Saturday, December 18, 2010
Real Estate Speculation ramping up in L.A.
When investors are sitting on $2 trillion in cash in the United States and foreign investors have even more, when market conditions are highly volatile, and when potential profitability quickly moves from one estate category to another, speculation runs rampant. Can "we" get a quick zone change and flip a property while it is still hot? Can "we" quickly build a project and extract some serious profits before it heads south?
If the answer is yes, then adopted city plans and the zoning ordinances which implement them can and often do stand in the way of the speculators.
And, since the speculators have no real concerns about Los Angeles or the vast array of their projects' impacts, their preferred solution is to simply bulldoze plans, zoning requirements, and environmental review out of the way so they can rapidly move in and out of their local real estate schemes.
This, in a nutshell, explains the following article from the Los Angeles Business Journal on proposed changes to the processing of building permits in Los Angeles which require special approvals, such as zone changes, zone variances, or conditional use permits.