You don’t own your neighborhood, developers do

If you think you have a say about anything in your community you’re horribly mistaken. Developers more than ever, have come to dominate California communities.

Just ask Mayor Garcetti.

As the city of Los Angeles sets its sights on increased density to accommodate our ever-growing population, a proposed five-story apartment complex at the top of the block — where Gateway, Pico and Exposition boulevards converge — has many nearby homeowners worried that the character of their peaceful, low-slung neighborhood will be lost in the shadow of a looming apartment complex.

They are particularly upset because the city has given the developer — at no cost — a 100-foot alley that divides the land into two separate parcels. If the alley were kept intact, the project would be doomed. Or dramatically scaled back.

A half-dozen family- and immigrant-owned businesses, including Big O Tires and the Mexican restaurant Tacomiendo, will be displaced from a strip mall called Gateway Center to make way for the 129-unit, five-story residential complex when their leases expire.

None has been able to find suitable replacement space on the Westside. Rents, as the man once said, are too damn high.

Is this a life-and-death issue?

Of course not.

It’s merely a symptom of the intentional transformation of Los Angeles from a spread out, car-dependent collection of neighborhoods to a more crowded, taller megalopolis where you can get around by using public transit and your bike. Whether you like it or not.

Source: LA Times

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