“Next week, the South Los Angeles Area Planning Commission will consider an appeal of Buckingham Crossing, a proposed small lot subdivision near the Expo Line.

The proposed development from Charles Yzaguirre, which would replace a single-family home at 4011 Exposition Boulevard, calls for the construction of four small lot homes.  The houses would each stand four stories in height, featuring three bedrooms, two-car garages, and roof decks.

Los Angeles-based architecture firm Formation Association is designing the project, which is portrayed as a collection of boxy low-rise structures in conceptual renderings.

The appeal, which was filed by residents of a neighboring home, argues that the project does not comply with the City of Los Angeles’ Small Lot Subdivision guidelines, and have bolstered their case with a petition signed by nearby residents, as well as a letter of opposition signed by City Council President Herb Wesson, who represents the neighborhood. 

However, a staff response notes that the project was filed with the Planning Department before the new regulations were adopted, and are thus not subject to them.  The staff report also rejects claims that the four proposed homes would increase traffic congestion and create a “‘wind tunnel’ spreading toxins” through the passing of Expo Line trains.”-Urbanize LA


As this blog has shown, many times, we live in a city of homelessness for those who cannot afford a home, or are too sick to attend to the normalcy of paying rent.

At the same time, the dire need for housing continues to be opposed by vast segments of the city who will take any proposed multi-family dwelling, even one as small as four stories, and attach some fear-mongering lawsuit against it.

The condition of Los Angeles in 2018 is comedic in its insanity, with ostriches of all sorts screaming about “overdevelopment” inside the second largest city in the United States, a spread out sprawl of parking lots and shopping centers where residents complain about lack of space, lack of parking, and too much traffic. Yet lack the political and moral will to remedy an ongoing tragedy.

These same NIMBYs oppose even the tiniest increase in density, along light rail lines and public transport, refusing to allow the city to progress economically and logistically, and also, quite cruelly and callously, perpetuating the expensiveness of all housing, by limiting its supply.

One-hundred years ago, Los Angeles was a much more modern and progressive city than today, a place where tall apartments were welcomed, possibly because they looked aristocratic, well-proportioned, and they brought economic growth and well regarded architecture to a growing city starved for development.  They wore their best European tailoring, even if they were overdressed, because they had pride and self-worth and a city which respected those qualities.

By contrast, many of today’s multi-family dwellings are self-effacing, timid, obsequious, broken up into many little pieces to ward off attackers, erased of any individuality or identity.  So even when the architects surrender to the bullies, that cannot mollify the attackers. The NIMBY mob wants the city to stay exactly as it is, even if that means that 100,000 people sleep on the sidewalk every single night.

Imagine the screaming in Encino or Palms or West Adams if anybody proposed the old styles seen below next to any existing single family homes. (source: LAPL)

Chateau Elysee

2 thoughts on “The Insane Present

  1. A few thoughts.

    First, the administrative and legal friction associated with building anything anywhere doesn’t stop things from being built. It simply jacks up the price and length of time required to move forward.

    Second, since it’s going to take years to extract a permit from the authorities, involve serious impact fees, and include endless litigation for any project to get built, the current environment preferentially induces mega projects. It’s simply easier for a large firm with deep pockets and an army of middlemen and fixers to negotiate the process compared to little four unit mom and pop infill jobs.

    Third, we’re rapidly approaching a cultural tipping point where things will change – but not necessarily in any of the ways people might want or expect. Failure ultimately fixes itself. I say let things fail.


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