What to Make of Measure S

As most of you know, Angelenos will be hitting the polls this Tuesday, March 7th. There has been a lot of talk about Measure S and a lot of confusion about it. Essentially, the measure calls for a two-year moratorium on development requiring an amendment to the city's general plan which backers say are out of date and have too many loops holes.

Proponents say the city's general plans need updating and they should halt development until they can be overhauled. I'm all for updating the city's general plans and cutting out loopholes. That is something we can all agree on, but Measure S would not necessarly stop by-right projects nor any project not requiring a General Plan Amendment (GPA) or Zone Change. In addition, there have been multiple attempts by the city to update these plans in the past, with the most recent changes being in 2012, but these changes were overturned in 2013 following a lawsuit filed by the same backers of Measure S. 

Opponents are concerned Measure S will exacerbate the already unsustainalbe housing shortage. Rents and home prices are already at record highs and halting development will only make things worse.  According to one recent study, the housing stock in the L.A. metro area grew by only 20% between 1980 and 2010, compared with 54% in the typical U.S. metro area.

It is estimated that the city’s population eclipsed 4 million for the first time in its history in 2016.  This puts the city on pace to grow more between 2010 and 2020 than it did in the previous two decades combined. In order to accommodate all those new residents, the city must build new housing.

I'm concerned Measure S will exacerbate much of what it claims to solve — increasing homelessness and evictions, driving rents higher, shifting development pressures into lower-density communities and destroying jobs along the way.

For further reading, please take a look at the articles below.

Making sense of Measure S, the latest battle in L.A.'s long war over development

Measure S: 8 things to know about LA’s anti-development ballot measure