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LoGrande's close up

Planning jefe Michael LoGrande gets the Downtown News facial. Or, you could call it The Road to Sao Paulo. Indeed, there are already homeless camps popping up all over LA's fringes.

LoGrande's responses to Ryan Vaillancourt's questionnaire mostly provides a roster of reasons for a homeowner to get the hell out of here. All the nods are to business. None are to residential communities. Nothing about creating more owner occupied homes and fewer rentals, the city's biggest problem by far. The city is still hellbent on transit hub development, luring business rather than making good lives for people who are already here, and on two fraudulent euphemisms, "smart growth" and "elegant density."

Most chilling quote, easily:

I think we’ve definitely come to the point where we’ve overhauled the engine a number of times and it’s time to get a new car.
Some other snips:
"There are a lot of council-initiated motions that are good policy ideas but they take a lot of work from the department and many times when we bring them forward there aren’t necessarily the votes to accomplish it or the funding to take it on. So we’ve been very clear in communicating what our focus is for the department, so that they’re in line with our work program and they understand the constraints against expanding it."

We have a 1946 zoning code, so knowing how to navigate through that code helps to make sure that we get quality projects at the end of the day and not let the code dictate the outcome in terms of design. Having that knowledge and experience helps make sure that we have good plans that actually push the envelope toward the types of projects we want in Los Angeles and also to make it more difficult for projects that we don’t want to see."

I definitely think sign districts need to be looked at in the context of a neighborhood district so you’re not doing them block by block or project by project. When we can start from scratch and look at the architecture and incorporate the signage into the architecture the outcome is a lot better."

One of the most exciting things coming to Downtown would be to make sure we have a transit oriented development plan for Downtown that really encourages development and takes advantage of the investment we have in the infrastructure of rail."