LA Weekly tackles high-density projects

Whether communities are prepared and need high-density projects is not an issue unique to Rosemead. In LA Weekly, a very long story story looks into this issue. There are several comments and points brought up that I have heard through the Rosemead debate. Things like residents who feel the process is not open to the public, or the argument of whether the city can really sustain more housing are addressed.

If you get through the article, I’m sure you’ll spot them, too.

  • There are several differences I see:

    1. No one in Rosemead is trying to “upzone” our R1 areas. In fact, the draft general plan would recommend downzoning some R2 areas to R1. The whole point of this new general plan is to reduce the pressure for increasing densities in the R1 areas. That means focusing growth on the major arterials.

    2. No one is proposing we allow taller buildings in Rosemead. The current height limit (the limit voted on by Gary Taylor in 1987) allows for 75 foot tall buildings in the commercial C3 areas. The proposed new general plan does not recommend raising that limit, nor does it propose expanding the C3 zoning into areas that are currently zoned residential.

    3. If the city can’t sustain the growth, the free market will take care of that problem–banks don’t lend money for projects that are going to stand empty. So it’s not like the entire length of Valley or Garvey is suddenly going to suddenly be converted to mixed-use overnight.

    4. “Affordable” housing doesn’t mean cheap. That’s true anywhere. But affordable almost by definition does mean “below market cost.” Pretty much all of the mixed-use projects approved in Rosemead have included an affordable housing component for the general population. That’s not a lot of units, but it’s more than we’ve seen brought into this city by previous administrations. People who would otherwise have had to live in Riverside or Lancaster can now afford to live in Rosemead. Do you think that’s going to lead to more or less resource consumption?