June 18, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Design Review: Help or Hindrance? Westside Urban Forum Discusses the Pros and Cons

By Mariella Rudi – Staff Reporter

The Run Group ImageFor some, design review is a vital part of the democratic process, enabling the public to have a say in their own neighborhood’s aesthetic. For others, it’s a creatively stifling trend that creates homogenized design and adds time and costs to development. The issue was atop of the agenda at Friday’s Westside Urban Forum (WUF).

As a relatively new process, the contentious subject of design review pits developers, public officials, planners, and stakeholders against each other, often at the expense of community. WUF is seeking to strike a balance between the champions and opponents of design review in a panel and Q-and-A between 7 and 9am today at the Olympic Collection Conference Center in West Los Angeles.

Two architects and an urban designer, moderated by a critic, addressed the conflicts surrounding architectural vision and community standards.

WUF Board of Directors member Stuart Magruder is one critic of design review who believes the process puts the entire development chain in the hands of planners who have little or no architectural training. According to Magruder, most people in the design and development world oppose design review and would prefer to do away with it.

“What I’ve seen is, design review makes projects worse because you muddy the waters and dumb things down to appease others rather than doing good work,” Magruder, an architect at Studio Nova A, said.

Miramar Hotel Proposal

“It’s a time and hassle and cost issue for folks in the design, development, and construction world,” he added. “For the public, it’s seen as saving some integrity in their neighborhoods and the spaces they’re used to.”

Panelists at the WUF will determine the “actual” versus “perceived” role of design review on the Westside.

One proponent for design review was urban designer Stephanie Reich, AIA, who oversees urban and architectural development for the City of West Hollywood. She will argue that the process makes projects better and preserves a city’s character, Magruder said.

Other panelists included Ric Abramson, AIA, of Principal Workplays studio*architecture and Michael Folonis, FAIA, of Michael W. Folonis Architects and former Santa Monica Architectural Review Board member. Moderated by curator and journalist Greg Goldin, of A+D Architecture and Design Museum, WUF’s review of design review left  listeners with a better understanding of urban and architectural planning in Los Angeles.

As an independent organization with a broad membership base of developers, planners, attorneys, architects, public officials, and community stakeholders, WUF has been a resource for discussing planning, development, design, public policy, and myriad related issues for more than 30 years.

Westside Urban Forum sponsors monthly breakfast series focused on land use and the built environment, usually through panel discussions, typically the third Friday of every month. The focus is usually on issues related to the Westside but sometimes reach national or regional issues. Board members organize all of the events as volunteers and are supported by members, guests, and sponsors.

For more information, visit westsideurbanforum.com.

Related Posts

Toddler Fatally Struck by Relative’s RV at Dockweiler State Beach

June 17, 2024

June 17, 2024

2-Year-Old Child Lancaster Identified as Victim in Tragic Accident A toddler died Saturday after being struck by a relative who...

Texas Man Sentenced to 33 Months for Threatening U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters

June 17, 2024

June 17, 2024

Gaherty Targeted the Congresswoman With Racist and Violent Threats  A Texas man was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison...

LAUSD Considers Cell Phone Ban for Students During School Day

June 17, 2024

June 17, 2024

Some Parents Object Citing Safety Issues During a Crisis The Los Angeles Unified School District is considering a policy that...

Brentwood Beat: Giving Some Brentwood Thanks on the Fourth of July

June 17, 2024

June 17, 2024

As July 4th approaches, we should be thankful to live in America.   Sure, our country has its issues, but immigrants...

West Hollywood Resident Robbed at Gunpoint Near Sheriff’s Station After Pride

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Victim Recounts Harrowing Early Morning Encounter in Rainbow District A West Hollywood resident and his friends were heading home in...

Michelin-Starred Chef James Kent Passes Away, Saga Hospitality Group Announces

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Chef Kent Is Remembered for His Culinary Excellence and Charity Work The Saga Hospitality Group announced the death of Michelin-starred...

Film Review: Longlegs

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

LONGLEGS is pure poetic eldritch terror. From the very beginning, director Osgood Perkins uses the actors’ performances, cinematography, and even...

Two Men Arrested After Injuring Elderly Woman in Road Rage Incident at LAX

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Violent Altercation Hospitalized Elderly Passenger  Los Angeles Police Department detectives from the Pacific-LAX Division have arrested two men involved in...

Judge Rules in Favor of Tenants in Historic West Los Angeles Eviction Case

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Landlord’s Eviction Plan Under Ellis Act Rejected, Tenants Can Stay After a lengthy legal battle that spanned over a year,...

Marina del Rey Sportfishing: A Great Day on the Water

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Fishing is a pastime like no other. You can experience the nostalgia of that pastime in real time at Marina...

Culver City Police Collaborate with VA and LASD to Aid Unhoused Veteran

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Joint Efforts Lead to Successful Assistance for a Veteran in Need The Culver City Police Mental Evaluation Team collaborated with...

University of Miami President to Replace Gene Block Amid Controversy

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Julio Frenk Named New UCLA Chancellor at UC Regents Meeting The search for a new chancellor at UCLA is over....

West Hollywood Kicks Off WeHo Pride Arts Festival This Weekend

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Celebration Features Diverse LGBTQ+ Events From June 14-16 Each year, the City of West Hollywood celebrates the artistic contributions of...

30th Anniversary of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman Murders Commemorated with Virtual Vigil

June 13, 2024

June 13, 2024

Family Honors Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in Virtual Candlelight Vigil This week marks the 30th anniversary of the...

Los Angeles County Launches Historic LGBTQ+ Commission with Inaugural Meeting

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

Supervisor Hilda Solis Leads Ceremony Marking Milestone for LGBTQ+ Advocacy Los Angeles County Supervisors convened Tuesday to inaugurate the county’s...