It appears the fourth time is a charm for Beverly Hills and its star-crossed housing element.

Aerial view of Beverly Hills in 2017Urbanize LA

At a City Council hearing this week, Beverly Hills planning staff shared a letter issued by the California Housing and Community Development Department indicating that the latest draft  of the city's housing element substantially complies with state law.

Nonetheless, headaches from the long-running saga remain for the city. That includes an ongoing lawsuit brought by Californians for Homeownership, as well as the looming threat of litigation over multiple Builder's Remedy projects filed within the city. Beverly Hills has thus far avoided processing Builder's Remedy projects, although cases regarding in other jurisdictions such as La Cañada Flintridge have resulted in victories for the project applicants.

The Pacific Surfliner in San ClementeWikimedia Commons

After nearly two months, regular service on Metrolink's Orange County Line is scheduled to resume through San Clemente on Monday, March 25. The Orange County Transportation Authority and Metrolink have completed work on a 200-foot-long catchment wall at Mariposa Point to protect the rail right-of-way following a landslide.

This is the fifth time in the past three years where the collapsing coastal bluff in San Clemente has threatened the rail corridor following heavy rains. While transportation officials have undertaken short-term measures to shore up the hillside and protect the tracks, a permanent solution will require rerouting service through a costly inland tunnel.

Site plan for Senator Bill Greene Memorial ParkCity of Los Angeles

Plans to transform a vacant LADWP site at 5800 S. Figueroa Street into a mostly hardscape park are getting less than rave reviews from the local neighborhood council. The Voices Neighborhood Council has started circulating a petition to ask the City of Los Angeles to add more green space to the mix.

April 21 Venice Boulevard route for CicLAviaCicLAvia

CicLAvia is back on Sunday, April 21 from 9 am to 4 pm with a 5.75-mile route on Venice Boulevard in the Westside. The car-free streets event connects to Palms, Mar Vista, and Venice Beach, starting at Culver City Station in the east.

Once again, here's the rules: only people-powered vehicles allowed. That means no electric scooters, skateboards, hoverboards, unicycles, motorcycles and other non-people-powered vehicles are permitted. However, Class 1 e-bike pedal-assist is allowed, Class 2 e-bikes are allowed when throttle is powered off, and Class 3 e-bikes are allowed when pedal-assist is powered down. 

Here's what we're reading this week:

With Prop. 1 passage, Gavin Newsom again changes how Californians with mental illness get help "The initiative includes a $6.4 billion bond to pay for treatment beds and permanent supportive housing. It also requires that counties spend more of the mental health funds they receive from a special tax on income over $1 million on services for people who are chronically homeless." (CalMatters)

The end of Skid Row’s cheap hotels? L.A. leaders want to replace last-resort homeless housing "The demise of Skid Row’s SROs would mark a dramatic turning point in L.A.’s long battle with homelessness, ending an era of last-resort housing that began with the neighborhood’s creation in the late 19th century. A combination of dismal trends has led to a renewed crisis for SROs, which, along with other cheap hotels that have been converted to permanent housing, number about 7,000 units in Skid Row." (LA Times)

Map of Hollywood Boulevard improvementsCity of Los Angeles

L.A. City Announces Hollywood Boulevard Bus/Walk/Bike Upgrades "Iconic Hollywood Boulevard is getting relatively quick-build pedestrian improvements, a mile of bus lanes, and two and a half miles of protected bike lanes" (Streetsblog LA)

How student housing around USC is transforming a historic Black and Latino neighborhood "Similar development occurs over large portions of South Los Angeles where small firms have learned to max out the area’s underutilized multi-family zones that allow much more density than the single-family zones that are the bedrock of the city’s suburbs." (LA Times)

Rundown of New Federal Reconnecting Communities Grants for L.A. County "There are seven L.A. County Reconnecting Communities grants totaling $162 million - about 90% of that goes to Metro's Removing Barriers project, which includes new bus lanes, first/last mile walk/bike facilities, bike-share, and more." (Streetsblog LA)

Route of East San Fernando Valley light rail lineMetro

East San Fernando Light Rail Will Start Construction Mid-Year "The construction contract was awarded to the San Fernando Transit Constructors Joint Venture (SFTCJV), which is scheduled to begin on the southern segment mid-year. This section of the project is anticipated to be completed in 2031. " (San Fernando Sun)

A sign of the times: Tearing down an emptying O.C. office complex to build a warehouse "Developers and landlords lived by the conventional wisdom that there was no better use for your square footage than business offices because they commanded higher rents than industrial spaces....Simple math, the thinking went....Well, not so simple anymore. At least in Santa Ana, where a perfectly good office complex is being demolished in a dramatic demonstration of how weak the office rental market has become and how deep the demand for Amazon-style distribution centers runs in Southern California." (LA Times)

Long Beach Lost: The glorious, sad history of the late modern architectural masterpiece everyone hated "The former City Hall would have made for a gorgeous hotel: Stripping the windows of their dark tint, turn the council chambers into an underground pool and you would have had one of the most unique hospitality joints on the West Coast....It did for most, however, make for a nightmarish civic building....The space was absolutely desolate minus the handful of men and women having the misfortune of experiencing homelessness, each of whom gathered there despite the removal and fencing off of Lincoln Park that took place in 2018 as construction began on the Civic Center you now see today. Concrete pillars created vicious wind tunnels that made the space—metaphorically and literally—cold. And sunlight—metaphorically and often literally—rarely reached through its crevices." (Longbeachize)

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