21 Advisors for a 21st Century Los Angeles

on December 20, 2013

On November 27, 2013, we announced the names of the individuals selected by Michael J. LoGrande, Director of Planning for the re:code LA Zoning Advisory Committee (ZAC).  We are happy to announce that Sharon Commins and Edgar Khalatian have been appointed as the Co-Chairs of the Committee.

Below is a little more about who the ZAC members are, and what perspectives they bring to the table.

Sharon Commins


Zoning Advisory Committee Co-Chair

Sharon Commins is a professional artist and the current Co-Chair of the Land Use and Planning Committee of the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils. She presently serves as the Chair of the Mar Vista Community Council. Over the years she has worked cooperatively with community members and stakeholders to resolve citywide issues and address sustainability concerns. Through her work with the Mar Vista Park and Recreation Center and the American Youth Soccer Organization, Ms. Commins has emphasized universal access to park and recreation facilities, particularly in low-income and underserved communities.

Edgar Khalatian


Zoning Advisory Committee Co-Chair

Edgar Khalatian is a partner in the Government Relations group at Mayer Brown LLP.  Edgar has represented investors and developers in all aspects of real estate transactions, concentrating in land use entitlement matters and California Environmental Quality Act compliance. Edgar has extensive experience in land use regulation and obtaining entitlements for real estate development projects, including residential development, mixed use projects, compliance with the CEQA, drafting development agreements, and water supply issues.  He has worked with a variety of zoning codes both locally and nationally. Mr. Khalatian has served as Chair of the Valley Industry & Commerce Association's Land Use Committee since 2007.

Fred Abdelnour


Fred Abdelnour is the regional Director of Community & Government Affairs for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. He has served as a member of Metro's Transportation Business Advisory Council and has volunteered with both the Los Angeles Brotherhood Crusade and the Los Angeles Urban League. Mr. Abdelnour is the founder of LA Community Leaders--an organization that encourages corporations to be more socially responsible.

Kathy Delle Donne


Kathy Delle Donne currently serves as President of the Tarzana Neighborhood Council, the Tarzana Improvement Association, and the Plan Review Board for the Ventura-Cahuenga Boulevard Corridor Specific Plan. Over her twenty-year career as a community activist, Ms. Delle Donne has worked to better integrate transit infrastructure and public facilities into their neighborhood contexts. In her former role as President of Delle Donne Properties, she participated in the City's Section 8 Housing Program, providing non-profit transitional housing for victims of domestic abuse.

Liz Falletta


Liz Falletta is an Assistant Professor of architecture and urban design at USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy. Her courses explore how the intersecting values of architecture, planning and development can inform the design process and improve design outcomes.  Outside of the classroom, she has worked as an architect, real estate developer and land-use entitlement consultant. Ms. Falletta developed one of LA’s first small lot subdivisions, and is currently writing a book about the impacts the zoning code has had on the shape of housing in Los Angeles. She is also active with the AIA Political Outreach Committee and the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design.

Noel Fleming


Noel Fleming serves as the Director of Legislative Affairs for the Central City Association (CCA). Before joining CCA, she worked as a land-use entitlement consultant for Downtown and Hollywood-based developers, and served as a planning and development advisor for Councilmember Mike Bonin, and then-Councilmember, Eric Garcetti.

Lark Galloway-Gilliam


Lark Galloway-Gilliam is the Executive Director of Community Health Councils, a non-profit health advocacy and promotion organization.  Lark is a life time resident of South Los Angeles and serves on the Empowerment Congress West Area Neighborhood Development Council and the South LA Alliance of Neighborhood Councils.  She has played an active role in supporting and shaping land use policies that reduce barriers to health and wellness.

Simon Ha, AIA, LEED AP


Simon Ha is a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) accredited architect and Managing Partner at the multinational architecture firm, TSK. He has designed and managed large-scale mixed-use projects in and around Los Angeles, and is an active resident of Downtown Los Angeles. He currently serves as Chair of the Planning & Land Use Committee for the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council and is a member of the Central City Association. Mr. Ha has participated in many working groups dealing with zoning and land-use policy including the Bunker Hill Specific Plan, the Central City Community Plan, and the Downtown Code.

Louis Krokover


Louis Krokover is a General Contractor at Newday Development and the former President of the Encino Neighborhood Council. During his years on the Neighborhood Council, Mr. Krokover was exposed to a wide variety of issues, including poor urban design, out-of-scale development, and historic preservation. He has served as an advisor to the City of Los Angeles on the Baseline Mansionization and Baseline Hillside ordinances.

Mia Lehrer, FASLA


Over the past 35 years, Mia Lehrer, Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (FASLA) has led the planning, design, and implementation of a diverse range of public and private projects both in Los Angeles and internationally. Her projects have included infrastructure master planning, urban revitalization initiatives, park master planning, mixed-use development, and multi-unit housing projects. In her work as President of Mia Lehrer + Associates, she has been an advocate for public participation in the design process, and for low-impact designs that can restore ecosystem functions. Ms. Lehrer has contributed to twelve books on urban design, lectured at Harvard, University of Southern California and University of California-Los Angeles Extension, and served as the Cultural Affairs Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles from 2007 to 2010.

