Los Angeles voters shot down Tuesday a controversial measure that would have stopped developers from seeking exemptions to city rules for two years. Measure S failed to pass with 69-percent of voters casting a “No” vote. Supporters praised it for curbing out-of-scale developments that displace longtime residents. Opponents criticized the measure saying it would cut jobs and worsen the city’s housing crisis.
Currently, developers must follow the document that governs the city known as the General Plan. That lists what is and what is not allowed to be built in different parts of the city. If a developer wants to do anything different, they must get an exemption from the city before continuing. An analysis by the Los Angeles Times found that 90-percent of requests for General Plan amendments heard before the city’s Planning Commission and local planning commissions have been approved since 2000.
The General Plan was adopted in 1996 and the Department of City Planning is working to update the framework.
Tuesday’s General Election also saw LA voters reelect Mayor Eric Garcetti to a second term. Despite having 11 candidates to choose from, Garcetti ran away with the vote garnering 81-percent of support.
Eight City Council seats were also up for election. All of the currently elected council members were favored by voters. One of those seats was completely open with no incumbent running for reelection. Former District 7 Councilman Felipe Fuentes left the council last year to become a lobbyist. Mónica Rodríguez leads the District 7 election with 28-percent of the vote.
City Councilman José Huízar, Boyle Heights’ representative on the Council, is still in the middle of his term and was not up for reelection.
Los Angeles County voters also narrowly approved raising sales tax by a fourth-of-a-cent to fund homeless services. That will last for ten years. Measure H is billed as a plan to prevent and combat homelessness by funding substance abuse treatment, health care, rental subsidies, affordable housing, and a slew of other provisions. It required two-thirds support to pass and voters approved it with 67-percent of voters saying “Yes.”
According to news reports, less than 12-percent of Los Angeles County registered voters went to the polls on Tuesday.