From the desk of Will Wright, Hon. AIA|LA
Director of Government & Public Affairs
AIA CA & AIA LA Endorse a YES Vote California Proposition 16
The AIA California Board of Directors voted at its September meeting to officially support Proposition 16.
Proposition 16, if approved by the voters in November, allows state and local governments, and state universities, to enact affirmative action policies for hiring, contracting, and admission decisions.
The AIA CA Board has held several conversations on racial justice and the need to take steps to empower those who have traditionally been marginalized in society, and the profession. The support for Proposition 16 is a statement of AIA CA’s commitment to support racial and gender equality.
More information on Proposition 16 can be found on the Yes on Proposition 16 website.
AIA LA Endorses a YES Vote on County of Los Angeles Measure J
In alignment with our core values of promoting justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, AIA Los Angeles has officially endorsed a vote of YES on LA County Measure J – Budget Allocation for Alternatives to Incarceration Charter Amendment. A vote of YES on LA County Measure J would support the amending of the county’s charter to require that no less than 10% of the county’s general fund be dedicated to community programs and alternatives to incarceration. In supporting Measure J, we are echoing the calls of the ReImagine LA Coalition which called for the redirection of funding from policing towards the community. Their calls which led to Measure J being added to the ballot will secure, with a vote of YES, upwards of $1 billion dollars per year back into the community.
As designers and architects for the community, it is important that the communities that we live and build in everyday are supported with the funds to be able to succeed and thrive in their own spaces. We believe that the endorsement of Measure J will be a step in the right direction in realizing this desire to better support the diverse communities of Los Angeles.
AIA LA & LACP Urban Design Studio: A Healthy, Inviting, and Accessible Public Realm
In addition to our workshop on a prospective Adaptive Re.Use 2.0 initiative, which is on Wednesday, October 21 (2pm), we are organizing a workshop with leadership from the LACP Urban Design Studio to discuss how to improve design features in the public right of way (ROW).
During this public ROW workshop, which is scheduled for Tuesday, October 27 (2pm), we will explore some of the technical challenges of getting B-permits for street tree grates, sidewalk furniture and fixtures, medians, and other items in the sidewalk/ public realm. As more projects seek to contribute to a healthier city by proposing quasi-public/ private plazas at corners, within alleys and public streets, it will be helpful to hear directly from the design community on constructive feedback and recommendations for how to improve this process. AIA LA is interested in working with City family to brainstorm approaches for encouraging design solutions in the public realm through private development that support active transportation, shade equity, civic engagement, biodiversity, and a healthier urban tree canopy.
If you are interested in joining this workshop on October 27 (2pm), please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Legislative Day at City Hall
Our annual Legislative Day at City Hall is scheduled for Thursday, December 3rd and will be transformed into a virtual event this year. If you’d like to get more involved in helping to shape our biggest advocacy event of the year, then please reach out to me at email@example.com.
Issue #1: Zero Code for Los Angeles, California
To advocate our support, along with AIA CA’s endorsement, of the 2022 Zero Code for California and to request that the City of LA adopt it as a reach code in 2021. This will align us with AIA CA advocacy and demonstrate LA architects’ desire to be leaders on climate action.
Issue #2: A True Streamline To Faster Housing Production
Part One: To advocate that LA City Council invest in software modernization for LADBS to facilitate 100% digital plan-check in the spirit of resilience, efficiency, cost-and-time savings, and greater compatibility with the tools and resources utilized by the private sector (architect, contractor, LADBS: all talking on the same interface).
Part Two: To advocate for very specific improvements to simplify and streamline LA City Planning’s entitlement and permitting process, especially for affordable housing.
- Establish a Dedicated Unit of Affordable Housing Case Managers
- Simplify the Process, eliminate antiquated or redundant requirements, raise the site plan threshold to 100 units, an allow for electronic versions of signatures and approval stamps in order to facilitate the Ready to Issue process
- Allow for Alternative Compliance Approvals at the Staff Level
Local Emergency Code Amendment
In response to Council File 20-0380-S1, Los Angeles City Planning has recently shared a proposed ordinance that, if adopted by LA City Council, will provide relief and flexibility to certain projects. They’re currently collecting comments and feedback and will be holding a public hearing on this proposed code amendment soon. The amendments will extend the time limits for certain conditional use permits and provide provisions for alternative parking requirements.
- Extension of Time Limits:
- Conditional Use Permits (CUP) with a term limit or expiration are extended
- Utilization periods for certain approvals are extended
- Any concurrent entitlement, as part of a multiple approval, is eligible
- Automobile Parking Requirements:
- Changes of Use for existing buildings will not trigger new parking requirements
- Conditions of approval requiring valet parking are suspended
- Conditions of approval requiring off-site parking above Code requirements are suspended
To review the proposed code amendments, CLICK HERE.
To read more about Council File: 20-0380-S1, CLICK HERE.
The architecture firm Omgivning recently released a helpful report on ideas for ‘urban reprogramming’ entitled, “Reimagining Spaces: A Post-Pandemic Design Report“. If your firm has also created any helpful reports and resources in light of what we’re all learning during the challenges of this ongoing pandemic, please share with AIA LA via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add it to our Covid-19 resource page.
AIA National: Blueprint for Better
Buildings contribute nearly 40% of the world’s carbon emissions. If we don’t change how we design and build right now, climate change will become irreversible.
AIA’s Blueprint for Better campaign is a call to action. We’re asking AIA members, architecture professionals, civic leaders, and the public to help transform the practice of architecture to achieve a zero-carbon, resilient, healthy, just, and equitable future.
Architecture’s Carbon Problem
For the next 40 years, we’ll be adding the equivalent of another New York City to the global building floor every 34 days. If we hope to stop climate change, all of it must meet zero-carbon standards.
Read more >
Improving Racial Equity Through Greener Design
Redlining was finally made illegal in 1977, but the damage still persists today. To change this, architects are working collaboratively with communities to improves social sustainability and design a better future.
Read more >
Why We Need Zero Code Now
Most of the projected 2.5 trillion square feet of buildings the world is projected to add by 2060 will happen in cities, which are responsible for 70% of CO2 emissions. The Zero Code can stop this trend.