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City Council Approves Hollywood Community Plan Update

The City Council voted unanimously to approve the document that serves as a blueprint for development in Hollywood.

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."

 

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john ragin June 19, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Garcetti and La Bonge are phoneys...no skyscrapers crooks
Mary Holmes June 19, 2012 at 10:34 PM
It's been a long time coming because it's a deeply flawed plan. Just because something has been "in the works" for a long time, doesn't make it ready or right. The EIR, a necessary step for legitimate review, was only circulated late last year. It's update was published 5 days ago. Hardly an eternity to ponder over something that will create a sea change in the way Hollywood, as well as every other city in Los Angeles, does or does NOT prosper and thrive.
Scott Zwartz June 19, 2012 at 10:46 PM
We learned something very interesting from Alarcon at the council meeting -- The City Atty told them not to approve the Hollywood Plan but instead to replace the false data with truthful data and then re-circulate the Plan for public comment. Garcetti said "No."
Scott Zwartz June 19, 2012 at 10:48 PM
What Garcetti said "No" to was the advice from the City Atty. Knowing that the City will be sued and in the city Atty;s opinion is likely to lose, Garcetti chose to be sued. He never all those campaign contributions from the developers to run for mayor and they figure that since they've bought a city council, they can certainly buy a few jugdes. Time will tell.
Mary Holmes June 19, 2012 at 10:58 PM
There is no money for current infrastructure challenges. The Plan names The City as the Lead Agency responsible for the implementation of all mitigation measures unless otherwise noted. The original framework plan called for monitoring and annual reports as well. The City is currently over a decade behind in most of those reports. IN OTHER WORDS THE SAME AGENCY THAT IS CURRENTLY A DECADE BEHIND, WILL NOW BE ASSIGNED A SIMILAR SET OF DUTIES EXPONENTIALLY MORE COMPLEX than those they have already been proven utterly inadequate to perform. Without monitored reports, there can be no information upon which to craft mitigation – leaving air quality, water supply, police and fire protection, and other factors critical to quality of life, basically unchecked. In addition, the EIR update, (released 5 days ago), dismisses concerns expressed over updated earthquake fault information by referring to the Metro EIR in which the new information appears as being "unrelated" and notes that one of the faults in question ends "approximately 2 miles west" of the designated area the plan encompasses, whereas two others are not in the plan area at all. Close, but not "in" the zone. Do these planners believe they can gerrymander an earthquake? Ignoring these issues and proceeding with this plan is like going ahead with an execution, when new evidence proves the innocence of the accused, just because said execution had been a "long time coming." It is both wrongheaded and dangerous.
george abrahams June 19, 2012 at 11:34 PM
The last minute additions to the Plan, which were inserted in a feeble attempt to be responsive to the many errors in the Draft EIR, haven't made it conforming to the law. The tissue of cover they purport to provide are going to be challenged in court. All the City has done is delay the updating of the HCP by several years. Given the track record of the Council as 15 bobble heads all nodding in unison it is not surprising that they decided to approve the flawed Plan. The law is on the side of those who challenged the Plan. The Plan is still going to have to go back for recirculation of the EIR with the order of the Court after an expensive legal battle. The City will be paying all the costs. But the Council doesn't care. They'll just charge it to the taxpayers.
Mary Holmes June 20, 2012 at 12:07 AM
I would like to thank Lindsay Baguio for doing an excellent job of delivering timely and unbiased reporting about this plan. I have no idea what side she's on, if any, which is exactly as it should be. What I do know is that it's difficult to find information anywhere else, including major news outlets, which is a shame.
resident90068 June 20, 2012 at 04:47 AM
When "termed out Tommy" is long gone from office and the Developers start to build does he still get his money from them? I hope he gets stuck in traffic on the way to the bank to cash the checks.
Philip Mershon June 20, 2012 at 05:01 AM
@Mary, couldn't agree with you more! Our little Patch here is an oasis in a desert of coverage. And really, if a reporter would read some of these comments that have appeared on these stories which contain astounding allegations against the City Council that include faked reports, misuse of public funds and getting paid off by commercial developers, you would thing they'd be salivating to do some research and break a scoop on the City Government. Unless the larger media outlets are in on the gravy train too.
Scott Zwartz June 20, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Dear Philip Mershon: These matters have been published. There has been extensive coverage of the $1.4 M appraisal fraud at 1601 N. Vine involving Garcetti, Ullman, and Katersky followed up by the corrupt sale of the $4 M property to Katersky for only $825,000. The near $1/2 Billion loss at Hollywood-Higland has been discussed for years. The $12.5 M fraud involving the Hollywood Sign has been publicized. The $11.3 M that CRA gave CIM Group for causing blight at Hollywood-Western has been published. The $52 M to developer Eli Broad for his parking garage at his art museum was even cited as one of the reasons the State abolished the CRA. The severe population loss near the subways and the CRA projects has been publicized. I suggest that you should draw a distinction between the stories which have been published and the ones which you have read.
Philip Mershon June 20, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Calm down there Scott, we're on the same side here. At least I think so. Unfortunately "extensive coverage", "followed up", "been publicized" and "been published" doesn't amount to much when the LA Times article last Sunday (http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/17/local/la-me-hollywood-plan-20120617) ridiculously and erroneously reduced the entire affair to a fight between two invented camps: 'flat-landers for development' and 'hill-dwellers against development'. The average citizen (who isn't an avid troller of news sources and blogs on this topic like a lot of us are) isn't having all the dots connected for them to get the story of the shenanigans BEHIND the idea of building a bunch of new buildings. The point I was trying to make (which perhaps I wasn't clear about and will be now) is this: I am casting a suspicious eye on all of the print/TV news media for not investigating this with the verve and tenacity that they typically show for any Hollywood scandal. If there is a suggestion of wrong doing in the past on various different development projects (and there is), and there is verifiable documentation to support that (which there certainly seems to be) I'm asking for coverage that ties all of this together and keeps the finger pointed squarely at City Hall and not deflecting the attention onto the citizens. Only then can we understand what's really going down and begin to clean house if necessary.
ruth June 20, 2012 at 11:44 PM
They could have recirculated it. Instead they followed Garcetti, Villaraigosa, The Hollywood Chanber of Commerce, all funded by Millennium, into the firey Hell of Millennium's developer corrupting money.. They voted for a very flawed, ILLEGAL Plan. With nothing in it to protect the PEOPLE, who travel through Hollywood, visit Hollywood and live and work in Hollywood. People/Children/Families, Elders..PEOPLE. There is NO COMMUNITY in The Hollywood Community Plan. Garcetti actually said yesterday that we can move to Rosendahl's district if we don't like high density. I guess we pack up our families, pull our kids out of their schools, away from their friends and just leave? He is not only a lieing, corrupt coward, but he is inhumane too. Their will be law suits. Sadly, at the taxpayers expense. The only good thing to come out of it.. city council members have been accomplices in Garcetti's POLITICAL SUICIDE.

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