How a new California law could kill a 30-year-old rule that slowed development in Los Angeles


By: Liam Dillon


Thirty years ago, a neighborhood association in Westwood won a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles over the approval of a 26-story office tower. The project, the group convinced an appellate court, shouldn’t have been permitted without an in-depth environmental review, even though the city said the building had met all its codes and requirements.

Ever since that landmark case, most every housing development in Los Angeles with 50 or more units has undergone a full environmental analysis — no matter whether the city’s zoning would otherwise allow the effort to go forward.

Now, that’s likely to change. The author of a new state law says it will eliminate Los Angeles’ rule.

“It would go away,” said state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco).

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