On September 23rd, KIWA members and allies turned out en masse to oppose the Conditional Use Permit at a public hearing before the Zoning Administration of the City of LA. About 12 KIWA members expressed their concerns to the Zoning Administrator about the negative impacts of the project on the surrounding neighborhood as well as their concerns about affordable housing. KIWA staff emphasized that Oriental Mission Church’s proposed development is not consistent with the neighborhood nor with existing and overriding City and CRA plans for the area.

Both our City Councilmember, Tom LaBonge, and the Wilshire Center/Koreatown Community Redevelopment Agency have acknowledged KIWA’s concerns and have separately made recommendations as to changes in the church’s plans.

KIWA continues to oppose the parking lots. In a recent meeting including church representatives and CRA representatives, OMC shared a master plan for the neighborhood and committed to building 46-units of replacement housing. Unfortunately, they offered no specific timelines as to when replacement housing would be completed and no specific commitment to replace any future loss of housing they may cause in the neighborhood.

KIWA has asked OMC to sign an MOU with us to put in writing and as a binding contract these commitments–to immediate replacement housing for the units they demolished and to replace housing they may demolish in the future. We are urging OMC to do their part to preserve affordable housing in the neighborhood.


KIWA is taking a stand for affordable housing and responsible community development. Despite widespread community opposition and KIWA’s consistent appeals to Oriental Mission Church urging them to end their plans to pave over almost an entire block in Koreatown for parking lots, OMC applied for a Conditional Use Permit to do just that. OMC requests permission to demolish 2 more rent-controlled buildings, about 23 units of affordable housing and to use several lots zoned for family housing as parking lots for an indeterminate amount of time. The church claims that there is no negative impact on the neighborhood, even though they have already displaced 40 families and demolished two rent-controlled buildings and over 20 units of affordable housing for this parking project.