PLATKIN ON PLANNING-Vince Bertoni, the new Director of Planning, has only been on the job a few weeks, but the ball is already in his court. No one predicted that the Mayor would have told his processor, Michael LoGrande, to clear off his desk, and the Mayor’s reasons have not yet been made public. 

PLANNING EVELUTION IN HIGH GEAR--I continue to be overwhelmed and amazed by the audacity and brazenness of our City leaders--not all of them, but most of them.  And their enablers (who are frightfully laden with financial conflict of interest) in the "environmental" and "affordable housing" communities ... while the true community leaders, who are liberal and compromising get effectively told to "shut up and take it, because we're smarter than you". 

LA SKID ROW- Folks across the City of Los Angeles are now waiting for instructions on how to properly process all the recent political activity connected to homelessness these past few months. Well wait no longer. I’m pushing your guidance button now. (Adding machine sound effect here.) 

ANIMAL WATCH-After a rocky ride through Congress since 2013, Amtrak has finally announced, “Rover, Come On Over. Pets Welcome Aboard Amtrak.” The ‘Pets-on-Trains’ program is now permanent and allows Amtrak riders to travel with their cat or small dog to more than 500 destinations nationwide, including Los Angeles – Union Station, Pomona, Ontario and Palm Springs, CA. 

DEEGAN ON LA-Wealth creation for developers is directly related to how land is used. Their road to that wealth can be greatly helped by the independent zoning decisions made by our politicos, the 15 members of the LA City Council through a process called “spot zoning” and/or “variances” – actions that allow developers to skirt zoning regulations.

NEW GEOGRAPHY--California may be the country’s most important and influential state for technology, culture and lifestyle, but has become something of a cipher in terms of providing national political leaders. Not one California politician entered the 2016 presidential race in either party and, looking over the landscape, it’s difficult to see even a potential contender emerging over the coming decade.

GETTING THERE FROM HERE--Last week, members of the City of Los Angeles Joint Committee of Public Works and Gang Reduction and Budget and Finance Committee submitted a letter to the City Council with their policy proposals for the City of Los Angeles Sidewalk Program.  Read the complete letter here. 

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