Los Angeles has long needed a local bank. The organization that has been fighting for this to happen is no took a break during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic and is now beginning to resume efforts with the LA City Council voting in favor of an investigation on how viable a city-owned bank would be, followed by the creation of a business plan.
Those in favor argue that creating such a bank would enable LA city to actually save banking fees as well as create additional credit access for SMEs, especially those in undeserved areas. Further, the move could facilitate the financial backing of affordable housing and green energy programs.
While all of this sounds extremely positive, those who are not supportive of the move ask if LA city is able to manage such an institution. Other cities (Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle) are also looking into the possibility of having a local bank.
There have been some moves to alter some of the infrastructure in LA. The question is, are these ultimately going to beneficial? The reason this question is posed is due to the recently CoolSeal project. This substance is being painted on many streets in LA as a way of potentially “cooling the city down and fighting global warming effects.”
With a $40,000 price for LA taxpayers per mile (LA having 6,500 miles of road), one really has to look at if this is a good idea even if not all of the roads are painted. In addition, the effects only last 7 years so the process must be repeated at this time. Still, if it does decrease the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect, then it might be worth it…
Two new laws were recently approved by the LA City Council which would help homeless issues. One is that projects intended for homeless will be able to avoid the oft-difficult City Hall process that delays matters. Parking requirements would also be eliminated and “permanent supportive housing” projects would be built higher/more solid than otherwise permitted. This would result in an additional 200 units of homeless housing annually with government funds. According to proponents of the homeless this will sustain around 200 extra units of homeless housing every year with government funds.
In this video from the LA City Council, are recommendations for council action vis-à-vis the Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee in to nearby businesses and how they are impacted by the issuant of sidewalk vending permits. Recommendations included a two-tiered penalty structure, with higher penalties for vending without a permit, and less severe ones for vending in violation of permit conditions.
Frank Gehry recently designed a project comprising a 234 foot tall tower for the eastern edge of the Sunset Strip. This was just unanimously accepted by the LA City Council, which means following its completion, the area will be privy to two residential towers, a shopping center and terraced gardens.
In 2019 a Park Hyatt hotel will open in downtown LA as part of the Oceanwide Plaza project. Comprising 184 rooms, it will be located right by L.A. Live and the Staples Center. Developed by Oceanwide Holdings, the plan for the area is also over 500 luxury residences and a 166,000 sq. ft. open-air retail and entertainment galleria.
The good news with all of this construction is that the environment will not necessarily be negatively impacted. In fact, over the last 10 years or so, the region has developed a reputation for becoming a “hub of green building activity.” One example of this was back in 2002 when LA became the first US city to request LEED certification for practically all of its new municipal buildings. Seven years later this requirement escalated from a mere certification to LEED Silver which renders an even greater commitment to establish sustainability from each new municipal building that appears in the skyline.
These green efforts are continuing as by 2020 all new residential construction statewide is being ordered by the California Energy Commission to be zero net energy by 2020 and by 2030, new commercial construction to follow suit.