City's 'Live/Work' Definition to Change

BlogDowntown reports on a little change in city ordinance English that will have a big (and beneficial) effect on developers. Yesterday, reports Eric Richardson, the L.A. City Council's planning committee instructed the city attorney to draft a change in the definition of what constitutes "live/work." By shifting the meaning more on the "live" side, a new ordinance will codify the reality of how most of these units are used -- as residences. This would allow home shoppers easier access federally guaranteed loans and be a boon to realtors.

One speaker from Bank of America at yesterday's hearing is quoted by Richardson as urging swift passage of the definition tweak in order to save "a couple of loft projects that are going on right now that are opening up for sale that are going to be wanting to close escrows in the next 30 to 45 days."

Artists, on the other hand, have apparently been filling Councilman Ed

Reyes' ears with misgivings about the language changed, worried that it

may hinder their ability to work in downtown lofts. Meanwhile,

low-income rents suffered a setback July 22 when the city lost its

appeal of a previous Superior Court ruling in favor of developer Geoff Palmer,

who challenged L.A.'s affordable housing law in 2007. Lawyers for

Palmer's company, which is responsible for those faux-Mediterranean

apartment complexes at Sunset and Figueroa, and just west of the Harbor

Freeway at Eighth Street, called the law's requirement that Palmer set

aside some units at below-market rents unfair.

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