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No Affordable Housing at Downtown's Piero II

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Low-income renters are going to have to papier-mache their own Tuscan moldings if they ever find someplace to live--developer Geoff Palmer won an appeal yesterday that exempts him from having to include low-income units in his Piero II mixed-use project, reports the Downtown News. All City West developments are required to have 15% affordable units, which means 53 of Piero II's 350 units would have been rented below market-rate. The appeals ruling confirms a superior court ruling from 2007. Both courts found that the city's affordable housing requirements conflict with the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, "which allows residential landlords to set the initial rent levels at the commencement of tenancy" (from the appeals court's opinion). The Piero II, meanwhile, remains a vacant lot ordered to be cleaned up by today (it may have been cleaned up by now). Are there really enough rich people to fill up all these Orsinis and Pieros?

That's for Palmer to worry about, but Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa should be concerned that this ruling could set a precedent for other developments. Palmer's lawyer told the Downtown News that indeed it does, and the paper quoted Palmer saying the ruling "should end the Mayor’s wrong headed affordable initiative and help reverse mandatory inclusionary housing ordinances wrongly adopted state wide." The mayor said yesterday that the state budget could affect the affordable housing plan he proposed last fall, and we know developers have been looking to take the plan down too.
· Palmer's City West Project Cited For Ugliness [Curbed LA]
· Developer Wins Lawsuit That Could Jeopardize Affordable Housing Plan [Downtown News]
· W Hotel Serves As Hollywood Backlot for Budget Bashing [Curbed LA]
· Developers Mobilizing Against Affordable Housing Ordinance [Curbed LA]