City Votes to Remove Monitoring Policies from Community Plans

By Richard Platkin

On Tuesday February 18, 2014 the LA City Council passed Council motion 12-0303-S3. In part it said:

INSTRUCT the Planning Department, in consultation with the City Attorney, to:

a .  Initiate the process of amending the General Plan’s Framework Element to make    clear that the Framework Element does not require, and was never intended to require, Community Plans themselves to contain monitoring policies or programs, and that the Framework Element’s monitoring programs are discretionary, not mandatory, and that they are contingent on the availability of resources and competing priorities, as the Court of Appeal held in  Saunders v. City of Los Angeles , Case No. B232415

It is possible to amend the General Plan, and the procedures are explained in detail in Charter section 555. All references to General Plan monitoring – which the Department of City Planning has overlooked since 1999 – could be excised from the citywide General Plan Framework Element. But it is incorrect that these monitoring provisions were originally intended to be discretionary. As a City Planning staff person who participated in the preparation of the General Plan Framework Element, there was never any discussion or written documentation presenting the Framework’s monitoring program and the annual monitoring report as discretionary. In fact, after the City Council adopted the General Plan Framework Element in 1996, I was assigned to a Framework monitoring unit that produced three annual monitoring reports in the late 1990s. Furthermore, the Framework’s monitoring requirements are also discussed in detail in the General Plan Framework Element’s Final Environmental Report, where it is clearly described as a detailed, mandatory, and on-going aspect of the General Plan Framework Element, not a discretionary feature contingent on available staffing. Continue reading

Court Issues Judgement and Writ

judgement

The next step in the Hollywood Community Plan Update trial will occur on Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 when the City is served with the Judgement and Writ ordering it to “rescind, vacate and set aside all actions approving the [HCPU] and all actions certifying [the EIR] adopted in connection therewith, as well as all related approvals issued in furtherance of the HCPU,” passed on June 19, 2012. The City has the option to comply with the judge’s order, offer a negotiated settlement with the petitioners or to appeal the judgment within 60 days.

The City Council will hear a motion to draft the necessary ordinance to comply with the judgement at the Tuesday session.

 

City Council to Discuss Defeat of Their Fatally Flawed Hollywood Community Plan Update

lacityhallByWendellCox

 

City Attorney Mike Feuer has sent a letter to the City Council requesting a closed session meeting to discuss the challenges to the City Council’s June 19, 2012, adoption of the Hollywood Community Plan Update (HCPU) and its environmental impact report.

Last month Judge Goodman agreed with the three challengers, La Mirada Neighborhood Association, Fix the City and Save Hollywood, that the Hollywood Community Plan Update was fatally flawed as a planning document. It failed to comply with CEQA, and CEQA Guidelines and was not consistent with the Charter of the City of Los Angeles, the General Plan Framework Element and other applicable laws. Continue reading

Build it, Even Though They Won’t Come – Joel Kotkin

Density The recent decision by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Allan J. Goodman to reject as “fatally flawed” [1] the densification plans for downtown Hollywood could shake the foundations of California’s “smart growth” planning clerisy. By dismissing Los Angeles’ Hollywood plan, the judge also assaulted the logic behind plans throughout the region to construct substantial high-rise development in “transit-oriented developments” adjacent to rail stations. Continue reading

Letter to Beverly Press Editor – December 29, 2013

re: Superior Court Decision Overturning Hollywood Community Plan Update

As someone who actually conducted research that was used for the lawsuits challenging the Hollywood Community Plan Update, I take issue with the claims of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce that the Update’s Draft Environmental Impact Report was released two months before 2010 Census Data was released. Continue reading

Rejecting Hollywood Densification

lacityhallByWendellCoxby Wendell Cox 12/24/2013

The city of Los Angeles received a stunning rebuke, when California Superior Court Judge Alan J. Goodman invalidated the Hollywood Community Plan. The Hollywood district, well known for its entertainment focus, contains approximately 5% of the city of Los Angeles’ population. The Hollywood Plan was the basis of the city’s vision for a far more dense Hollywood, with substantial high rise development in “transit oriented developments” adjacent to transit rail stations (Note 1). Continue reading

Judge Deals Major Blow to Hollywood Growth Plan

LA TrafficA judge has dealt a major blow to Los Angeles’ efforts to spur larger development in parts of Hollywood, calling a new zoning plan for the area “fatally flawed” and saying that the document should be repealed.
In a tentative 41-page ruling issued Tuesday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Allan J. Goodman said city leaders failed to comply with the state’s environmental law when it approved an update to the Hollywood Community Plan, which mapped out new limits for development in that neighborhood. Continue reading

Hollywood Becomes Fraudywood

M FraudywoodIn order to have the City Council approve the Garcetti Hollywood Community Plan on June 19, 2012, the HCP EIR deceitfully inflated Hollywood’s 2005 population by 23,880, claiming to have used SCAG Regional Transportation Plan numbers.

After the three lawsuits were filed and finding that the SCAG 2005 RTP had absolutely no data for Hollywood and finding no SCAG data on Hollywood’s population for any year including 2005 baseline or for the fictitious population of 244,602 ppl in 2030 anywhere in the 70,000 pages of administrative record, concerned citizens made a Government Code, § 6250 request for the SCAG population data on Hollywood.  Guess what? SCAG had NO public data. There never was any official or public population data for the 2005 population of 224,426 ppl.  Thus, it was a material fraud to tell the public that the baseline 2005 population was 224,426 ppl. Continue reading

“Plan Bay Area” Will Drive Housing Prices Higher, Intensify Traffic, and Increase Air Pollution

sfDevelopment constraints will lead to unaffordable housing

The proposal’s regulatory overreach will have detrimental consequences for Bay Area residents and the metropolitan economy. The proposed Plan Bay Area would allow little or no new development beyond the urban fringe, where cities have grown naturally since the beginning of time. Similar, though less draconian constraints on urban fringe development have been employed for 40 years in the Bay Area.  The result has been to more than double house prices relative to incomes, making home ownership affordable only to the affluent. Even after playing musical chairs with the lives of seven million current residents and a million additional residents who could move here by 2040, Plan Bay Area says that people will drive cars just about as much as they do now.  But its critical to note that much of this traffic would be concentrated around the priority development areas, which would intensify traffic congestion and air pollution and its relative health impacts. Continue reading

The Tallest White Elephant in the World

WhiteElephantReaching more than a thousand feet into the air, The Shard was hailed as one of the wonders of the age when it was completed. Yet Britain’s tallest building is almost entirely empty, as its owners struggle to find buyers and tenants for its offices and luxury flats. As our picture shows, London’s 72-storey skyscraper is largely dark in the early evening, while the surrounding buildings are bright with office lights. Continue reading