Dear Editor – The End of R1/Single Family Zoning on June 23?

Last week, we wrote a letter informing residents that on May 10, the Culver City Council voted 3-2 to put on the agenda a discussion to eliminate R1/single-family home zoning (also known as “upzoning”). This discussion has now been tentatively scheduled for the joint meeting of the Planning Commission and City Council on Wednesday, June 23 at 7:00 p.m.

The discussion was initiated in response to an organized group that incorrectly believes eliminating single-family zoning will create affordable housing and help alleviate racial inequity in Culver City. Instead, their plan would allow developers and land speculators to build up to 4 units (or possibly more) on almost any single-family home lot. Housing experts, tenant unions and community-based activists express concern that this pro-developer scenario would eliminate our current affordable housing stock (older R1 homes and ADUs) but does not guarantee affordable or low-income housing.

City Council should take no action to change R1 zoning. There are many effective and creative solutions to our affordable housing crisis already available to us, including promoting the allowed building of ADUs on single-family lots, building multi-use housing/retail/office/restaurant space along commercial corridors, etc. There is no need to make hurried, substantial, and irreversible changes affecting all single-family neighborhoods.

It remains clear that many residents still do not know that these discussions are taking place. In order to facilitate proper transparency and accountability, the city must provide all of the following:

Adequate and direct notice to all residents, including a postcard campaign;

Scheduled meetings (community centers etc) in R1 neighborhoods to provide clear explanations and the ramifications of changes;

Fact-based proof that such proposals have achieved stated goals (e.g. increased affordable housing), including clear evidence from other localities that have implemented such changes;

Verifiable calculations of the impact on city infrastructure of any suggested zoning changes including sewer, water, electricity, parking, schools, and traffic.

It is important to express your opinions on and prior to the June 23 meeting. Here’s how:

Write a letter/email: [email protected] and Planning Commission. Copy the city clerk at [email protected]g.

Attend the June 23 joint meeting of the Planning Commission and City Council on Wednesday, June 23 at 7:00 p.m. Tell them personally/virtually your position on eliminating R1/Single-family zoning. Sign up here: (https://culver-city.legistar.com);

Complete the land-use survey and use the space at the end to type in your thoughts about abolishing single-family zoning. (Pictureculvercity.com/alternatives).

Visit CulverCityNeighborsUnited.org, sign our petition, and get involved.

We need true community collaboration to determine the best way to add the state-mandated Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) housing in Culver City, including affordable housing, for all who work and live here. In addition, we can help create pathways for diverse community members to own homes and create generational wealth. We can do this and maintain R1/Single-family zoning.

Amy Palmer
Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin
Matt Tweedie
Jamie Wallace

Culver City Neighbors United

Ting Internet is in Culver City!

2 Comments

  1. According to SCAG: between 2002 and 2017, Culver City added 18,515 jobs and only 243 housing units. Let’s all go back and read that again: 18,515 jobs added, but only 243 new housing units built. The result: a massive housing/jobs imbalance in Culver City… from a ratio of .42 housing-units-per-job in 2002, to .29 in 2017 (by comparison, our Westside peer cities of Santa Monica and West Hollywood have housing/job ratios of 0.58 and 0.85, respectively).

    What has that shrinking housing/job ratio done to home prices in Culver City? Everyone reading this already knows the answer: it’s pushed Culver City home prices and rents into the stratosphere, displacing poorer folks, and people of color. Costing us our neighbors, our kids’ teachers, our own cherished friends.

    The above is what NOT building homes has done to Culver City.

    It’s long past time to, instead, build homes in Culver City.

    The only remaining question is where.

    Turns out that 74% of Culver City’s residential land is zoned either R1 or R2. So should we crowd all of the new necessary housing units onto a couple of super-giant projects on the small remaining slivers of Culver City land currently zoned for multi-family housing, retaining the wealthiest (and, statistically, whitest) bulk of our residential neighborhoods as exclusive millionaire-only preserves? Or, instead, should homes for those new families be distributed equitably, throughout *every* Culver City neighborhood, so that all who want it can have the opportunity to live in a walkable, medium-density community?

    The former option is segregation, bantustans.

    The latter is the Culver City that I myself would like to see.

    Please join me in supporting an end to exclusionary zoning.

  2. Patrick, it makes me wonder you would appropriate the term, “Bantustan?” Are you implying that if we don’t change our zoning laws throughout our city, we will be seen as furthering a South African-style of Apartheid?
    When this subject of changing of R-1 zoning first came up for future council discussion, I went around my block and wrote down all the different races/cultures which live in my neighborhood. With help from a past Neighborhood Watch block-captain, I found out all but a few of my neighbors’ ethnicity.
    Of the 40-some neighbors living in my area, I found 35% were White, 17.5% Asian, 15% Latino, 5% Black, 10% unknown and 17.5% of other World cultures: Including, Australian, Brazilian, Chinese, Filipino, Indian and Middle Eastern.
    So there are 35% White and 55% “people of color” living in my neighborhood. Amazingly, all this mixing of different races and cultures came about under “the discriminating restrictions” of R-1 zoning.
    So please excuse me because I don’t think we need a zoning change here in Sunkist Park in order to obtain a more racial diversity on our block; because I took the time to find out that we already have it here, right now!

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