What happened at Monday’s council meeting?

Did they want to get rid of single family zoning in Culver City? 
In a word, yes.

At Council meeting Monday the 22nd we asked questions about item A-4 resolution on housing policy.  We didn’t have access to this resolution until three days before the meeting. Fortunately, they tabled a vote on this resolution until April 12th, in the interest of not debating past midnight.  But our worst suspicions were unfortunately confirmed.  This resolution would green-light the entire city to be rezoned and redeveloped.

Vice-Mayor Lee denied that this resolution would eliminate single family zoning in Culver City.  Mayor Fisch claimed that statewide regulations already allow a triplex on every lot – alluding to the allowance of an ADU and junior ADU on each lot and not a bonafide triplex. 

The supporting speakers at the meeting betrayed their intentions.  This resolution reads much like the aborted SB50, which would have eliminated single family zoning in any area deemed job or transit rich (Culver City is argued to be both).  Furthermore, by claiming to “equitably distribute” this upzoning, it leaves no neighborhood in our city safe from limitless upzoning.

Councilmembers Vera and Eriksson both expressed their doubts about this resolution.  Namely, that they didn’t get a chance to even see it until it was publicly released three days before the meeting.  They shared our concern about its lack of clarity, and that passing it would hand over the city to developers in the name of anti-racism.

While council danced around the issue during this council meeting, their intentions were made known during the joint council/planning commission meeting in January.  Here, both Lee and Imani-McMorrin declared outright that single family zoning is racist and needs to be eliminated.  Fisch didn’t go so far, but said single family zoning is classist, and class is rooted in race.  

A concerning tactic – militant upzoners flood the General Plan meetings and push their opinions. GPAC then generates these “studies” of only those who show up to their meetings. The 44 who show up and are polled then give a very skewed representation of what the city wants.

Fisch also made the disingenuous claim that rezoning for multifamily would bring us more of our old fashioned “bungalow courtyards” and other post-war construction.  This is a particular sticking point for us.  We claimed rent control would drive such multifamily buildings off the market to be redeveloped into modern condos.  These rent out for 2-3x the rent of current multifamily, even when you can compare the two. We’d repeatedly asked Council to make exemptions to preserve these older mom and pop multifamily units.  Council’s only reaction was to campaign against our ballot measure.

Again, both Vera and Eriksson both stated their opposition to such radical rezoning plans.  Eriksson claimed that this kind of rezoning would doom ordinary people to permanently renting in expensive units.  Vera expressed concerns at what this would do to the character of our city.

We recommend everyone watch the video from the joint council/planning commission meeting – namely council’s comments starting at 2h20m – and become familiar with Council’s rezoning debate ahead of the April 12th meeting.  Then share your concerns with the councilmembers.  Feel free to BCC us at contact@protectculvercity.org if you do e-mail them.

The councilmembers speak at the following times:
McMorrin: 2h20m
Vera 2h28m
Eriksson 2h32m
Lee 2h46m
Fisch 3h06m

A glimpse of what Culver City residential streets could look like – if we keep silent. More details in the linked United Neighbors report.

We also recommend people familiarize themselves with the state’s greater upzoning debate.  Namely SB9 and SB10, which emulate what SB50 wanted to do (including 10 unit buildings on a lot).  This report from United Neighbors is a good summary.  


3 Replies to “What happened at Monday’s council meeting?”

  1. Can you imagine a house being bulldozed in Sunkist Park, Lindberg Park, Culver Crest, Blair Hills, or Studio Estates, neighborhood, and the property becomes a triplex!! The neighborhood will go ballistic!

    After notices go out that a proposed triplex is going up in one of the aforementioned neighborhoods, there will be strong community opposition, NIMBY’s, as it will destroy the entire character of that neighborhood.

  2. This is a sweeping plan by our current City Council that will affect all our residents and it has been introduced without proper notification. I only found out about it when I picked up a flyer from protectculvercity.org which had been dropped on a local pavement.
    I certainly had no idea when I voted in the last City Council election that the Councillors we elected then were going to propose (1) defunding the police (at a time of rising violent crime and increasing homelessness during a pandemic) and (2) giving an open sesame to developers to build luxury high-rent high-occupancy condos on every street in our City. How could anybody reasonably imagine that profit-maximizing developers will be motivated to build permanent affordable housing in an area of such high land values?
    Nor did I expect that some Council members would resort to labelling all residents living in single-family homes as racists. This merely exacerbates existing tensions in our country and sounds vengeful rather than constructive.
    I do not consider myself a NIMBY or a RACIST and I strongly support the aim of increasing the supply of affordable housing in Culver City and elsewhere. I believe there are better ways to achieve an increase in affordable housing than eliminating all R1 zoning as currently proposed. Allowing homeowners to build ADU’s was a helpful step in that direction. Identifying areas in transit corridors and other locations suitable for larger housing projects is also appropriate. Restricting such development to affordable housing should also be considered). However, I am totally opposed to giving carte blanche to developers that will result in a patchwork of oversized unaffordable housing and also destroy the unique character of Culver City.

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