The city of Los Angeles has taken a significant step to address the issue of abandoned building sites.
The city of Los Angeles has taken a significant step to address the issue of abandoned building sites.

LA Approves Private Security Plan for Abandoned Construction Sites

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The city of Los Angeles has taken a significant step towards addressing the issue of abandoned construction sites, notably the notorious “graffiti towers,” by approving a new plan to enlist private security guards to monitor them. 

The council’s unanimous vote marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing efforts to mitigate hazards and deter vandalism at these sites.

Council’s Unanimous Approval:

In a resounding 13-0 vote, the council endorsed amendments to the city’s building standards enforcement, paving the way for private security personnel to oversee buildings deemed hazardous to life, limb, and public safety. 

This decision reflects the city’s commitment to addressing immediate threats posed by abandoned properties, including the infamous Oceanwide Plaza and similar targets for vandalism.

Financial Repercussions and Security Costs:

Under the approved plan, property owners must reimburse the city for the expenses incurred in hiring private security services. 

The move comes as a response to the substantial resources expended by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in patrolling these sites, which has placed a significant financial burden on taxpayers. 

Councilmember Kevin de Leon emphasized the need to relieve the LAPD of this responsibility, highlighting the department’s primary role in serving and protecting the city’s residents.

Challenges and Persistent Vandalism:

The “graffiti towers,” a symbol of urban blight and neglect, have been subject to relentless vandalism since construction stopped in 2019 due to funding shortages. 

The escalation of graffiti tagging across the towers’ 30 floors and incidents such as base jumping from the top underscore the urgent need for enhanced security measures.

Implementation and Future Considerations:

While LAPD has scaled back its presence at the towers, the council’s transition to private security requires further deliberation regarding the specifics of the security plan and associated costs. 

The recent erection of a $1.1 million fence around the complex is a testament to the city’s commitment to safeguarding these properties and curbing unauthorized access.

Joshua Skate

Joshua Skate is a prominent contributor at Insider Los Angeles, known for his vibrant storytelling and deep dive into the city's culture, trends, and hidden gems. His pieces bring to life the unique spirit and diversity of Los Angeles, making him a go-to source for all things LA.

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