The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to invest in neighborhoods around planned Metro stations in unincorporated areas.
Supervisor Janice Hahn recommended focusing on transit-oriented development, pointing to Metro plans for as many as 10 new rail stations in unincorporated Los Angeles County. Potential station sites have been identified in East Los Angeles, West Whittier/Los Nietos, South San Gabriel, Whittier Narrows, Pellissier Village and West Los Angeles.
“Each new Metro station has the potential to transform a local neighborhood,” Hahn said. “These are going to be the neighborhoods where families want to live, where people want to work, and where businesses want to locate. By making strategic investments now, we can take full advantage of this opportunity and make sure these neighborhoods will be ready when their new Metro station opens.”
Building infrastructure near transit hubs could also give the county an extra bang for its buck. It is required under Measure M to share the tab for 3 percent of station project costs with any other jurisdictions within a half- mile radius, or pick up the full 3 percent if the entire half-mile radius consists of unincorporated county land.
Investing in “first-mile, last-mile” transit solutions — such as bike lanes, sidewalk repair, protected crosswalks — could also count toward that 3 percent.
Supervisor Hilda Solis co-authored the motion.
“With my district having the most rail stations within a half-mile of an unincorporated community, I know how important it is that our county departments proactively plan and leverage funding for housing and workforce and economic development, while creating sustainable communities around new transit lines,” Solis said. “Ensuring that these transit corridors are dedicated to smart growth development helps us meet our goals of affordable housing, minimizing displacement, reducing traffic, economic development, and safer and more walkable streets.”
In addition to affordable housing, development around transit stations could be higher density and include office and retail space.
The board directed the chief executive office to work with regional planning, public works and the Community Development Commission to report back in 90 days with strategies to support and finance transit-oriented development.
Hahn said it was important to act now, while Metro is studying potential sites, to gather community input and get plans on the drawing board.
“It’s time that we take advantage of this opportunity before it’s too late,” Hahn said.
–City News Service
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