Subject: United Neighbors Update – Feb 1, 2024

Hi All,

A quick update:

Housing Element: Yes, R1 is exempt!

We met yesterday with the Deputy Director of Citywide Policy Planning, Director of Planning Policy and Deputy Mayor of Housing and they have confirmed that the Housing Element maps will now be released in February and that R1 zones (single family) are exempt from any overlays or rezoning.  They gave all of us at United Neighbors credit for making our collective, community voices heard loud and clear.  

When the revised maps are released, we should all meet again and discuss any issues that we need to take back to Planning during the comment period.

At our meeting we were told that our community maps were shared with Planning and the Mayor. All were very impressed by the willingness of so many communities to engage in finding solutions and how impressive those solutions were. 

The Community Plan Updates 

This will be the next area we need to focus on because rezoning and overlays in your community will happen during this process. The Community Plans are how the city moves from the 30,000 ft view of the city (Housing Element) to the ground view (The Community Plan Updates).  Make sure you become active participants in this process. Many of you will not see your Community Plans for some time but reach out to your Planning team and ask for periodic updates. We know that those of you that have your Community Plans are not necessarily pleased with the type of engagement you are having with your planning team. We discussed this in our meeting yesterday.  They seemed very aware of the issue. The knowledge we have of our communities and the solutions we have identified should lead to good planning. We would like to continue to work together and have periodic check-ins so we can use our collective voices to help each other.

ED 1 (Executive Directive 1 streamlines process for 100% Affordable housing)

The mayor’s office is working on the ordinance that will make ED 1 permanent.  This directive was introduced quickly with few guidelines/restrictions that would prevent harm to communities.  We met yesterday with the mayor’s ED 1point person and discussed guidelines we felt were needed based on feedback we have received from many of you with ED 1 projects in your communities.  Our meeting was productive, positive and ongoing. Here are some preliminary discussion points we are having: trying to limit waivers to 6 (many of these proposed projects ask for as many as 11 waivers), working to exempt R2 along with R1 and HPOZs, trying to get larger rear setbacks to offer greater buffer to residential neighborhoods and offer the ability to plant trees and we are trying to prevent the conversion of units or spaces to market rate units after approvals are granted.  We are discussing other issues for consideration as well. We will keep you in the loop. State laws play a big role in what can and can’t be done.  But we will keep pushing for fair outcomes.

We feel we have developed a good working relationship with senior Planning Deputy Directors and Deputy Mayors. Hopefully, we will all continue to communicate freely among ourselves. We need to stay a group that the City sees as reasonable, influential and solution oriented.   As many of you might have seen in the LA Times today, there will always be groups that want to go after single-family neighborhoods for no rational reason.  The City is working with us but there are a lot of countering voices out there that get their attention too. Let’s keep fighting the good fight.


Maria, Cindy, Jeff, Marc