L.A.’s land use rules were born out of racism and segregation. They’re not worth fighting for

April 02, 2018

Last week, the Los Angeles City Council voted to oppose SB 827. While some council members acknowledged that we need to do more on housing affordability, they also used metaphors like “blowing up” and “chainsawing” neighborhoods to justify rejecting SB 827. Mayor Eric Garcetti argued that SB 827 shouldn’t change single-family-only zoning because apartments wouldn’t “look right” mixed in with detached houses.


There are plenty of neighborhoods that prove him wrong. I love walking around my community in Northeast L.A. and seeing the mix of duplexes, bungalow courts, single-family houses, dingbat apartments and townhome-style small-lot subdivisions. Not to mention it’s hard to take aesthetic complaints about taller buildings or boxy apartments seriously when so many Angelenos are living in tents, under tarps or in literal cardboard boxes.