Eric Garcetti

The battle over L.A.'s skyline

The battle over L.A.'s skyline

Thirty years ago, homeowners and neighborhood groups worried that high-rise towers along some of the city's major boulevards were destroying their low-rise communities and turning suburban Los Angeles into a gritty, traffic-clogged Manhattan. Sympathetic politicians heeded those worries and launched a ballot initiative, Proposition U, to stunt the growth of development in most of the city. The measure passed by a wide margin, fueled by anger at City Hall's failure to manage the boom or acknowledge residents' angst. It remains a significant constraint on developers' ability to build enough housing to meet the population's increasing demand.

Today, Los Angeles is again facing a...