To the editor: Your editorial praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for his tough new housing requirements for Southern California failed to mention the negative aspects of forcing local governments to “plan” for 1.3 million units.
Your newspaper recently reported that California’s population growth rate was the lowest in its recorded history in 2017, when the state added just shy of 187,000 new residents. That would suggest we need far fewer than 1.3 million new units in Southern California.
We are already dealing with the burden of budget shortfalls for public safety and utilities, testing the limits of aging water mains, sewer systems and landfills. We don’t have unlimited water, and we don’t want increased traffic and the resultant air pollution. We want to preserve our historical zones and open spaces.
You state that some local governments have shirked their responsibility by bending to complaints. In other words, these governments are doing their job.
We are proud to be NIMBYs, because this is our backyard.
Cindy Bloom, Sunland
The writer is president of the Shadow Hills Property Owners Assn.
To the editor: Building 1.3 million new housing units in Southern California without major improvements to public transit is a recipe for disaster.
There are many gaps in our transit system that will persist into the future, and civic leaders and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority need to do much more to find solutions. I recommend they do the following.
First, hold an international transit engineering and design competition. Second, create better public relations and a truly user-friendly smartphone app for public transit. Third, encourage large public and private employers to allow telecommuting when possible. Fourth, run more express buses and mini buses to job and activity centers.
Newsom’s housing plan will backfire if we don’t aggressively pursue transit solutions.
Dan Constant, Manhattan Beach
To the editor: The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board seems to be all in on the bet that more housing will help Southern California.
Here are several issues that concern me: the congestion we already face on our roads, the ongoing failure of the bullet train, the shortage of water, the effects of climate change in the future, and the specter of “the Big One” hanging over our heads.
We already have about 40 million people in California; should we have more? These issues should at least be addressed before we impose planning requirements on local jurisdictions.
Barry F. Chaitin, Newport Beach
To the editor: Let’s say Newsom gets his way and we add 1.3 million new residences in Southern California.
Then what? Will we be asked to add an even greater number? How many people can the region support before we turn it into a living hell?
Or perhaps he has it backward. A more practical solution to the housing crisis might be to stimulate job development in areas that can accommodate growth.
Alan Coles, Long Beach