Coastal Traffic Corridor Plan Gains : Council OKs Concept of Advance Payments by Developers

Times Staff Writer

A plan to ease traffic congestion in coastal communities won tentative approval Friday from the Los Angeles City Council as the first step toward a citywide law that would require developers to pay for traffic-easing measures before their projects could be built.

The Coastal Transportation Corridor plan, which would affect new industrial and commercial development between Santa Monica and El Segundo, would require developers to finance such steps as stoplights and freeway on-ramps to help alleviate traffic congestion. Although there were not enough council members present Friday to pass an ordinance, the 10 members there voted unanimously in favor of the concept of forcing developers to incorporate such traffic-easing steps before any city building permits could be issued.

Under the plan, developers in the Westchester, Venice and the Los Angeles International Airport areas would also be required to pay fees--based on how many vehicular trips their enterprises generate--into a transportation trust fund. That money would be used to widen intersections, establish shuttle buses or make other transit improvements.


Seen as Pilot Project

The plan, authored by Council President Pat Russell, is limited to Russell’s coastal district but is considered the pilot project for other heavily developed areas, including the San Fernando Valley.

“This has very, very deep implications for the whole city,” said Councilman Marvin Braude who warned that unless such a plan is implemented, neighborhoods will deteriorate and traffic congestion will worsen in the wake of increased development.

However, some local community groups opposed the plan.

Patrick McCartney of the Venice Town Council said his council feels that the transportation plan would penalize smaller new businesses and developers and place them at a competitive disadvantage with existing businesses in the area of the transportation plan, as well as with new firms outside the affected zone.

Meanwhile, McCartney said, the largest developers and landowners would be exempted from any future increases in the fee rate if they built their projects in phases. The initial fee rates would always apply.