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The LAX Modernization Debate in Council

Yesterday morning was a historic vote for the City of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles City Council voted to approve the Specific Plan Amendment Study, which will update and modernize the LAX airport.

We heard from different Councilmembers on their concerns, hopes and suggestions. Here is a brief recap of the 10-4 Council vote to support modernization and moving of the north runway-

Two of the most vocal opponents on the Council represent the same district, Council District 11, which includes LAX. Councilmember Bill Rosendahl and Councilmember-elect Mike Bonin both spoke passionately about their, and the surrounding communities, concerns.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times / April 30, 2013)

Councilmember, and City Controller candidate, Dennis Zine seconded the concerns from CD11 representatives and stakeholders and wondered why Ontario Airport is not more involved in the discussion.

Councilmember Alarcon agreed with Zine, but unlike Zine ultimately voted to support the approval of the LAX SPAS EIR and modernization. Before his vote though, Councilmember Alarcon did ask the Council that a study take place looking at regionalizing flights.

Mayoral Candidate Eric Garcetti was another vocal opponent to the LAX SPAS approval. Echoing Rosendahl, Garcetti stated "Los Angeles deserves a world class airport, but the nearby community needs a world class neighbor." 

Residents from the area gave standing ovations to Zine, Garcetti, Bonin and Rosendahl for their comments. The residents also shared loud boo's during staff's presentation and follow up questions.

Before the roll was taken and votes cast Councilmember Koretz voiced some pointed questions on construction timeline and the direct impacts on Lincoln Boulevard. Before voting to support the modernization Councilmember Koretz wanted to ensure all potential impacts were considered and properly addressed by LAWA representatives. 

At the end of what was a very complex and detailed vote Councilmember Tom LaBonge played the role of votes supporting modernization and Councilmember Rosendahl represented the votes against moving the north runway.

By the end of the voting, modernization won 10 yes votes to 4 no's.


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