PLUM Gets an Education – People’s Voices Silenced

by Fran Reichenbach — In the meeting yesterday of the Los Angeles City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM), it appeared that PLUM was not prepared to actually see what the Hollywood Community Plan Update will mean for Hollywood. At the end of a mere 15 minutes of public comment in yesterday’s hearing on this matter, a poster illustrating the height of one of two Millennium Project towers was presented. (See graphic) After the speaker sat down, the committee asked to see that poster close up. They then proceeded to ask Kevin Keller (Planning Department) about what can and can’t be built on Vine now and in the future (if the Hollywood Community Plan is approved). They wanted to know how high a structure could be in the “Hollywood Core” and what the process for approval of such developments is and will be. The three councilmembers on the PLUM committee expressed some surprise at the responses that Kevin gave. Kevin confirmed that indeed a building that tall is planned to sit next to Capitol Records as part of the Millennium Project. He added that certain hearings would have to be conducted.

One could guess that this committee has been depending on the testimony of the Planning Department (Kevin Keller and Mary Richardson) for valuable details rather than dissecting the Hollywood Community Plan Update themselves. That may change as a result of this one revelation.

As refreshing as it was to finally have the truth laid out and understood by this committee, the people were not satisfied. And who could blame them? This hearing had a great number of people opposing the plan sitting in their seats patiently waiting for their turn to speak. The good news is that this plan will be back before PLUM in two weeks. Councilmember Reyes did allude to the possibility of taking public comment if need be at that time. Why not contact him at councilmember.reyes@lacity.org. Ask him to set aside a full hour or more for public comment when the Hollywood Community Plan (file 12-0303) comes before his PLUM committee in two weeks. In the interest of empowerment and the recognition of the importance of this issue, no voice should be silenced!