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Hermosa Beach 2023: ‘A’ Option BIDS ADU to RHNA of alphabet LVR soup

by Kevin Cody

Hermosa Beach housing laws, in 2023, were put through a blender of State mandated legislation, whose alphabet soup of acronyms, and ambitions rival those of the New Deal, where the term alphabet soup was introduced. 

Whether chopped liver, or liver pate will be the result will depend on the public/private partnerships Hermosa’s city council is counting on to produce a new civic center, affordable housing (Hermosa currently has none), and new city revenue. 

The council’s most ambitious 2023 plan is facilities study Option A, which calls for a new, $100 million City Hall, police station and library.

LVR (Land Value Recapture) is the most transformative 2023 council plan. If implemented, Pier Avenue, from Monterey Boulevard to Valley Drive, will be lined with previously prohibited residential development, as will swatches of Pacific Coast Highway and Aviation Boulevard.

LVR is driven by RHNA (Regional Housing Needs Allotment), a State mandate requiring Hermosa Beach to increase residential density by 558 new residences by 2029, reversing a half century of council efforts to reduce residential density.

The new residences must include 64 ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units), of which 43 must be for moderate to very low income residents. (ADUs are residential units of not more than 850 sq. ft.)

Also in 2023, the council approved funding for a downtown BID (Business Improvement District). BIDs tax their members to fund district marketing and capital improvements.

During 2023’s second to last council meeting, on Wednesday, November 29, the council unanimously agreed to advance plans for a new, $100 million civic center on the Community Theater parking lot.

The new civic center would be financed, in part, by the sale, or lease of the current civic center site, voter approved bonds, and personnel savings resulting from more efficient city facilities. AI was

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How Converting N.Y.C. Office Buildings to Homes Can Help the Environment

Arup, a global sustainable-development firm, explored in a report released Wednesday the amount of pollution that could be eliminated if New York City made more office buildings eligible for residential conversions.

The report found that if about 220 office buildings were converted to housing, they could produce 54 percent less carbon emissions by 2050. That would be a decrease of up to 11 million tons of carbon dioxide.

Over half of the carbon savings would come from simply reusing the buildings, the report said.

“Ninety percent of the buildings that will exist in 2050 have already been built, so if we can productively put them to use, it’s a win for the city and for the environment,” said Dan Garodnick, the director of the Department of City Planning.

Other emissions cuts would come from new, more energy-efficient building facades with operable windows, which residents must have. And about half could come from upgrades recommended by the city, like electric HVAC systems, as it pushes for decarbonization, said Tess McNamara, the senior sustainability consultant at Arup who led the study.

New York City is faced with a housing crisis, while many commercial buildings continue to struggle with soaring vacancy rates.

This fall, in a move to create more housing, Mayor Eric Adams proposed changing the city’s zoning code to allow for more commercial spaces to be converted to residential.

And on Jan. 1, Local Law 97, which sets limits for emissions of greenhouse gases from large buildings in the city, will go into effect, with the goal of zero emissions by 2050. But getting to that goal will require expensive upfront costs, argue many property owners. They can also choose

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Lansdowne 2.0: A look at motions presented by councillors


After two days of marathon meetings on the $419-million plan for Lansdowne 2.0, Ottawa city councillors are taking a week to review the slew of motions before the next round of debate.


More than 80 public delegations spoke at the joint meetings of the Planning and Housing Committee and the Finance and Corporate Services Committee on Thursday and Friday. The committee members have yet to vote on the plan to tear down the north side stands at TD Place Stadium, build a new 5,500-seat event centre, and construct at least two condo towers on the site in the Glebe.


Councillors presented dozens of motions that could alter the plan. Mayor Mark Sutcliffe said waiting until Nov. 10 would give councillors the ability to discuss all of the motions in full and debate each of them individually. Councillors may choose to adopt some, all or none of the motions. Some might also be changed from how they were originally presented.


Here is what the motions are proposing:


Social Procurement Framework


Moved by Coun. Laine Johnson


The motion calls on the city to develop a social procurement framework with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) and its contractors to increase supply chain diversity and increase opportunities for those experiencing economic disadvantage and within equity-deserving communities, including provide training, employment opportunities and procurement from local businesses in the construction and development phase of Lansdowne 2.0.


It also includes employment opportunities for traditionally underrepresented groups and a recommendation that the retail aspect of Lansdowne 2.0 include opportunities for social enterprise businesses and local small and medium enterprises.


Third Tower


Moved by Coun. Tim Tierney


This motion brings a third residential tower back into the Lansdowne 2.0 plan.


The original plan had

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Can LA Reverse Order Allowing Tall Buildings Next to Homes?

When Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass signed an executive order seven months ago to relax affordable housing rules for developers, she hoped it would encourage larger projects. It did, but some homeowners don’t like it.

The mayor’s order to fast-track housing may allow for eight apartment complexes up to 80 feet tall to be built next to homes in five single-family neighborhoods across the San Fernando Valley, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.

Her executive order known as Executive Directive 1, signed in December and revised six months later to bar apartments on single-family streets, created a loophole for projects proposed in Sherman Oaks, Canoga Park, Reseda, Pacoima and Sun Valley.

