Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Gail Goldberg New Planner For City Of Los Angeles! And This Is Good News!

San Diego City Planner Gail Goldberg was introduced to the press and the neighborhood councils yesterday morning at City Hall - and she lived up to her advance billing. Known in San Diego for reaching consensus and for actively reaching out to the many neighborhoods of San Diego, she has promised to engage our neighborhoods in ongoing dialogues and not just focus on specific projects that are being proposed.

San Diego is easily the best planned city in California and while much of that happened before her tenure, she has admirably built upon the successes of her predecessors.

I have also heard her speak at several planning conferences and seminars over the years and have always been impressed by her combination of infectious idealism and real world pragmatism. And that pragmatism will be needed as many insiders feel there are two jobs facing our new planning director, first rebuilding the department and then planning Los Angeles.

So having an experienced planner with her ability to work with people is a perfect fit for the first part of the job and having someone with a clear vision of what is needed and her ability to work with the community will help her build the planning foundation for the future.

She also seems to understand that new residential development needs to be concentrated along rail lines - rather than bus lines, with some exceptions, of course - and that new residential construction must also be connected by rail to jobs; and how that needs to be the future of this city if it is to remain livable.

She also said both publicly and to several of us privately that she intends to work closely with the Neighborhood Councils and that we are going to be a major part of the new process, and she was strongly supported in this by the Mayor.

Hopefully, she will also soon understand that the vast majority of Los Angeles is already dense enough and that most of our older, more historic neighborhoods and all existing single family neighborhoods and even the majority of all our lower density multiple units neighborhoods already have far more density than they can manage.

The era of new single family homes being built in LA is nearing an end, but the destruction of existing single family homes and low density neighborhoods not served by rail transit must also stop if this city is to retain its quality of life.


joseph mailander said...

While San Diego may be a well-planned City, to me it lacks a specific identity. I just wish LA were more like Palm Springs.

Brady Westwater said...

OK... care to elaborate on that?

My present image of Palm Springs is West Hollywood with Indian casinos, mid-century modern architecture and uplit Washingtonia filiferas. How do you imagine LA being more like PalM Springs?