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When Planners Meet! Let the Bitching Begin

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Some news out of Las Vegas! We attended the American Planning Association National Conference in Las Vegas from Saturday to Wednesday to learn about urban planning and new ways to make up rules to tell people how to live. It's what we do. Also in attendance was a large contingent from Southern California - including LA's Planning Director Gail Goldberg who spoke on several panels. Minor interesting tidbits we gleaned from conference goers:
- In addition to the two lawsuits against the SB1818 Density bonus law we've covered here and here, there is a third lawsuit out there somewhere which was mentioned several times, but details were scarce. Speaking on a panel about Inclusionary Housing with the Planning Directors of New York City and Washington, D.C., Gail Goldberg detailed the City efforts to get the density bonus law implemented and the ensuing troubles created by "SB1818," which she noted most people in the City can't say without total disdain in their voice.

- A resident (and planner from a metro-area municipality) from the Rancho Park neighborhood in West LA informed us that several neighbors in the neighborhood were organizing and had hired "Century City attorneys" to sue the MTA over the proposed at-grade crossings of the Expo Line (Phase 2) going through their community. It's getting ugly!
- Budget woes are affecting the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) which has laid off 26 staffers.
- Despite budget woes in the City of LA, the City Planning Department is adding new staff and will get a bump in funding. Hooray for planners!
- Bill Fulton, of the California Planning & Development Report, was also in attendance, live-blogging through most of the conference. His blog provides a rundown of several LA-centric conference panels.
-Also, Las Vegas is a terrible city. And it cost too much.