Should the City of West Hollywood do more to promote the construction of new housing? And if so, what? Or will the construction of new apartment and condo buildings change the city's character in a negative way?
Although the lack of affordable housing is a growing problem, nit is not unique just to our town., While it is necessary to evaluate the solutions that other municipalities have implemented, it does not mean those solutions are a perfect fit for West Hollywood. Our city is small, yet it is already one of the densest cities in the country, and what we lack is a comprehensive plan that looks at the city and its neighborhoods as a whole. Unfortunately, when a problem gets too big and somewhat out of control, politicians try to find a fix that is "one size fits all" and therefore can lead to long term issues and unintended consequences.

I do believe it is feasible to have a general plan of how to promote the construction of new housing without changing the character of the city in a negative way. However, without a transparent long-term strategy created with the input of all the city's residents (and not just those in the real estate development business), these battles for and against new construction are only going to get worse from year to year. We need to look for creative solutions that benefit all of our residents, such as converting some of the existing commercial office space into work/live residencies and developing mixed-use buildings only along our major streets with charming boutique shops on the ground floors with residential units above. This would create more resident living space while providing growth opportunities for our local economy. I believe that most real estate developers and large corporations do not have the City of West Hollywood in their best interest, and therefore we must work together with our own community members in order to make it a top priority to sustain the character of our city that we all love. Therefore, I refuse to take any campaign contributions from any real estate developers.

Lastly, it is vital to have a comprehensive plan to manage the future development of the city's commercial properties. It is necessary to have the proper and appropriate mix of commercial and residential development living side by side. Not every newly developed project must be a mixed use or a hybrid in order to appear to be innovative. Comprehensive plan will help to maintain the balance and not to exacerbate the density problem.

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Paid for by Mark Farhad Yusupov for West Hollywood City Council 2020 ID #1430113