The directive was meant to speed approval of 100-percent affordable housing and homeless shelters without public hearings, environmental studies and nods from either the city’s Planning Commission or City Council. A revision, which came in June, said such projects couldn’t be built on single-family streets, long protected from developers of large apartment buildings. 

But in the interim, developers filed for eight ED1 apartment projects across the Valley.

They include a 200-unit, 80-foot-tall complex by Chatsworth-based Uncommon Developers at  5501-5511 North Ethel Avenue in Sherman Oaks.

Also they include a 78-unit complex at 10898-10900 West Olinda Street in Sun Valley; a 360-unit complex at 8217 North Winnetka Avenue and an 85-unit complex at 8550 North Variel Avenue in Canoga Park; a 114-unit complex at 19448 West Saticoy Street, a 190-unit complex at 7745 North Wilbur Avenue and an 85-unit complex at 18430 West Vanowen Street in Reseda; and a  202-unit complex at 11070 North Borden Avenue in Pacoima.

Critics accuse the mayor, who issued the directive until it was later clarified, of being asleep at the switch. Maria Pavlou Kalban, co-vice president of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association, called

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Constructing multifamily housing buildings to Passive House standards can be done at cost parity

All-electric multi-family Passive House projects can be built at the same cost or close to the same cost as conventionally designed buildings, according to a report by the Passive House Network.

The report included a survey of 45 multi-family Passive House buildings in New York and Massachusetts in recent years. The average cost to construct those buildings was 3.7% more than standard, and in some cases cheaper when factoring in incentive programs.

The report also found that Passive House buildings have reduced energy usage of 30% to 50% when compared to conventionally built properties. “In some cases, these bills are eliminated entirely,” according to a Passive House network news release.

Construction of Passive House buildings has surged since 2018, but Passive House accounts for less than 1% of all multi-family construction started in the U.S. during the past decade. About half of all Passive House projects being built in the U.S. are affordable housing projects, illustrating the cost-effectiveness of green building design, the release says.

The report found that construction of all-electric, multi-family Passive House buildings, including market-rate and affordable housing, is primed to soar in early-mover states such as Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts. “This is due to a combination of bold policy requirements in new energy codes as well as utility-funded incentive programs, energy efficiency programs, and the Inflation Reduction Act.”

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White House rolls out measures aimed at lowering cost of housing, increasing supply

The White House is taking steps aimed at increasing the the supply of affordable housing while also bolstering protections for renters.

The housing measures announced Thursday include providing communities with $85 million in funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to reduce barriers to affordable housing, such as zoning restrictions that in some places have become a hurdle to increasing the supply and density of affordable housing. HUD would provide grants upwards of $10 million.

“HUD recognizes that communities have unique housing challenges and that’s why the resources announced today are not one-size-fits-all,” HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said in a statement. “Today, we are acting to increase the supply of affordable housing, which is crucial to lowering housing costs. We look forward to continuing this work in partnership with local communities.”

The White House also announced that it was forming an inter-agency task force to develop ways to fund efforts to convert more commercial buildings to residential housing, especially zero emissions and affordable units. Across the country, office-to-housing conversions are being pursued as a potential lifeline for struggling downtown business districts that emptied out during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The mismatch between the demand for housing and the inadequate supply of affordable and available homes is at the heart of today’s housing affordability crisis,” Dennis Shea, executive director of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s J. Ronald Terwilliger Center for Housing Policy, said in a statement.

These measures are part of a larger effort by the White House to address a chronic housing shortage, with the National Low Income Housing Coalition estimating the nation needs 7.3 million affordable rental homes to make up

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White House rolls out housing measures

The White House is taking steps aimed at increasing the supply of affordable housing while also bolstering protections for renters.

The housing measures announced Thursday include providing communities with $85 million in funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to reduce barriers to affordable housing, such as zoning restrictions that in some places have become a hurdle to increasing the supply and density of affordable housing. HUD would provide grants upwards of $10 million.

“HUD recognizes that communities have unique housing challenges and that’s why the resources announced today are not one-size-fits-all,” HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said in a statement. “Today, we are acting to increase the supply of affordable housing, which is crucial to lowering housing costs. We look forward to continuing this work in partnership with local communities.”

The White House also announced that it was forming an inter-agency task force to develop ways to fund efforts to convert more commercial buildings to residential housing, especially zero emissions and affordable units. Across the country, office-to-housing conversions are being pursued as a potential lifeline for struggling downtown business districts that emptied out during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The mismatch between the demand for housing and the inadequate supply of affordable and available homes is at the heart of today’s housing affordability crisis,” Dennis Shea, executive director of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s J. Ronald Terwilliger Center for Housing Policy, said in a statement.

These measures are part of a larger effort by the White House to address a chronic housing shortage, with the National Low Income Housing Coalition estimating the nation needs 7.3 million affordable rental homes to make up the gap. Meanwhile, evictions have returned to levels seen before the pandemic and are spiking in several cities across the country.

Diane Yentel, executive director of the

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