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Gov. Jerry Brown on Measure S: It 'goes too far'

Gov. Jerry Brown on Measure S: It 'goes too far'
Gov. Jerry Brown, in a statement released by opponents of Measure S, said the Los Angeles ballot measure that would restrict some types of development "goes too far." (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Gov. Jerry Brown is against a Los Angeles ballot measure that would restrict real estate development, its opponents announced Thursday.

"I join with all those who say Measure S goes too far," Brown said in a statement released by opponents of Measure S.

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It would impose a moratorium on buildings that seek zone changes or other alterations in L.A. city rules and prevent city officials from amending the General Plan — a document that governs development citywide — to allow individual projects where they would otherwise be barred.

Backers argue that it will prevent out-of-scale development that ruins neighborhoods and displaces longtime residents. Opponents counter that it will eliminate jobs and exacerbate the housing crisis.

Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar, appearing Thursday at a "No on S" event in Boyle Heights, said it's rare for a sitting California governor to weigh in on a local ballot measure.

Brown took that stance, Huizar said, out of concern that the measure will slow the regional economy and deprive Angelenos of much-needed housing.

"He certainly sees the devastation … that will happen should it pass," the councilman added.

The Yes on S campaign released a statement Thursday saying it was "no surprise" that the governor opposes Measure S. It cited his unsuccessful push last year to overhaul how the development process works in California, which would have reduced environmental review for some housing projects that set aside units for low-income residents.

"Gov. Brown emerged last year as the key force fighting to undo the California Environmental Quality Act, siding not with people but with wealthy developers who blast away these protective state rules that make sure corporate interests don't harm the environment or our health," the campaign wrote.

The ballot measure goes before Los Angeles voters on March 7.

Times staff writers David Zahniser and Liam Dillon contributed to this report.

Twitter: @LATimesEmily

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