Palladium Project to be built at 6215 Sunset Blvd. Image via urbanize.la
Palladium Project to be built at 6215 Sunset Blvd. Image via urbanize.la

Dueling coalitions in a battle over a measure that would halt some major construction projects in Los Angeles were relatively close in their fundraising efforts in 2016, according to documents made public Friday.

The Coalition to Preserve L.A., which is supporting Measure S, received $1,953,160 in monetary and nonmonetary contributions, compared with the $1,716,422 received by the Coalition to Protect L.A. Neighborhoods and Jobs, which is opposing the measure.

Quarterly finance reports were made public Friday by the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission showing what the two coalitions raised the last three months of 2016.

The great majority of the Coalition to Preserve L.A.’s contributions came from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which gave $1,901,385, while the Coalition to Protect L.A. Neighborhoods and Jobs received $1,028,500 from CH Palladium LLC.

Measure S, which will be on the March 7 primary election ballot, would halt any major projects for two years that require “spot zoning,” or special permission from the City Council, which is a common practice. Supporters of the measure say this dynamic creates cozy relationships between council members and developers.

The measure also calls on the City Council to draw up a new general plan during the two-year moratorium.

Opponents argue the measure would severely impact the local economy, erase thousands of jobs and restrict the supply of housing in the city.

In 2016, the city approved two 28-story towers known as the Palladium Project to be built at 6215 Sunset Blvd. next to AHF’s headquarters, despite the developers needing zoning changes.

AHF has sued the city and the developers, one of which is CH Palladium LLC, claiming the planning approval process for the project violated the California Environmental Quality Act, the City Charter, the Los Angeles Municipal Code and other laws.

On Thursday, some LGBT leaders criticized the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and its CEO, Michael Weinstein, for the financial support of Measure S, saying it does not fall in the purview of the foundation’s mission.

Weinstein defended the spending in an interview with City News Service, saying developments like the Palladium Project are driving up housing costs and making some of the foundation’s patients homeless.

“We take an expansive view of health. We believe that the social determinants of health are equally important to the medial conditions patients suffer from,” Weinstein said.

— City News Service

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