New Hollywood Community Plan Released

A new Hollywood Community Plan has been submitted and there are scoping meetings being held across the City of Los Angeles – Click here to see the NEW PLAN. We will post these meetings on the FACEBOOK SITE as well as on this website.

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

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

Let L.A. Be L.A.

by Joel Kotkin – published 7-30-2012 in City-Journal.org
Unrestrained high-density development doesn’t become the City of Angels.

Victor’s Restaurant, a nondescript coffee shop on a Hollywood side street, seems an odd place to meet for a movement challenging many of Los Angeles’s most powerful, well-heeled forces. Yet amid the uniformed service workers, budding actors, and retirees enjoying coffee and French toast, unlikely revolutionaries plot the next major battle over the city’s future. Driving their rebellion is a proposal from the L.A. planning department that would allow greater density in the heart of Hollywood, a scruffy district that includes swaths of classic California bungalows and charming 1930s-era garden apartments. The proposal—which calls for residential towers of 50 stories or more along Hollywood Boulevard, where no building currently tops 20 stories—has been approved unanimously by the city council and will now probably be challenged in court.

Read Full Article

SaveHollywood.org is currently suing the City to prevent it from being destroyed. The facts and the law are on our side but we will have to show it in court. Lawsuits are costly. We need your financial support to save the Hollywood we all love. Now is the time to act. Please take a moment to use the “Donate” button or write a check to SaveHollywood.org to make it a success.

City Planning Dept: Don’t Confuse Us With the Facts. We Have Our Minds Made Up

City planners, relying on Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) projections that there will be an additional demand for multi-unit housing have proposed upzoning for more density in Hollywood. However, the factual data proves that most people don’t want it.

The American Community Survey of the U.S. Census Bureau found that only 11.8% preferred multi-unit housing while Los Angeles has an existing stock of 39.6%. The 2011 Community Preference Survey commissioned by the National Association of Realtors found that only 8% of the respondents favored a central city environment. There is a wide gap between the utopian vision of the SCAG projections and reality. The Hollywood Community Plan should be based on reality.

If Smart Growth is so Smart, How Come No One Wants to Live There? – by Ed Braddy for CityWatchLA.com 4/5/2012

More Americans Move to Detached Houses – by Wendell Cox for NewGeography.com

 

 

Time to Take Action – A Hollywood Neighbor Speaks

by Daniel Costa –

Here are my observations of the PLUM meeting that took place yesterday. It was predictably a grotesque display of backstage hand-shaking, shoulder-patting and self-praising by the Council Members with special interest and ties to the developers they’re so intimately in bed with. Business as usual when it comes to the development of Hollywood.

We first heard from the Hollywood Community Plan (HCP) Staff who was generously offered 45 minutes to gloat in a vague language and often-inaccurate statistics about the benefits their project would have on the community. Of course this was reciprocated and echoed repeatedly throughout the entire presentation by the Assembly Members like an impeccable performance by two stage actors (no doubt they’ve had a chance to hone their rehearsal skills in the past).

This was followed by a procession of the habitual interested parties in favor of the plan as well as other leaders who had been coerced into submission in exchange for gifts and special consideration. Much like the fans at a sporting event, the majority of those in favor sat in the front rows while the few against the plan congregated in the back in a stance of solidarity, each side cheering for their own team.

Then came the time for the public to speak, just a handful of us trying to represent the interest of our peers in the community. Mind you, we were given exactly one minute to get our point across, a true testament to the declining power that people possess in our current Democracy. Nevertheless, each of us stoically took turns conveying our objections to a panel we knew had already made up its mind on the outcome of this hearing. Some of us got cut off by an annoying game buzzer as if we were contestants on Jeopardy, while others managed to barely speed through their soliloquy.

