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Making sense of Measure S, the latest battle in L.A.'s long war over development

Making sense of Measure S, the latest battle in L.A.'s long war over development

If you want to understand the forces — and more to the point, the grievances — that gave rise to Measure S, the anti-development initiative that will appear on the March 7 ballot in Los Angeles, you have to go back to the 1980s. That was the decade Angelenos finally rebelled in significant numbers against the headlong growth that had defined the city since the tail end of the 19th century.

That backlash began as early as the 1960s; Richard Lillard’s book “Eden in Jeopardy,” published in 1966, lamented a Los Angeles that in “rushing from one brilliant improvisation to another, valuing means, neglecting ends” had become a city that reflexively favored “the politically...

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