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 →
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 →
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Ann I. Jones on July 23, 2012 ruled that the Los Angeles City Council’s approval of a planned 20-story retail and residential tower at Hollywood Boulevard and Gower Street in Hollywood was illegal.
Jones slammed the Los Angeles City Planning Department and City Council, ruling that the City had violated the public’s constitutional due process rights in a process which “negated . . . meaningful public participation.”
Discussing a pattern of misconduct by City Planning staff, Jones found that “effective public participation was wholly derailed by the process adopted by the City in this case.”
Community group La Mirada Avenue Neighborhood Association of Hollywood, plaintiff in the lawsuit, also obtained emails between consultants for the project developer, 6104 Hollywood, LLC, and City staff. Jones noted that the contents of those emails were further evidence of “impropriety in the process.”
According to attorney Robert P. Silverstein, who won the lawsuit on behalf of the neighborhood association, the emails revealed back-channel communications between the City and developer’s consultants and collusion to suppress information from public review.
It’s February 27, 2012. The documents below were just released by the City Planning Department. By every indication, they plan to hold fast to their efforts to have this new plan implemented. It will take a lot of voices and perhaps litigation to slow this train before it wrecks what we have left of Hollywood. We’ll let you know when this is on the agenda of the Planning and Land Use Committee of the City Council (PLUM). Every chair must be filled with concerned neighbors! The City must correct the errors in this plan (see side bar for lists of inaccuracies (flaws) in the plan). Once corrected, they must recirculate the Environmental Impact Statement.