Wednesday’s meeting received over 150 speakers and 500 pages of written comments. Even with only 1 minute per speaker, Council ended their meeting around 1:30 AM and will continue item A-2 on Monday at 3pm. Jamie Wallace of Culver City Neighbors United also provided a recap.
A-1 was on “exclusionary zoning” and an “affordable housing overlay” (AHO) – euphemisms for single family zoning and relaxing code regulations for developers. A-2 was for examining GPAC’s proposals for zoning changes. They have three proposals. Only the first proposal will maintain R1 zoning as it is.
Mayor Fisch assured people that that A-1 was not about eliminating R1, and that they should avoid speaking on it. Yet he was betrayed by his minority of activists who spoke. They claimed R1 was racist, exclusionary, and contributes to climate change, and needs to be done away with. The vast majority of speakers on A-1 were opposed to upzoning or eliminating R1, and were concerned about how an AHO would pencil out into more affordable housing. The council voted 5-0 to study AHO further. We are looking forward to the results of that.
The three member majority (Fisch, Lee, McMorrin) also seemed to agree that Culver City is hampered by older residents benefiting from Prop 13, and the city somehow needs to get around that. They said as much, in various forms. It’s an odd profit-maximizing theory of city government.
Most speakers also raised concerns about how confusing and opaque the whole GPAC process was. Many are now considering an initiative to require voter approval of zoning changes. Which is worth talking about. As we said at our founding, it isn’t what this Council is doing – the scandal is how they’re doing it.