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Judge Rules Hollywood Community Plan 'Fundamentally Flawed'

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Allan J. Goodman orders the city to rescind the plan and to stop issuing permits for projects that were based on the community plan.

By City News Service

Opponents of a Hollywood-area development plan that cleared the way for denser projects and taller buildings were celebrating Wednesday a judge's tentative ruling that the zoning blueprint is "fundamentally flawed, and fatally so."

The 41-page tentative ruling issued Tuesday by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Allan J. Goodman could throw a wrench into proposed projects that were based on the Hollywood Community Plan, which was approved by the City Council last year.

The planning document was approved with vocal support from then-City Councilman Eric Garcetti, now the mayor, and vigorous opposition from Hollywood residents' groups who contended the plan would increase traffic congestion.

Supporters of the development plan said it would help the city transform run-down and crime-plagued neighborhoods into bustling residential and commercial centers.

In his tentative ruling, Goodman said the Hollywood Community Plan was based on outdated population estimates from 2004 and 2005 and does not properly address an increased need for city services. He ordered the city to rescind the plan and to stop issuing permits for projects that were based on the community plan.

"It's a significant setback," said Beverly Palmer, an attorney for Fix the City, one of three groups that filed lawsuits in 2012 challenging the plan.

While city officials might not be required to start from scratch, "they will have to begin much of the process again" under the ruling, Palmer said.

Planning Department Director Michael LoGrande said he and other planning officials were "disappointed" by the ruling and "will be discussing our appeal options" with the city attorney.

Meanwhile, plaintiffs in the lawsuit hailed the ruling.

"We're very pleased," said Mike Eveloff of Fix the City. "I think when you take a look at the plan, it really didn't satisfy the legal requirements for a community plan."

George Abraham of SaveHollywood.org, another group that challenged the plan in court, said the city also should have included an alternative that addressed a declining population in Hollywood.

He said high-density, "transit-oriented" development plans, which are dependant on increased public transit usage, have lost favor in other places and should not be adopted in Hollywood.

"Our position overall is that Hollywood is the wrong place to concentrate development," he said.

Goodman's ruling applies to both groups' lawsuits, as well as that of a third group, La Mirada Avenue Neighborhood Association of Hollywood.

Garcetti and City Attorney Mike Feuer should "take to heart Judge Goodman's rebuke over the use of false data," said attorney Richard MacNaughton, who represents Save Hollywood.org and other groups. "This admonition applies not only to the Hollywood Community Plan, which now must be redone, but also to all other" environmental impact reports and official documents.

"In particular, Mayor Garcetti and City Attorney Feuer need to stop the similar misbehavior with the other community plans which are presently being prepared," he said.

Garcetti spokesman Yusef Robb said the mayor's office was still "reviewing the court's decision."