Yvette Lopez-Ledesma


Yvette Lopez-Ledesma is Deputy Director at Pacoima Beautiful, an environmental justice organization that works to create healthier, more equitable environments in the northeast San Fernando Valley. She also currently serves as a commissioner on the Sustainable Burbank Commission. Ms. Lopez-Ledesma has years of work and volunteer experience pursuing her professional interests in program planning, project management, social justice, sustainability, and community engagement.

Romerol Malveaux


Romerol Malveaux is a retired City employee with 30 years of experience in community engagement, housing, and economic development. While working as Field Director for the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, she gained familiarity with communities citywide as she helped certify the first 95 Neighborhood Councils. In retirement, Romerol has remained an active citizen, participating in a community plan revision, serving as Budget Advocate for the Southwest Neighborhood Councils, and working on the California Science Center Space Shuttle Endeavor Task Force.

Joel B. Miller, AICP, LEED AP


Joel B. Miller, American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), LEED AP is a land use consultant with over 40 years of both public and private sector experience.  For the past 29 years, Mr. Miller has worked as a private consultant for Psomas, representing residential, commercial and institutional developers seeking zoning and subdivision entitlements.  Prior to Psomas, he spent 14 years of his career in the public sector with the cities of Glendale and Carson, and drafted the Zoning and Subdivision Codes for the City of Carson.  Mr. Miller has a strong understanding of the City’s existing zoning code and the challenges it presents to achieving a collective vision.

Bill Roschen, FAIA, LEED AP


As an architect and former President of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission, Bill Roschen brings considerable public and private sector experience to the Zoning Advisory Committee.  He is a LEED accredited architect, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA), and has been recognized for his work on mixed-use and sustainable projects. He presided over land-use decisions as a member of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission between 2005 and 2013, and as President of the Commission from 2008 to 2013. In addition to his responsibilities at Roschen Van Cleve Architects, Mr. Roschen serves as co-director of the Woodbury University School of Architecture’s Urban Policy Program.

Donald Shoup, Ph.D., FAICP


Donald Shoup, Ph.D., Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners (FAICP), currently serves as Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning at University of California-Los Angeles. His 2005 book, The High Cost of Free Parking, presented the case for removing off-street parking requirements from city zoning codes and for allowing demand to dictate the price of on-street parking. Dr. Shoup has many years of experience in urban planning policy and education, and he served on the Westwood Design Review Board for eight years, gaining first-hand knowledge of the City’s Zoning Code.

Carol Sidlow


Carol Sidlow is an active member of the Federation of Hillside and Canyon Associations—an organization that represents over 41 homeowners and residents associations across the Santa Monica Mountains from Pacific Palisades to Mt. Washington.  She served as the Federation’s Vice President between 2006 and 2008, and has been the Acting Secretary since 2012. Ms. Sidlow is skilled at fostering dialogue between stakeholder groups, and has collaborated extensively with many Departments in the City over many years. She is dedicated to the preservation of open space in the Los Angeles region.

John Stammreich


John Stammreich is a Program Subcontracts Manager at Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services, and also serves as the Los Angeles Area Coordinator for the United States Naval Academy Information Program. He was one of the original organizers of the Congress of Neighborhood Councils, and has served on several committees within the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council as a three-term elected board member. He currently serves on the boards of the San Pedro Elks Lodge, the Aero Club of Southern California, and the Education Advisory Board for Antioch University-Los Angeles.

Elizabeth Timme


Elizabeth Timme is a practicing architect and founder of LA-Más, a firm dedicated to investigating and influencing the impact of the built environment on community health. Currently, LA-Más is working on the Northeast Los Angeles (NELA) River Collaborative, a master plan and place-making project that involves research, outreach, and engagement with communities to build a truly comprehensive plan. Ms. Timme is an active member of the Hollywood Homeowners Association, the Beachwood Homeowners Association, and various neighborhood councils.

Yasmin Tong


Yasmin Tong is founding Principal of Yasmin Tong Consulting, which offers a full scope of financial advisory and development services focused on affordable housing production and preservation.  Ms. Tong has experience pursuing subdivisions, density bonuses, variances, and other entitlements in the City of Los Angeles. She has also participated in multiple campaigns promoting equitable development and affordable housing. She advocates for private investment and growth that simultaneously provides community benefits.

Mark Vallianatos


Mark Vallianatos is an Adjunct Instructor, and Policy Director of the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute, at Occidental College.  He has studied land use and its impacts on health, sustainability, climate change, active transportation, and social equity. In recent years, he has been assisting with a campaign to improve access to healthy food, while also working with Metro to develop metrics that track adaptation to climate change. Mr. Vallianatos serves on the steering committees for Los Angeles Walks and Take Back the Boulevard—organizations that work to provide safer streets. He also participates on advisory boards for the City's Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles and Metro's Union Station Master Plan.

Richard Willson, Ph.D., FAICP


Dr. Richard Willson is a professor and Chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at California State Polytechnic University-Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona). Zoning is a key focus of his academic research, and his latest work, Parking Reform Made Easy, explores methods of improving parking through zoning regulations. Dr. Willson has served on a Southern California Association of Governments advisory committee, has served as a consultant on various projects for the City of Los Angeles, and has co-authored the Cal Poly Pomona Climate Action Plan.

The ZAC will play a vital role in the re:code LA effort by providing guidance on zoning policy direction.  These 21 individuals represent a variety of interests which include academia (environmental, transportation, and design), neighborhood organizations, social activism, business, and development.  The ZAC members possess valuable expertise and unique perspectives on zoning and planning in the City of Los Angeles.