During a recent AIA|LA Board meeting, many Directors referenced the need to have architects further vet pending legislative matters at City Hall that impact the built environment and the architecture profession directly.
Therefore, in effort to provide that forum as effectively as possible, I am coordinating a bi-weekly design advocacy conference call, which will commence this week.
Your participation is encouraged. And your time will be highly respected! We will make strides to complete the conference call within 30 minutes.
AIA|LA Design Advocacy Conference Call
Friday, May 6 (12:00 - 12:30pm)
Call in #: 1.702.851.4044
Access Code#: 3780800
Agenda - to discuss:
1. The proposed City of LA Modified Parking Requirement Districts Ordinance = http://cityplanning.lacity.org/Code_Studies/Misc/ModifiedParkingRequirements.pdf
2. The proposed City of LA Sign Ordinance = (SEE ATTACHED)
Please review the ordinances in advance and prepare to discuss on Friday, May 6th.
1. The proposed City of LA Modified Parking Requirement Districts Ordinance
The currently proposed draft of the MPRD ordinance needs to receive an wide array of community and professional endorsement. At present, there is much misunderstanding from the community-at-large, and this ordinance will benefit from the explicit support of AIA|LA.
The proposed "Modified Parking Requirement District" ordinance will provide for some much-needed flexibility with regards to parking requirements through-out the City of Los Angeles. As we are all well-aware, excessive or mis-aligned parking requirements often impair our ability to have a vibrant, sustainable and healthy city.
The MPRD ordinance will enable greater flexibility so that specific areas of the city can benefit with a more custom-tailored approach to parking regulations.
In my opinion, excessive parking requirements:
1. prevent sustainable urban in-fill,
2. drive-up the cost of housing and development in general,
3. spread thin our neighborhood-serving public amenities, (if you have to walk past a parking lot, then you're walking past a missed-opportunity for it to be something worth walking to!)
4. encourage excessive driving by making it too easy to find parking,
5. contribute to environmental degradation,
6. increase the heat-island effect,7. and further propel pollutants into our rivers and oceans.
2. The proposed City of LA Sign Ordinance
As many of you may already know, the previous effort to revise the City's sign ordinance stalled at City Council, and 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). The consensus ordinance was developed by City Planning with input from community-activists and business-interests both and at present represents a compromise that both groups have agreed will work well for their interests.
In my opinion, this consensus ordinance should receive the support of the AIA|LA.
The only outstanding item that I think we can be helpful with is in the formulation of criteria for what constitutes a SIGN DISTRICT.
Presently, the proposed ordinance defines the minimum threshold of a proposed sign district at 5,000 linear feet of street frontage or 15 acres in area. At one point in time, AIA|LA advocated for an additional threshold to accommodate vertical development at 1,000,000 sq. ft., which number was later revised down to 750,000 sq. feet per Board debate.
Therefore, please let me know if the AIA|LA Board is in favor of advocating for this third threshold, or if 5,000 and/or 15 acres is already 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 AIA|LA Board 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?
Why the Bi-weekly Friday lunchtime design advocacy conference call?
In addition to the monthly POC meetings, where many of these issues are discussed firsthand by the committee on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, the AIA|LA Board expressed interest in an additional forum upon which Board Directors and AIA|LA members could vet critical issues and recommend positions to be adopted by the AIA|LA Board.
The bi-weekly conference calls will allow AIA|LA to move quickly on specific issues.
The objective of the conference calls will be to instruct the drafting of position letter, which will then be advanced to the AIA|LA Board's Executive Committee for their final vote of approval.
Once again, your participation is highly encouraged and most appreciated.
Thank you in advance.
Very truly yours,