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"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Margaret Mead

NO IMPACT??

                                        Impact: effect, influence, significance, meaning; consequences, repercussions, ramifications, reverberations.  

                                                  To have a strong and often bad effect on (something or someone)   merriam-webster

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For those of you who have no idea what NO IMPACT means or why it affects you, please keep reading. 

For those of you who understand and share the "shock and awe" of City Departments who consistently green-light unsuitable projects claiming 

"no significant environmental impact", you may wish to jump ahead.

We can all agree that when we are cold we do what we can to get warm.

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That when we are hungry, we eat.

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That for every action, there is a reaction.  Cause and effect.

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It was once said "our home is not something apart from the neighborhood.  The whole neighborhood, not just the house in which we live is our home. That if the neighborhood no longer seems a desirable place in which to live, our house to, will be undesirable".

 

It was also said "that whether or not a public servant believes in planning is fundamental.  We expect officials to be both honest and wise.  

But no official these days is wise who does not appreciate the value of planning."

CEQA

CEQA:   The California Environmental Quality Act, is a statute that requires state and local agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions and to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible.

If you would like to see an example report from the city, click the image below. 

Planners are required to provide substantial evidence as to how they came to their determination when reviewing a project.

 

We made multiple trips to the Planning Department to view a variety of case files (which are ALL public record) seeking out this documentation of evidence.   There was nothing.  No test results, no studies, no communication with environmental agencies...Yet one report after another concluded as having no impact.   How can this be?

 

More research led to the L.A. CEQA Thresholds Guide; Your Resource For Preparing CEQA Analysis in Los Angeles.

This 524 page document is a very clear description of each and every step one must take to complete a thorough report.

 

What we see on a regular basis in the case files is CE- CATEGORICAL EXEMPTIONS.

What's interesting about this document is the "Adopted July 31, 2002 - CF# 02-1507".  A Council File showing no documentation and no votes.   Some even question whether the city of Los Angeles even has jurisdiction to change the CEQA Guidelines in the first place.

Another good read: 

Guide To Understanding CEQA

IMPACT!

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The Planning Department believes that a new building accompanied by 20, 30, 50, 100 parking spaces, results in no impact.

IMPACT!

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The Planning Department believes that the construction of a building in an already well established community -- one that doubles, triples, quadruples the population in that area -- results in no impact on water resources...

MORE IMPACT!

To your right is a list of Council District 2 Land Use Entitlements from 2013, 2014 and 2015.  There is a glossary on the first page to help you understand what the abbreviations mean.  Each example has a link should you want to find out even more.

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To your right is a list of Council District 2 cases that were all Appealed and Denied by the South Valley Planning Commission with a supported decision to deny by Council Member Paul Krekorian.

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⟢    It may be good to know about the PUBLIC RESOURCES CODES    ⟣

⟢    It may be good to know about the CALIFORNIA GOVERNMENT CODES    ⟣

Seeing a few dozen State laws specifically implemented to avoid and minimize impact can be a good eye opener.

 

 

⟢    Did you know that residential developments are REQUIRED to pay a QUIMBY FEE ?    ⟣

The State Quimby Act is an ordinance requiring residential subdivision developers to pay impact fees to be used to purchase and develop land and/or recreational facilities to preserve open space and provide parks in the area they are building.   

Fees can only be spent, and land can  only be dedicated, within a service radius of one to two miles from the development that paid the fee.   

We see all of the development - so where are the parks and where is the money?

Take a look at the one and only report provided by RAP when requesting the answer to the above question. 

 

 

⟢    Did you know the city of Los Angeles has a DESIGN REVIEW BOARD ?    ⟣

"Design review boards should assist the City decision-makers, the community, private developers, property owners, and design professionals in implementing the design goals of communities contained within specific plan boundaries."

 

 

⟢    Did you know in 2010, six code amendments were discussed in a staff report known as the Zoning Code Update ?    

Page 4:  "For a variety of reasons, developers of most complex projects recently proposed have requested numerous entitlements.  The sheer volume of entitlements requested for these projects is one reason why case numbers often include, it seems, as many letters as there are in the alphabet."

Page 6:  "The zoning code does contain a truly expeditious procedure for considering requests that rarely generate controversy, are almost always approved, and, when approved, are almost never appealed."

 

 

⟢    Did you know you can view all kinds of DataSets in your neighborhood ?    ⟣

Zoning, Maps, Datasets, Charts, Planning, Building and Safety, Housing...You can even view the total water usage by zip code.

This can be useful at times.  However, if you have taken the time to review any of the above, you will see how the data will never be reliable or accurate.  Until the city addresses the reality of tremendous impact, the statistics will never reflect what we are all experiencing and are witness to.

 

 

⟢    Did you know you can view Demographic Statistical Information ?    ⟣

Although the most current data listed is from 2009, this was a great method organized by fiscal year with color coded charts allowing you to narrow down your selection by Single-Family Dwellings, Multi-Family Dwellings, permits to demolish buildings, permits for new housing and more.

Why they stopped uploading data to reflect current information making it accessible to the public?  Good question.