L.A. City Council member Mitch Englander essentially said in a council meeting on August 8 that the land use appeal fees should be raised to silence City Hall’s critics. Translation: Homeowners, tenants, homeowner groups, activist and citizens wanting to appeal any land use will pay big time – in fact, be punished!
CALL MAYOR GARCETTI AND COUNCIL MEMBER MITCH ENGLANDER’S OFFICE TODAY AND DEMAND THEY NOT INCREASE LAND USE APPEAL FEES.
This proposal is being carried out by Richard Llewellyn, Eric Garcetti’s Mayoral Office attorney, who is currently serving as “Interim CAO” – tracing this fee increase proposal right back to the Mayor himself.
Thanks to Dan Wright, of the famed Robert Silverstein environmental law firm, we have been dutifully informed of City Hall’s scheming. He reminds us that this harkens right back to 2009, when the City of Los Angeles tried to do the same thing but failed because of swift and fierce citizen action!
WE MUST STOP THEM AGAIN!
Once again, we must stop the extremely monied interests rigging the system to squelch anyone who would dare ask City Hall to comply with its own laws or comply with such concepts as constitutional due process.
The CAO’s report claims that it costs $13,000 to respond to a land use appeal. How many people can afford $13,000 to protect their property or tenant interests? The Planning Department is proposing a 2% cost recovery of $271 per appeal. The city is proposing full cost recovery! The council is free to go with the city.
Call today: MITCH ENGLANDER: 213-473-7012 and MAYOR GARCETTI: 213-978-0600.
Consider: With City Hall’s planning surcharges, the appeal fee would go to over $350 per appeal. In hillside communities where multiple house projects can be proposed on contiguous lots, one level of appeal for five house projects (5 X $350) would cost half of the annual budget of some homeowner groups.
In addition, such a high fee further puts working-class residents, who are facing displacement and gentrification pressures across L.A. due to luxury housing mega-projects, at a disadvantage when fighting deep-pocketed developers.
Wright suggests: “If the city is too ‘poor’ to subsidize the cost of processing a land use appeal, should some of us suggest that development fees on developers who trigger the need to appeal ought to cross-subsidize the cost of appeal processing? Richard Llewellyn and Mayor Garcetti have not suggested or considered this concept.”
Listen to the audio and read the PLUM Committee agenda under “Item 2”:
Fortunately, the appeal fee and Mills Act fee increases were held over to next week’s PLUM Committee meeting on August 15, 2017 at 2:30 pm. Mark your calendars and rally as many as possible to the PLUM Committee next week.
Call today and help Council member Englander understand the issues — since he clearly appears headed toward taking City Hall in an unlawful direction. Please forward to anyone you know in his district.
MITCH ENGLANDER: 213-473-7012 and MAYOR GARCETTI: 213-978-0600.
Coalition to Preserve LA