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Density Bonus Law Takes It On the Chin (Again)

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Fresh drama over the SB 1818 Density Bonus law comes via the Los Angeles Times: "A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Tuesday tossed out portions of a city law approved last year that allows developers to build taller buildings in exchange for setting aside some units for affordable housing." Anyone following the saga of SB 1818 Density Bonus law will recall the numerous lawsuits related to the ordinance, which exempted certain projects from environmental review. While intended to encourage developers to include affordable housing in their projects in exchange for height allowances, more dwelling units, fewer parking spaces or a host of other options, SB 1818 drew a handful of lawsuits from homeowners. This week's ruling pertains to a group of homeowners (they organized under the name the "Environment AND Housing Coalition Los Angeles), whose lawsuit alleged that the city was required to study the environmental impact of the ordinance (to study traffic, for example. Additionally, the group alleged that a developer could possibly use the ordinance to tear down existing affordable housing and put up condos (with the required, but less affordable housing). Here's the exact wording from the group's press release (download it here) that was issued following the ruling: "The Order issued on Monday by Superior Court Judge Thomas I. McKnew, Jr. prohibits the City from processing applications for density bonuses or incentives that exceed State mandates, and also invalidates approvals that already have been granted based on the ordinance." Now, it's just a matter of figuring out which projects those are.
· Judge tosses out portions of L.A. housing density law [LA Times]
· City of LA, You Got Served: The First Density Bonus Lawsuit [Curbed LA]
· SB1818 Archives [Curbed LA]