The executive secretary of the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council said Friday that Measure S would cost the city thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars while pointing to a recent study as proof.

Ron Miller of regional Building and Trades Council. Photo via allianceqc.org
Measure S, known as the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, will be included on the upcoming March city election ballot and calls for a two-year moratorium on some large construction development projects in the city.

“It’s like when the recession hit, it takes many years to come out of a recession. Well this moratorium would be a self-induced recession and it would take many years to come out of that,” Ron Miller told City News Service.

The Beacon Economics study Miller pointed to found that Measure S would cost 12,000 jobs and $640 million in wages for workers each year. The study, which was paid for by opponents of Measure S, also concluded it would cost the local economy $2 billion overall and $70 million in sales, property, transient occupancy and other fiscal revenues each year.

“It does affect people’s lives. This is not a game,” Miller said.

The group behind Measure S is the Coalition to Preserve L.A., which is underwritten by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

The measure would halt any projects that require “spot zoning,” meaning a zone change, height district change or general plan amendment. These projects require special permission from the City Council and supporters of the measure say it creates cozy relationships between council members and developers.

Jill Stewart, campaign manager of the Coalition to Preserve L.A., could not be reached for comment but told the Los Angeles Times the Beacon report was “completely false.”

Opponents of the measure have united as the Coalition to Protect L.A. Neighborhoods & Jobs, which has been endorsed by the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing and the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City.

Measure S also would require the City Council to set up a public schedule for creating a general plan that shows where bigger buildings can and cannot be built and if the city’s roads, sewers and water and safety systems can handle the growth. It also says the measure would only impact 5 percent of proposed development projects over two years, but Miller disagreed.

“Our opponents say it would only apply to 5 percent of the projects in Los Angeles, which I don’t think is true because if they only had problems with 5 percent then why would the AIDS Healthcare Foundation spend millions of dollars to put this on the ballot over a small amount of projects?” Miller said.

— City News Service

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