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Garcetti bans private meetings between developers and planning commissioners

March 10, 2017

By Emily Alpert Reyes : latimes – excerpt

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has banned city planning commissioners from meeting or communicating privately with real estate developers whose plans they are vetting, following through on a pledge made last year.

The mayor, who signed an executive directive Thursday to halt the practice, said it would enhance trust in the planning process. Critics have argued that such private meetings tilt city decisions toward politically connected developers.

“We need to bring transparency and accountability to a process that, for too many, doesn’t feel like there’s enough,” Garcetti said. He signed the order two days after L.A. voters reelected him by a landslide and soundly rejected a controversial ballot measure that would have imposed new restrictions on development.

Garcetti had faced criticism for not barring such “ex parte” meetings sooner: The mayor had pledged to do so in a September letter urging AIDS Healthcare Foundation executive Michael Weinstein to abandon the push to pass Measure S, which called for a two-year moratorium on building projects that require zoning changes…

Although the ballot measure to restrict development failed, “this is not a time when we’re dancing and saying, ‘Hey, we won, we don’t have to do anything,’ ” Garcetti said Thursday…(more)

This is an example of the power of the election process, even when the measure loses. The media coverage on the underlying ethical problems inherent in the process, forced the Mayor move forward on his promise to curb private meetings between developers and planning commissioners. Read the article for more details and comment on the source if possible… (more)

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