Bill Witte, the CEO of Related California, has a message for the L.A. City Council: The city’s slow and unpredictable approvals process is a major detriment to multifamily construction, including mixed-income projects — and Santa Monica could offer an example of what to do right.
“We don’t mind having low-income people in our high-end buildings. It works — we do it all the time. We have 2,000 units in San Francisco like that,” Witte, who heads one of the largest development firms in the state, told several L.A. City Councilmembers on Wednesday.
“But it’s very hard in L.A. when you don’t know how long it’s going to take and you’re committing to an affordable percentage when you have no idea what the economics are going to be when you get there.”
Witte made the comments as part of a broad discussion about local development and the city’s approvals process at a meeting of the council’s Housing and Homeless Committee, which is chaired by Councilmember Nithya Raman, who is also a professional urban planner.