M. Saint-Jean December 12, 2013 at 08:17 AM
Many thanks to all the good people who fought for this result. There is plenty of room elsewhere for that sort of development. Who, with any history in Los Angeles would ever advocate high rises, over its network of faults. Only pocketliners. It's a given that we have earthquakes here, no more needs to be said. And the Hollywood skyline is just perfect the way it is...it makes it Hollywood. Aren't most of these proponents from out-of-state? Thank you Judge Goodman, Beverly Palmer, George Abraham for being true to your City. Keep it going!
Al Sanchez December 12, 2013 at 11:08 AM
"He said high-density, "transit-oriented" development plans, which are dependant on increased public transit usage, have lost favor in other places and should not be adopted in Hollywood," COMPLETELY AGREE! Hollywood is becoming too crowded. I love the city feel but they are not planning correctly. Hollywood is not Manhattan . . . the transportation doesn't support such hustle and bustle boom. Densification just leads to overcrowding, be it with traffic and/or too many people. It's a no-brainer.
William Bergmann December 12, 2013 at 12:13 PM
The reality is that the population will grow, no matter what the plan. We have a choice of main streets like La Brea completely fronted with 5 story mixed use structures that will mean construction traffic delays for many years, or larger structures located near public transportation. It seems to me the latter is preferable, particularly if the big developers will significantly contribute to adding parks in the area.
bill miller December 12, 2013 at 01:49 PM
Garcetti is reviewing the decision? He manipulated the passing of the illegal plan! He listened to no one, including their own legal council. The law suits could have been avoided but Garcetti pushed it through. Dept. of Planning enablers and accomplices also tap danced around the Truth constantly. Now rewarded with cushy jobs in garcetti's office. A developer funded, inept Plum Committee, LoGrande laughing throughout, it was like watching a circus of fools trying to put stuff over on everyone.They got caught! Those that lived throughout the nightmare of their lies and misrepresentations for months were not stupid. Garcetti may have been banking of stupidity, and people not being aware of what he was up to.. The city made sure it was all kept under the radar.. They only informed 'those within a few hundred feet radius of proposed changes" then lied to Plum and City Council they had outreached to ALL of Hollywood. More lies. How many even knew about it? Garcetti was able to slip it through. What a great lesson for Garcetti! The PEOPLE who had NOT ONE ELECTED OFFICIAL representing them or HOLLYWOOD, as they all stood with garcetti. Truth and Jutice wins out! With recent findings of active fault lines under his bosses projects, Millennium, he should be grateful for the decision.The judge saved him from being responsible for even more deaths..in his sunset/hollywood blvd/east to west corridors of skyscraper towers that he wanted.This is earthquake territory.The thought of people being up in them,and people being in traffic under them, and all the other skyscrapers he wanted all over Hollywood..if (and when) the big one hits, is horrific.Garcetti has made so many irrational, irresponsible decisions, many misjudgments. We should be very concerned about his sanity.He was always able to get his brothers on city council to vote with him..but did he actually think a Judge would ignore all the problems with the plan he got his brothers to ignore and endorse? Wow..what a lesson! He is SO used to getting what he wants! He fought heartily against council voting to absolve the CRA..after consulting with legal council that the city could not afford to take it over..it would bankrupt the city, he was the only hold out..he said he would not let it go..he was going off to do his own research..Guaranteed he is off trying to figure out how to get this decision thrown out. He is stubborn and arrogant. The people and their lives don't matter to him..developer money means everything to him. He was banking on Millennium continuing to get him elected over and over, as they kept Mayor Mennio in office in Boston for 23 years..another mayor who sold a city to Millennium. Possibly the only way to stop him is RECALLING him. Now his PR machine says he is in Washington D.C. ..to distract from this..and will never ever answer to this nightmare! As he never ever answers to anyone or anything. Coward that he is, he has O'farrell out there for him, still defending Millennium. Where is garcetti? Recall both of them!
Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move December 12, 2013 at 02:23 PM
Finally some sense and reason. There is nothing "community oriented" about this plan.
ruth December 12, 2013 at 02:27 PM
Correction: This was way bigger than just Hollywood resident's groups opposing. Petitions signed by opposers with thousands upon thousands from all over the city were handed over to City Council many commenters condemning garcetti for inviting higher density in Hollywood and pleading with him to STOP IT.. It was all ignored. The petitions signed by Millennium opposers, also thousands from all over the city, again condemning garcetti ofr inviting Millennium, became so huge he had to lie and say to The Media he was against Millennium (his campaign funder) lest jeopardize his mayoral campaign based on lies about how he saved Hollywood. This myth that it was Hollywod residents opposing is just that a Myth..Probably from the city's PR machine, or The Hollywood Chamber's who also lied about crime stats and everything else they could to get this thing passed. How many of them live anywhere near Hollywood??Millennium is their biggest donor. Hollywood residents?Nothing was farther from the TRUTH. Garctti can't deal with THE TRUTH.
