Judge halts Southern California flower market plan

Renderings of Southern California Flower Mart and AIDS Healthcare Foundation CEO Michael Weinstein (Getty, Brooks + Scarpa)

A judge halted plans for a large residential complex during the redevelopment of the Southern California Flower Market downtown.

The project must undergo a state environmental review, which will likely lead to some changes, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, an organization that has fought several new developments across the city, has filed a lawsuit. He argues that the project’s environmental impacts were “imperfect in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and noise impacts”.

The project was proposed by the Southern California Flower Growers, a group of families who own the sprawling market property.

In 2019, LA approved the development, whose plans call for a 12-story building with 291 high-end residential units and 32 mid-income units. The 7th Street and Maple Avenue complex would be built after razing an existing 185,000 square foot building.

In its lawsuit, AIDS Healthcare challenged what it calls the lack of affordable units for low-income people. The city is “accelerating luxury developments while cutting corners on environmental impact reporting,” said AHF CEO Michael Weinstein.

Scott Yamabe of Southern California Flower Growers said the organization will modify the draft and submit revisions in the coming months.

“It’s a shame that groups like the AHF, which has nothing to do with us, can use [the California Environmental Quality Act] and California courts to delay projects like ours,” he said, according to the report.

Reviews can take over a year and environmental reports can easily be appealed. Developers have long criticized the use of CEQA calls to slow down or halt projects.

[LABJ] — Dennis Lynch

Terisa K. Carn