Have recently read two great, short pieces on the effect of terrible zoning on cities, in general, and LA, in particular:
- David Leonhardt’s interview with Matthew Yglesias in the Times. Yglesias talks about how parking requirements and artificial limits on density conspire to drive up the cost of housing (and, thus, living) in attractive coastal cities where the best jobs are located; and
- Jeremy Rosenberg’s series, Laws Tthat Shaped LA, covers the 1908 zoning regulations that separated residential from industrial uses. This zoning regulation led to the banning of mixed-use buildings (retail or office on the first floor, apartments upstairs) that are so common and beloved in other cities, but that are very rare in LA.
I personally love the few walkable parts of LA, notably Larchmont, Sunset Junction, the part of Sunset that runs through Echo Park, and Downtown. We, as a city, need to make some changes to how we regulate land use to promote these kinds of dense, walkable neighborhoods.