SB 827 Is NOT About Transit--It's About Overdevelopment

ALPERN AT LARGE--SB 827--you know, the Wiener Bill from Sacramento that proposes ending city oversight over zoning and environmental law near rail lines, bus lines, bus stops, and anything resembling transit because, you know ... affordable housing and pro-transit and the homeless crisis, and all that.  Right? 

Except that even a naive Angeleno, you know, would want the City Council (which often acts like a Pack of Wieners, and is more than happy to ignore or break the law for their own self-serving ends) to "protect the citizens" and consider the "laws of physics" when considering overdevelopment that is just too large and without enough infrastructure.

And, you know, even a cynic might note that THIS Los Angeles City Council would oppose SB 827 simply because it would take away the current requirement to have developers PAY for pols' campaign coffers in order to break the law.

And, you know, why should a creepy, law-breaking overdeveloper have  to PAY to break the law when you can just have Sacramento end the law?

And even my pro-transit, regular user of transit, friend and colleague Matthew Hetz (also a contributor to CityWatch) has lots to hate about SB 827.

Because, you know, SB 827 will turn transit from something to ponder and consider ... into something we will all DREAD. 

Because, you know, no one likes to be lied to and gaslighted--transit is not crazy, but overdevelopment justified by transit is certainly crazy.

Because, you know, transit isn't supposed to make transit WORSE just to make a Wiener, and all his Wiener-friends, and all his Wiener-buddies, and all his Wiener-sponsors, become Wiener-rich and Wiener-free to do whatever the hell they want because there is no rational law in California anymore.

And, you know, when a wonderful, excellent extension of the Green Line into the South Bay to serve the South Bay Galleria Mall and Torrance, and connect the South Bay to LAX and the rest of the county rail network, is considered, will the locals FIGHT FOR it, or FEAR it?

The Green Line Extension to the South Bay would bring the Green and Crenshaw/LAX Lines to the South Bay...but with overdevelopment and creepy "YIMBYism" in play, will the region (which once screamed and decried about the delaying in building it) now reject the project they once fought for?

Because, you know, rail is going to increasingly be a dangerous four-letter word that used to once be revered and respected among citizens who wanted a better, more environmentally-friendly 21st-Century California.

(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D. is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud father and husband to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He is also a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee. He was co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chaired the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at [email protected] He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)