 

But as I looked around the majestic room in City Hall, there was something, someone or rather a sound of crucial importance missing from this meeting… The voice of the residents and constituents who have the most at stake if this proposal is implemented. Why, one may ask out of logical curiosity? And the answer is because 99% (Doesn’t that figure sound familiar these days) of the people who live and work in our community have no clue that their city is about to get ransacked by a bunch of unscrupulous developers who have been given “Carte Blanche” to do as they please. Of course this is intentional by the powers that be for all the obvious reasons. An educated public is not in their best interest and would put a serious damper on their plans to fill their pockets.

Yet either the developers or our city officials are the ones who will have to deal with the aftermath and irreversible consequences this faulty plan will have on our community for years to come. They will not be the ones sitting in massive traffic, circling endlessly to find a place to park, or facing inadequate police and fire response time to name just a few of the perils we will be faced with. Nor will they be forced to watch architectural atrocities and blunders such as the hideous “project” on the corner of Hollywood & Western (Eric Garcetti’s claim to fame) and many others that have been hastily erected around the city. And furthermore, they will not be the ones to see their home and property values depreciating by the cheapening and commercialization of a historical city that deserves to be restored to its former glory and integrity. That’s because I guarantee you that the majority of these officials and their cronies will not be residing anywhere close to Hollywood when the crap hits the fan. But I do envision us cursing their names from the havoc they leave behind.

So please get involved right now before it’s too late. As mentioned in the post above, there is another meeting on April 17, 2012. This is your chance to get your 1-minute of fame. If enough of us overwhelm City Hall, create petitions, inform our neighbors and create a sizable movement, our voice will be heard! I also met with a few attorneys who will take legal action if the plan goes through, but they will need financial and active support from our community.

If like me, you love this neighborhood and would like it to be restored in a responsible and manageable way with the architectural/historical integrity and respect it deeply deserves, so that it may benefit its residents rather than the deep pockets of a few interested parties, I plea that you get involved ASAP!

The Hollywood Community Plan Update – a Fiasco in the Making

By Dick Platkin –

Published in CityWatchLA.com –

THE CITY – The Update of the Hollywood Community Plan is not only opposed by every neighborhood council and resident group in Hollywood, but also by city planning professionals like myself.  I was part of the team of Los Angeles city planners who prepared the General Plan Framework in the mid-1990’s, the adopted citywide plan which public officials, like Mayor Villaraigosa and Councilmembers Garcetti and LaBonge, claim the Update implements. (Link)
In fact, the Update totally conflicts with LA’s General Plan.  It is nothing more than the city planning version of the fantasy film, Field of Dreams, in which an Iowa farmer built a baseball diamond that magically materialized high caliber baseball teams and games.

The politicians promoting this “plan” believe that a slew of mega-projects in Hollywood will propel economic growth.  Nothing could be further from the truth, which is why the General Plan Framework is strongly opposed to such real estate bubbles.

First, Hollywood’s public infrastructure and services cannot support super-sized projects, a barrier clearly documented in the Update’s Final Environment Impact Report.

Second, there is no evidence that the upscale tenants, shoppers, and residents required to make these mega-projects succeed will ever materialize.  LA is no longer a boomtown, but an old, deteriorating city, mired in poverty, inequality, and decay.  Instead, like the Hollywood and Highland shopping center, the new skyscrapers encouraged by the Update will languish until their developers are forced to beg for public handouts to avoid bankruptcy.

If City Hall really wants to revitalize Hollywood and the rest of Los Angeles, it must provide amenities, not green light financial speculation.  This city desperately needs code enforcement, bans on supergraphics and billboards, undergrounded utility wires, good schools, extensive transit and bike lanes, more parks and community centers, repaired streets and sidewalks, and an urban forest.

This ought to be the clear local lesson from the Wall Street financial crisis that began in 2008 and has yet to be resolved.

(Richard Platkin is a veteran planning professional and an occasional contributor to CityWatch. He can be reached at rhplatkin@yahoo.com) -cw

Richard (Dick) H. Platkin, AICP