Measure S Fails in Ballot-Box Rout, But Concerns Over Scale of Development in L.A. Remain

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Depite all the noise and fury over density, traffic and out-of-scale development this election season, the battle over Measure S turned out to be something of a rout.

Supporters watch results on a large screen at the Yes on S campaign at an election night party at campaign headquarters in Los Angeles on March 7, 2017. (Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Business, political and labor leaders who warned that the measure would deliver a shock to Los Angeles’ economy secured an overwhelming victory, with nearly 69% of voters rejecting it.

Yet, in the wake of that lopsided victory, some foes of Measure S — which sought a crackdown on large-scale development projects — sounded wary about taking too much of a victory lap. City leaders, they say, still need to confront the issues that dominated the campaign, such as the high cost of housing and the need for better planning.

“We want to be excited about the win. But ultimately, this doesn’t fix anything,” said Shane Phillips, policy director for the advocacy group Abundant Housing L.A. “Beating Measure S just means we don’t make things worse.”

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