May: Updates from the BID
This newsletter will briefly recap our staff's efforts during the previous month, informing you about our ongoing initiatives and progress toward enhancing our neighborhood.
Operations & Public Space
A clean and safe neighborhood continues to be our top priority! See below for highlights from the month of April:
- The Safe Team had two new additions: Darren Williams and Joaquin Maria
- The Clean Team collected an average of 6.5 tons of trash per day!
SAFE TEAM IN ACTION: While on patrol, our safe team encountered a burglary in progress. When the burglars escaped from the business’ window, they saw the safe team and ran, leaving thousands of dollars in stolen merchandise behind. As the Safe Team program is not designed to have officers chase or apprehend suspects, our team became good witnesses and notified LAPD of the burglary and suspect descriptions.
Marketing & Events
Aside from our year-round marketing and communications activities, additional projects that were completed in April include:
- Finalized, printed, and distributed our Q1 Trend Report for 2023
- Working with TikTok Shop to introduce them to retail boutiques and fashion wholesalers in the district
- Coordination with LA Tourism for a tour with their Communications Team later this month
Policy & Civic Affairs
BID Staff and a group of stakeholders attended City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee meeting on April 24th to advocate during public comment for an increase to base FAR, more flexibility for new projects, and the ability to create housing of all types throughout the Fashion District community. Unfortunately, the PLUM committee decided to go against the Planning Department and their hired experts’ recommendations by advancing resolutions that increased required production space in new projects from 0.5 to 1.0 FAR and introduced a required freight elevator and loading dock mandate, making new projects infeasible jeopardizing 12,000 new housing units, 2000 of which would be rent-restricted and affordable. You can see a list of PLUMs actions here. These items were transmitted to the full council and scheduled for Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023. Despite our disappointment with the PLUM committee and the council members who introduced the resolutions, the BID Team persisted in advocating for the best outcome for all industries, stakeholders, and future residents. You can read our response to the proposed PLUM amendments here. Statements from Executive Director Anthony Rodriguez received coverage in Smart Cities Dive and the LA Times ahead of the full council meeting. Despite our efforts to get City Council to stick with the recommendations made by City Planning and their experts, they chose to adopt the proposed amendments by PLUM, which will negatively impact future development, investment, and housing in the Fashion District. Some notable actions on outstanding items that will impact our district:
- A report back in 60 days on the impacts of requirements for industrial space and design features like freight elevators and loading docks on housing feasibility.
- A report back in 60 days on the impact of a policy precluding office and commercial space as qualifying toward the FAR requirement.
- A report back in 60 days on targeted programmatic solutions to industry retention.
Over the coming months, the plan will move to the City Attorney’s office for form and legality review before coming back to the City Council for final adoption, which we expect toward the end of the year. We will keep stakeholders updated and continue to engage and advocate on outstanding issues over this time.
LA Al Fresco Program On April 27, the City of Planning Commission (CPC) recommended approving City Planning’s proposed updated Al Fresco Ordinance. The proposed ordinance creates a pathway for neighborhood-serving restaurants to provide outdoor dining areas on private property after the end of the LA Al Fresco Temporary Authorization period granted under the City’s emergency order. The ordinance is a key component of the City’s economic strategy focused on supporting locally sourced jobs and businesses that were particularly affected during the pandemic. Following consideration by the CPC, the ordinance will be transmitted to City Council for further consideration. Read the revised draft ordinance here.
Thank you for your continued support and partnership in our mission to promote and develop the LA Fashion District!