bill miller December 12, 2013 at 06:35 PM
The only Park getting funded is Phil Aaron's (Millennium) Hollywood Cap Park. Garcetti's boss. Who got him and O'farrell elected Garcetti got LaBonge and O'farrell to get city council just a few weeks ago to fork over hundreds of thousands of dollars for this Cap Park's EIR..While we are told, by our elected officials and their deputies, that the city has no money, only 40 streets can be repaired, and there is no money to fix up old gems like Runyon Canyon Park and others that have fallen into disrepair. L.A. wake up.. Our millennium bought politicos are turning our money over to Millennium projects. Will it ever end?? Maybe the Judge's decision will shut down Hollywood Cap Park..it may put some neighborhood council board members working for Aarons, and using our NC's for their bosses needs..monetary and otherwise.. out of jobs, but we might then actually see our money being used for street repairs and other services..and some nice parks spread out around town would be great too!
M. Saint-Jean December 13, 2013 at 09:51 AM
Let's not leave it here! Let's keep the momentum going for those parks and potholes. Great job Angelenos and Hollywooders!!!
Scott Zwartz December 13, 2013 at 10:17 AM
Judge Goodman pointed out that in 2011, the city had the duty to provide the public with accurate information including population data. The City falsely told the public that Hollywood was growing and that we had no choice except to construct more high rises. People believed Garcetti. Many people still believe that Hollywood is gaining population and thus we need more high rises. The reality is that Hywd has been loosing population for over 20 years and the population loss is greatest near the subway stations and the CRA mixed use projects. The projection of Hollywood's population in n2030 based on actual data rather than "Garcetti myths" is that we will have 190,000 or fewer people by 2030 and not the 260,000 pl or whom Garcetti wants to build. For the person distressed by the development along La Brea, you are right. It is destroying La Brea. However, there is no need for those huge financial white elephants or for TODs. 1990 Hywd had 214,000 ppl per US census 2000 Hywd had 210,000 ppl per US census 2005 Hwyd had 200,000 ppl per SCAG or 206,000 ppl per private estimates 2010 Hywd had 198,000 ppl per US census The comprehensives studies by the Sol Price School of Public Policy and the State Department of Finance show that there have been major demographic shifts and there is no basis to expect any increase in population. Decline is more likely. Between 2000 and 2010, the entire city gained only 97,000 ppl, which is the smallest population increase since 1890 to 1900 when the city gained 52,000 ppl. Hwyd leads the City in this trend with a significant population exodus. Thus, the facts make it clear that the very last place Los Angeles should be adding more apartments and condos is Hollywood. Judge Goodman ruled that the City had the duty to be truthful in the data which it published and since the city knowingly provided false data, the entire Hollywood plan was thrown out. The message to Garcetti, Feuer and the billionaires is this: In Judge Goodman's courtroom, "'Too big to fail' does not apply; the law applies." Judge Goodman placed the rule of law over the rule of the 1%.
ruth December 13, 2013 at 02:53 PM
Today many people called into this show talking about how they had to move out of Hollywood to the valley due to the costs of rents etc. Listen Live | 89.3 KPCC http://www.scpr.org/listen_live/ Yes, people have been fleeing Hollywood.. Garcetti lied about population data.. City council never reads anything or they certainly would have seen the falsified data in black and white. They just all voted the way garcetti wanted them to..shame on all of them! Thank goodness we have Judges..doing the work and reading city council never will do. The plum committee also never reads anything. Millennium skyscrapers were all a big surprise to them at HCP plum hearings..Reyes:.."(duh)..That rendering can't be accurate..nothing that all could be built so close to The Capitol Records Building" City Planner: "yes it is and it has been proposed"(video avail. on you tube..HCP Plum Hearing) What planet do these guys live on?And THEY are making DECISIONS??!! They were all funded by Millennium! Then they and city council approve projects that literally are REcreating a city, and no one has even read any of THE PLANS. And they get paid! It is disgusting. Garcetti's skewed vision..REcreating Hollywood will squeeze out whatever middle class is left..and his skyscrapers will all be ghost town empty buildings. Pathetic... Get rid of him before it's too late!
Robert Cherno December 15, 2013 at 03:24 PM
The City's idea was to be more "Business Friendly" at the expense of the surrounding residential communities. Their idea of "Business Friendly" is as flawed as their Hollywood Plan!

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