The upcoming January 13 meeting is a meeting of the Deputy Advisory Agency (“DAA”) of the Los Angeles Planning Department, which comprises Planning Department staff. The DAA will make a recommendation on whether the Reese-Davidson Community qualifies for an exemption from environmental review under state law A.B. 1197. It will also make certain findings as to whether it is proper to combine the 40 or so existing lots at the proposed building site into two parcels for purposes of construction. The required findings largely involve environmental impacts and impacts on public safety.
In addition, a “hearing officer” from the Planning Commission will take preliminary public comment on whether it is appropriate to exempt the proposed zone change for the building site from environmental review under A.B. 1197 and various other issues.
Once the DAA makes its findings and recommendations with respect to environmental review and lot consolidation, there will be hearings before the Planning Commission, the Planning and Land Use Management Committee of the City Council, and then the City Council itself. We will provide information on those hearings as it becomes available and estimate the City approval process will take approximately four months in total. The project will then go before the California Coastal Commission.
All of the foregoing bodies will rubber stamp the project, applaud the developers and, in some cases, make unfounded personal attacks on those in opposition.
In our view, however, there are numerous unlawful aspects to both the project and the review process and it is, therefore, essential that Venice residents participate actively in the approval process, to build a factual record and preserve as many rights as possible for litigation.