Group begins petition drive for Neighborhood Integrity Initiative

LOS ANGELES — Organizers of an initiative intended to temporarily halt large developments in Los Angeles have the green light to begin gathering the signatures needed to qualify it for the March 2017 ballot, the City Clerk’s office said April 7.

The clerk’s office earlier last week approved the language contained in the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative.

Jill Stewart, the initiative’s campaign director, said proponents plan to begin collecting the signatures soon.

To qualify for the ballot, organizers must submit signatures from at least 61,486 registered voters gathered in the span of 120 days.

The latest the signatures may be turned in is Aug. 24, according to the City Clerk’s project director, Horacio Arroyo.

The initiative calls for the city to no longer approve projects that would need to be exempted from existing zoning and planning laws. These projects are typically denser, taller or bigger than projects currently allowed in a particular area.

Stewart said the measure will give voters the chance “to put the brakes on irresponsible development, and to significantly increase their power to shape building projects in their communities.”

The initiative also aims to stop developers from choosing the consultants that conduct environmental impact reports, ban “spot-zoning” and would require that the City Council update its 35 community plans that provide goals and guidelines for development throughout the city, according to initiative proponents.

The initiative campaign originally aimed to put the measure on the November ballot, but the timing was pushed to the March 2017 ballot, which is when Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Attorney Mike Feuer, City Controller Ron Galperin and several City Council members are expected to seek re-election.

Stewart said the campaign wants the election “to be a referendum on the broken planning and land-use system in Los Angeles,” in which elected officials may be asked to “take a stand on our initiative.”



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