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Measure S supporters file lawsuit over ‘misleading’ voter guide

Palladium Residences
A rendering of the Palladium Residences, a pair of towers planned for construction in Hollywood.
(Stanley Saitowitz / Natoma Architects Inc.)

Opponents of Measure S, an initiative that would block some large-scale real estate development in Los Angeles, have been accused in a lawsuit of submitting inaccurate statements for a city voter guide.

L.A. resident Grace Yoo, in the suit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, said the ballot information cited “independent economic studies” showing lost jobs and tax revenue if Measure S were to pass.

However, according to the lawsuit, the overwhelmingly critical Beacon Economics study was paid for by Measure S opponents.

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The initiative would place a two-year moratorium on construction projects needing special exemptions to city planning and zoning rules. As a result, the lawsuit also objects to including statements in the voter guide that are based on a 10-year moratorium.

Supporters contend Measure S is needed to crack down on “mega-developments” that have hurt the city’s quality of life and increased traffic. Opponents say the measure would worsen L.A.’s housing shortage and hurt the economy.

The guide, which will be mailed to voters ahead of the March 7 election, includes arguments from both Measure S supporters and opponents.

The Coalition to Preserve L.A., which is spearheading the measure, has raised more than $1.4 million, according to its September campaign filings. Nearly all of that money has come from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which sued the city earlier this year over the approval of the Palladium Residences — a project planned next door to its Hollywood headquarters.

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Yoo’s lawsuit is being paid for by the coalition, a spokeswoman said.

The Coalition to Protect L.A. Neighborhoods and Jobs, which opposes Measure S, has raised at least $975,000, with major funding coming from two developers. Unions and homeless advocates also oppose the measure.

Spokesman Josh Kamensky said his group’s understanding of the ballot initiative leads them to believe that its restrictions could last longer than two years. 

Kamensky called Beacon an independent firm and said the coalition “commissioned the study but did not direct it.”

Mayra Puchalski, assistant chief in the city’s election division, said that the voter pamphlet is set to go to the printer by Jan. 6 and that the city does not fact-check arguments submitted for it.

“We ask that the authors of the argument attest to the information being correct,” Puchalski said.

dakota.smith@latimes.com

@dakotacdsmith

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