Thursday, March 31, 2011

AIA|LA POC : STATUS UPDATE -- March 31, 2011

Dear AIA|LA Political Outreach Committee:

In effort to keep you all in the loop on some recent initiatives I've been involved with, I wanted to share the following updates:


1.  The proposed draft of the Sign Ordinance - SEE ATTACHED.  On Tuesday, I attended a meeting coordinated by the Department of City Planning to discuss the latest revision to the City's Sign Ordinance.  As many of you know, this effort had stalled at City Council, went back to PLUM in effort to develop a consensus ordinance affecting off-site signs only (removing the on-site aspects of the previous draft) and is now expected to be back at PLUM in late April, early May.

Therefore, if POC is interested, we have a chance to provide a review and share comments with PLUM.  From my assessment, the ordinance is a pretty fair indication of what will work well for the City of LA, the community and the architecture profession. The only outstanding item that I think we can be helpful with is in the formulation of criteria for what may constitute as a SIGN DISTRICT.

Presently, the proposed ordinance defines the minimum threshold at 5,000 linear feet  of street frontage or 15 acres in area.  At one point in time, POC advocated for an additional threshold to accommodate vertical development - at 1,000,000 sq. ft. - this number later revised to 750,000 sq. feet per Board debate.

Therefore, please let me know if the POC is in favor of advocating for this third threshold, or if 5,000 or 15 acres is reasonably defining.

Additionally, in my assessment, one of the public benefits provided by a proposed Sign District is the establishment of a SIGN IMPACT AREA.  Instead of the proposed 1 to 1 ratio, would the POC like to see us advocate for a 2 to 1 or even a 3 to 1 ratio - which would mean that for every NEW sign added in a sign district that instead of ONE sign having to be removed in the Sign Impact Area (as currently proposed), that we'd like to see TWO or even THREE signs removed in the sign impact area for every ONE new sign constructed in the Sign District??? 


2. Multiple Approvals Procedural Revisions - Zoning Code refinements. Late last week, on behalf of AIA|LA, I attending the public hearing on the latest efforts of DCP to simplify the zoning code.  The presentation that they developed to convey the latest changes is quite helpful.  SEE ATTACHED.  I will be drafting a letter of support for POC and Board review prior to when it will be at the Planning Commission on May 12th.


3. California Infill Builders Association - CEQA Reform.  Today, March 31, on behalf of AIA|LA I will be participating in a workshop coordinated by the CIBA to discuss opportunities for CEQA Reform, especially with regards to urban infill and SB 375.  I will update you after the meeting on the results.


4.  The next POC meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 12 (6pm) at MDA Johnson Favaro.  Deputy City Engineer, Deborah Weintraub, AIA will be sharing a status update with us regarding the City's progress with a draft motion to facilitate alternative project delivery.

AIA|LA Political Outreach Committee Meeting...
Tuesday, April 12 (6:00pm)
MDA Johnson Favaro

Please feel free to give me a call with any questions.

All best,

Will Wright 

Revised Sign Ordinance March, 2011.pdf Download this file

MultipleApprovals_March23staffhearing.pdf Download this file

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