced to 1 1/2 times. Should this initiative become law, the most gifted architects might find it impossible to design a building with adequate rental space, potential rental income and adequate provisions for parking to meet requirements of three spaces for every 1,000 square feet of building improvement.
November 1, 1987
It may have been an accidental misprint, but a statement attributed to me seriously jeopardized the political aspirations of several candidates running for City Council in Hermosa Beach. The following statement was made by the Los Angeles Times in an article printed Oct. 25. "Planning Director Michael Schubach said the council and the commission approved the higher density in all but one case." This statement is incorrect. The City Council lowered the density in all but one case.
October 12, 1990
Re "You Call This Architecture?" (Oct. 8): Leon Whiteson must surely realize that architecture reflects the culture it was created for, so it should not come as a shock that the majority of buildings in Southern California exhibit image over substance. Buckminster Fuller said many years ago that the developer arranges financing, does market research, plans for maximum parking, establishes allowable density, investigates cost and structural options and, finally, hires an architect to decorate the box. Perhaps that's not completely accurate, but it seems we are getting more than our share of decorated boxes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 12, 1999
Re "Higher Density Zoning," Ventura County letters, Sept. 5. Kathy Heiberg's characterization of the Sustainability Council of Ventura County as a "wolf in sheep's clothing" for advocating higher density zoning seems as unfair as it is incorrect. The Sustainability Council does not advocate higher density development but promotes sustainable solutions to contemporary problems. Given an increasing population and constraints to suburban sprawl under Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources (SOAR)
December 14, 2005
Joel Kotkin criticizes Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for re-imagining Los Angeles (Opinion, Dec. 13). Kotkin says that Angelenos want to live in a place more like Manhattan Beach than Manhattan. Kotkin is fixated on the wrong coast. Manhattan Beach has a greater population density (8,607 people per square mile) than L.A. (7,877). Backyards (if any) are like postage stamps. Why does this density work? Because Manhattan Beach's 19th century planners had Villaraigosa's 21st century views.