All FTC board members are unpaid volunteers. Each board member is unapologetically proud of supporting public safety, supporting the infrastructure and working to make the city a better place. Community activism is a contact sport. Sometimes when you take point, you get shot at. Lawsuits happen. Attacks on us and our work happen. We understand this. We accept this. We don’t enjoy it, but it unfortunately comes with the territory.
FTC is not a slow-growth group nor is it an anti-development group. FTC is a pro-public safety, pro-livability, pro-“rules-matter” group. FTC believes that the prosperity of cities depends upon their livability: Good schools, safe parks, properly staffed police and fire, gridlock-free, non-cratered streets, clean air and safe sidewalks. In Los Angeles these vital public services are suffering in large part because the City has failed to monitor and invest in its crumbling infrastructure and has allowed development to outpace and exceed its capacity to provide essential services. The City developed a policy to deal with this precise problem:
“The policy requires that type, amount, and location of development be correlated with the provision of adequate supporting infrastructure and services.”
This is not our policy. This is a policy created and then promptly ignored by many in the City. The City got it right two decades ago when they predicted problems if their policy was not implemented. They touted it as “mitigation through framework policy.” What we face now is literally an unmitigated disaster.
A few more quotes from the City on its policy(cites to follow on the new website):
- “What became clear was that a crucial feature of dealing with growth impacts was contained in the General Plan Framework – its program for timing allowable development with available infrastructure…”
- “…if this monitoring finds that population in the Plan area is occurring faster than projected; and, that infrastructure resource capacities are threatened, particularly critical ones such as water and sewerage; and, that there is not a clear commitment to at least begin the necessary improvements within twelve months; then building controls should be put into effect, for all or portions of the [West Los Angeles Community], until land use designations for the Community Plan and corresponding zoning are revised to limit development.”
- The new General Plan is to be used “so that allowable increases in density … would not occur until infrastructure and its funding was available.”
- “This policy also directs determinations of the level of growth that should correlate with the level of capital, facility or service improvement that are necessary to accommodate that level of growth.”
- The General Plan Framework “was particularly helpful because it informed the City that a triggering mechanism should be included so that allowable increases in density through community plan amendments would not occur until infrastructure and its funding was available.”
The mechanism designed by the City to prevent precisely the types of failures we are now seeing has never been implemented as promised. Water main breaks, cuts in fire services, gridlocked traffic, deteriorating streets and broken sidewalks are testimony to both the wisdom of planners in 1996 and the shortsightedness of all those who have ignored the requirements set forth in the General Plan since.