The Los Angeles City Council Tuesday approved a zoning plan for the Hollywood area that's intended to concentrate development and population growth around transit stops, while placing limitations on growth in other areas.
The Hollywood Community Plan, approved on a 13-0 vote, changes some floor-area-ratios that will allow for taller buildings, mainly on Sunset and Hollywood boulevards near Red Line subway stops, angering opponents who predict skyscrapers will soon dominate the area.
Planning Department officials countered that individual projects over 50 units or 50,000 square feet will require special public hearings and city approval, which is not the case for smaller developments.
"This plan definitely does not accelerate growth," City Planning Director Michael LoGrande said. "What it does is it plans for growth."
The plan, which had not been updated since 1988, restricts growth in residential areas and the Hollywood Hills and extends a historical preservation zone to cover more of the 25-square-mile plan area. It also includes provisions to allow for more parks.
"If we were to freeze-frame one year in Hollywood's history, 1988 would not be our most august year," said City Councilman Eric Garcetti, who helped shepherd the plan through city committees.
"Planning for if growth comes, how to deal with it, does not mean that growth has to come. People are free in this city ... to move out of Hollywood if it's overly dense in certain parts. Those things will occur. It's whether we plan for the occasion when people come in."
Critics of the plan, who vowed to sue, argued it will accelerate growth and worsen traffic in the already congested residential neighborhoods adjacent to Hollywood and Sunset boulevards and the Hollywood (101) Freeway.
Several dozen opponents testified that the plan relied on a population increase projected by 2030, when the plan area's population has gone down in recent years.
Opponents also argued the plan allows for taller buildings blocking the Hollywood sign and the historic Capital Records building.
George Abrahams, who sits on the Beachwood Canyon Neighborhood Association board, told council members that by passing the plan, "you'll just be blowing a lot of money on a time-wasting legal battle."