The AIA|LA ADVOCACY REPORT
January 27, 2012
from the desk of Will Wright , Hon. AIA|LA
Director, Government & Public Affairs
This report is written in effort to keep the AIA|LA membership updated on the various efforts I've been involved with on behalf of the organization. It's a call to action to inspire more architects to provide the leadership to improve the built environment.
+ The AIA|LA Mayoral Candidates Forums
With the support of Christopher Hawthorne, Bill Roschen, Tanner Blackman, Stuart Magruder, Jim Favaro and Chava Danielson, I've coordinated a series of forums with prospective mayoral candidates. The AIA|LA Board and membership is encouraged to attend each session and to help shape the discussion. We've collated a set of questions to get the conversation flowing. [See attached]
For more information on each forum and to register, please CLICK HERE.
+ The Hollywood Community Plan
On Wednesday, January 18th, with support from the AIA|LA Urban Design Committee, I coordinated a community roundtable discussion about the proposed Hollywood Community Plan. City Planner Kevin Keller shared a brief presentation to a group of architects, urban designers and community members. The forum served as an opportunity to vet various community concerns so that more emphasis could be directed towards key urban design issues such as better pedestrian access and safety, enhanced design and economic vitality.
The Hollywood Community Plan will be calendared at an upcoming LA City Council Planning & Land Use Management committee meeting. As soon as I have a date, I will keep the AIA|LA community updated.
+ S.C.A.G.'s Regional Transportation Plan
On Tuesday, January 26th, with the support of Gwynne Pugh and John Kaliski, I coordinated a roundtable discussion about how AIA|LA can most effectively provide specific recommendations to help improve SCAG's Regional Transportation Plan. The Task Force devised a framework for how AIA|LA provide comments and at the same time expand the role of the architect in the ongoing discussion about the future of our region's transportation system. Public comments to SCAG are due by February 14, 2012
+ CEQA Reform
Over the past several months, along with Mark Christian, I've been coordinating a series of conference calls with various land-use experts about ideas for how to reform CEQA to streamline urban infill development. This has led to strengthening the connection between AIA|CC and the Governor's Office of Planning & Research. On January 25th, the Governor released his draft performance guidelines for what types of urban infill projects will may qualify under SB 226 (Simitian) for streamlined review. The deadline for comments on this draft is February 24, 2012. Comments can be e-mailed to CEQA.Guidelines@ceres.ca.gov and public workshops will be held in early February 2012.
+ The Mayor's Budget Survey
In effort to help shape the direction of the City, I encourage more architects and designers to participate in the Mayor's Budget Survey so that we're able to help influence the city's priorities. What should our core services be?
+ The City Controller's Business and City Improvement Survey
Similarly, City Controller Wendy Greuel has issued a survey to solicit input so that she can develop a comprehensive evaluation of city services. As architects and designers, your opinion matters - your voice can help shape the response that will be needed to improve the performance and efficiency of city government.
+ Development Reform with LADBS and Department of City Planning (DCP)
For the past year, along with representatives of the Building Industry Association (BIA), we've been meeting quarterly with Bud Ovrom and Michael LoGrande to identify key points to help streamline the process to obtain planning and building permits. Both Stuart Magruder and Scott Johnson participated in the most recent session we held on Monday, January 23rd. These quarterly meetings are also opportunities to hear various initiatives being led by the Department of City Planning and LADBS that need the support of AIA|LA (such encouraging City Council to invest in an updated zoning code).
+ Building Code Interpretation with LADBS
With the support of AIA|LA Building Performance & Regulations co-chairs Mark Savel and Rhoden Skyles, I've been coordinating a quarterly series of meetings directly with LADBS management to answer specific member-driven code interpretation questions. Our most recent meeting was on Thursday, January 26th and numerous questions were addressed. [see attached]. If you have specific questions about the building code, or if you find a building inspector or plan checker to be interpreting the build code differently than you are, then please submit your specific question in writing to me and I will make sure it is added to the agenda for the next meeting, which will be on Thursday, April 26 (7:30am).
+ The Political Outreach Committee
Under the leadership of Jim Favaro and Roger Sherman, we recently met with Deputy Mayor Matt Karatz' office to refine a proposal to create a Design Excellence Program for the City of Los Angeles. Our next meeting with Deputy Mayor Karatz is scheduled for March 13th (10am). Between now and then, the POC will be working to further refine their proposal. If you'd like to contribute to helping shape this proposal, please join us at our next POC meeting on Tuesday, February 14th - Valentine's Day!
+ The Moral Ordinance
For the past several months, I've been attending various working group meetings with City Planner Tanner Blackman as he collects input from the public to help shape the draft of the citywide MURAL ORDINANCE. I encourage architects and designers to lend support to the process by submitting comments directly to Tanner Blackman at tanner.blackman[@]lacity.org - Deadline for public comments is Wednesday, February 8, 2012.
+ Updating the City of Los Angeles Zoning Code
As you may recall, in 2011 as part of our annual AIA|LA Legislative Day at City Hall, we called on our Councilmembers to INVEST IN UPDATED ZONING CODE. Now is the time to provide the support to help push this agenda forward. On Wednesday, February 15th, the AIA|LA Urban Design Committee will be hosting a presentation by City Planners Erick Lopez and David Olivo about their proposed plan to initiate a comprehensive zoning code revision. This early discussion will serve as an excellent opportunity for AIA|LA to help shape that proposal.
For 2012, in my capacity as the Public Affairs Director for AIA|LA, I am involved with the following efforts:
+ The LA County BizFed Board of Directors - along with Leron Gubler of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, I am serving as the co-chair of the Polling & Research Committee
+ ClimatePlan - serving on the Steering Committee to develop their Strategic Plan
+ BOMA-PAC - Public Member of the Board
+ Mobility 21 - member of the 2012 Steering Committee
+ 2012 Rail-Volution - member of the Steering Committee
+ City of Los Angeles Mobility & Circulation Element - member of the Public Outreach Task Force
+ Fifty Years of Historic Preservation in Los Angeles - member of the Exhibition and Reception Committee
For more information, please contact: