Chamber of Commerce hires law firm to oppose HCP lawsuits

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce on Thursday said that it engaged the law firm of Sheppard Mullin to intervene in lawsuits challenging the Hollywood Community Plan update.

“We want to ensure that no action is taken that would stop people from securing permits for their businesses and developments in accordance with the approved community plan update,” Chamber President Leron Gubler said in a statement.

The opponents of the community plan – which allows taller buildings and higher density development – say the document doesn’t adequately address provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act on traffic, air quality and land use.

Three groups, the La Mirada Neighborhood Association, SaveHollywood.org and Fix the City, filed separate lawsuits in July to block the plan, which the council approved in June…Read more

3.2 Earthquake Hits Hollywood Fault – UPDATE: New 3.4 quake

A minor earthquake occurred at 3:26:56 AM (PDT) on Monday, September 3, 2012. The magnitude 3.3 event occurred 1 km (1 miles) ENE (62 degrees) of Beverly Hills, CA. The hypocentral depth is 0.1 km (0.1 miles).

The Hollywood Fault runs along Hollywood Blvd and is directly under the land where Millennium want to build two tall skyscrapers. The Hollywood Community Plan calls for many more tall buildings in this area.

Earthquake Shake Map

The Hollywood Community Plan Draft Environmental Impact Report states:

Hollywood Fault. The Hollywood fault is located along the southern base of the Santa Monica Mountains, beneath northern Hollywood. Rupture of the entire Hollywood fault could produce a magnitude 6.6 earthquake (Dolan et al., 1997). The active Hollywood fault trends approximately east-west along the base of the Santa Monica Mountains from the Beverly Hills area to the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles (Dolan et al., 2000). Studies by several investigators have indicated that the fault is active, based on geomorphic evidence, stratigraphic correlation between exploratory borings, and fault trenching studies (Dolan et al., 2000). The fault is also considered active by the State Geologist. However, there is an absence of well-defined surface fault traces. For this reason, an Alquist-Priolo zone has not been established for this fault.” [emphasis added]

UPDATE: A minor earthquake occurred at 0:03:09 AM (PDT) on Friday, September 7, 2012. The magnitude 3.4 event occurred 1 km (0 miles) SE of Beverly Hills, CA. The hypocentral depth is 2 km (1 mile). The quake was 1.6 times stronger than the one last week.

New Earthquake Shake Map

The earthquake faults in Hollywood are described in this report from the Southern California Earthquake Center:

Active Faults in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Region

Santa Monica fault

The Santa Monica fault extends east from the coastline in Pacific Palisades through Santa  Monica and West Los Angeles and merges with the Hollywood fault at the West Beverly Hills  Lineament in Beverly Hills, west of the crossing of Santa Monica Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard, where its strike is northeast.

Hollywood fault

The Hollywood fault extends ENE for a distance of 14 km through Beverly Hills, West  Hollywood, and Hollywood to the Los Angeles River and Interstate 5. It is truncated on the west  by the NNW-striking West Beverly Hills Lineament (WBHL), which marks a left step of 1.2 km  between the Santa Monica fault and Hollywood fault (Dolan et al., 2000a). The lineament,  located in Beverly Hills immediately east of the Los Angeles Country Club, is on trend with, and may be the northwest continuation of the Newport-Inglewood fault.

Raymond fault

The Raymond fault extends 25 km from the Los Angeles River east of Griffith Park east to east-northeast across the San Gabriel Valley through South Pasadena, Pasadena, San Marino, Arcadia, and Monrovia to a junction with the Sierra Madre fault at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains

SCEC video (Santa Monica, Hollywood, Raymond Fault Relationship) from USC showing the faults.

The Santa Monica fault is shown in blue, the Hollywood fault is shown in yellow and the Raymond fault is shown in green.

Beverly Hills Earthquake Hit at Intersection of 2 Major Faults

“The earthquakes that hit this week — a 3.2 on Monday, centered near Doheny Drive and Wilshire Boulevard,  and a 3.4 after midnight Friday, centered near Wilshire Boulevard and Beverly Drive — were relatively shallow. “As a result, they were strongly felt,” [U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Doug] Given said.”

Doheny Drive and Wilshire Boulevard and Beverly Drive and Wilshire Boulevard are both east of the West Beverly Hills Lineament (WBHL) immediately east of the Los Angeles Country Club. This places the quakes on the Hollywood fault.

 

 

Stand With Hollywood Leaders – You CAN Make a Difference!

Many Community Leaders in Hollywood are fighting the City’s attempt to allow big-time developers to build high and wide on the already grid locked major streets you travel on in Hollywood. Developers, politicians, and lobbyists are salivating while plans are made to destroy the heart of the Hollywood we know and love and replace it with a soulless sea of skyscrapers.

In addition to being home to thousands of residents, Hollywood is the main entertainment destination for people in Los Angeles and for tourists from all over the world. However, this hosting burden of being the Entertainment Capitol of the World is immense and no other community in Southern California is equally challenged, except perhaps for Anaheim with its Disneyland venue.

Hollywood’s infrastructure is crumbling, and we don’t have enough services to support it! We don’t have enough resources to respond to the emergency needs of the current population.

Meanwhile, because of the City’s spending sprees, we have gutted the emergency response fund! Our lives and the lives of our visiting guests from near and far are threatened!

Will you stand by silent and allow this? Or, will you support Hollywood’s community leaders as they launch legal challenges to the life-altering changes that the current Hollywood Community Plan will bring?

Fighting costs money!

Don’t stand by while Hollywood is sold to the highest developer bidders. This is your chance to make a difference.

We need your donations! We need them now! Also, if you are willing and able to donate your time and expertise in this fundraising effort, we welcome that, too! You can either visit our website at savehollywood.org or you can send your tax-deductible donation to:

 

SaveHollywood.org
P.O. Box 3943
Los Angeles, CA 90078

Thank you for your interest and support in this very important cause.

The Team of SaveHollywood.org

Click Here to Download the flyer

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.

Why are people suing the City over the Hollywood Community Plan?

There are some falsehoods floating around that the people who have sued the city are NIMBIES who do not want development in their backyards and their views from the Hills destroyed.

If people read the three lawsuits, they will see the falsity of such charges. (see side bar under Learn More and Share)

Setting aside the legalese, the core problem is corruption although that word does not appear in the lawsuits. Los Angeles in general and Hollywood in particular has been subjected to extensive corruption and incompetence over the last decade. The Hollywood Community Plan was another product of such corruption and incompetence.

The basic fraud of the Hollywood Community Plan is to state that Hollywood has been experiencing dramatic growth and we need to build for 250,000 people in 2030. That claim is completely false, but the City made it in order to deceive people into approving extremely lax zoning rules so that developers could build any project while excluding community input. Had the Hollywood Community Plan told the truth that Hollywood has experienced a 20 year decline in population and there is no fact from which to assume that the downward trend will reverse it, then building for 250,000 residents would be a fool’s goal. Building poorly planned projects is a feature of Crony Capitalism nationwide. When one builds with public funds, the losses are socialized while the profits are skimmed from the front end.

When the Hollywood Community Plan was drafted, one must remember that the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) existed and it was siphoning off hundreds of millions of incremental tax dollars each year and then underwriting these projects, none of which pay one cent in incremental property tax dollars. Thus, it did not matter if the projects harmed Hollywood as long as the developers got paid and the City was on the hook for many of the loans.

Using US Census data, Hollywood’s population will be only 190,000 or fewer people by 2030. That is 60,000 less people than the Hollywood Community Plan envisions for 2030. Had Garcetti’s Hollywood Community Plan told the truth about how much the CRA projects had already harmed Hollywood, people would have seen the corruption and incompetence for themselves. Thus, the Plan lied over and over and over again.

The danger of corruption cannot be understood unless one realizes the role that the CRA played. Because the CRA was diverting millions of incremental property tax dollars into its own coffers, the City was perpetually broke. In 2009, 2010, and 2011 the City would pretend that it had no funds and would declare the need to fire people and cut salaries, but all the while it had hundreds of millions of dollars in its CRA bank accounts and the City Council had the power to use these funds to keep the libraries and parks open, to keep the fire department at full force and to up-grade the fire department. (Saying that the LAFD was deficient is not a criticism of the fire fighters. They were and are victims just like us, only more so.)

Rather than taking money away from the developers by using CRA funds to improve the LAFD’s response times, Garcetti as Council President presented bogus emergency response data to the City Council saying that LAFD was doing so great that they could cut the LAFD budget by $200 Million. As the charts show, the LAFD response times have been deteriorating. Falsified response data gave the Council members “deniability” for the harm that would follow. But, we have to ask ourselves what motivation would the LAFD have to falsify statistics in order to reduce their budget? Just who was it that solicited this false data?

As a result of the response data fraud, the CRA gravy train continued, while Angelenos died. Eli Broad got $52 Million for a parking garage next to his art museum, while some father somewhere died of a heart attack because the paramedics could not reach him in time. More children are without grandmothers; others have been seriously burned. The City Council knows that we cannot point to any particular person and prove that he or she died because the paramedics reached the home in 7 minutes rather than 4 minutes. At least, the City Council hopes that we cannot pin it on them. That type of investigation would require a criminal Grand Jury with subpoena power.

We become upset when gang bangers drive by and indiscriminately shoot from car windows killing an innocent child or teenager or mother or father. There is no moral difference between reducing the ability of the emergency responders to reach people than randomly shooting at a crowd of people. The gang banger often does not know whom he killed nor does he care. The same was true for the Garcetti City Council. They did not care who died or was maimed as a result of their reckless and wanton behavior — just as long as they evade responsibility and the developers got their loot.

Unexpectedly, the citizens fought back and abolished the corrupt CRA’s (DoD 2-1-2012) and now more citizens are fighting back again by suing the City over the fraudulent Hollywood Community Plan.

The Hollywood Community Plan wanted to bring 60,000 more residents to Hollywood while degrading fire protection, while hamstringing paramedics, while leaving the LAPD under-sized with antiquated equipment, and while traffic became worse. There was no plan how to handle the extra stress on our water mains or how to provide water for 60,000 more people except to tell Hollywoodians to stop watering their lawns.

The people in the Hollywood Hills and the people in the Hollywood Flats are fighting to make certain some toddler does not die after falling into a swimming pool, so that some 70 year old woman doesn’t needlessly die of a heart attack, and so that scores of people do not lose their homes to fires because there are not enough fire trucks or firemen. It may be dramatic, but it is true. We are fighting for our lives and the lives of our loved ones against the corruption which has turned City Hall into a Temple of Crimogenics.

That is why there are three lawsuits against Garcetti’s Hollywood Community Plan.

LAFD Fire Data Charts

Video of Hollywood Sign Fire

 

Lawsuits Challenge Hollywood Community Plan

Three lawsuits from separate groups are seeking a re-evaluation of the environmental impacts of the Hollywood Community Plan Update, which serves as a guide for future growth and development in the community. One filed by SaveHollywood.org on Wednesday contends the plan violates California Environmental Quality Act and the city violated the Brown Act and the Public Records Act. A lawsuit filed by the La Mirada Homeowners Association of Hollywood on Wednesday alleges the plan violates CEQA and does not adequately consider the effects of traffic, air quality and land use. A third lawsuit filed by Fix the City on July 13, also contends the plan violates CEQA.

Read full Patch Article

Here are pdf links to each legal petition:

SaveHollywood.Org

Fix The City

La Mirada Avenue Neighborhood Association

Who Killed Hollywood?

Help solve the mystery. The date was June 19, last Tuesday in the City Council. What passes for City Council debate on the Hollywood Community Plan began with everyone in the room knowing the vote as usual would be unanimous. It was 3 minutes, 10 seconds into Richard Alarcon’s raising the issue of the City Attorney’s office having suggested environmental protections in the HCP should be stronger. At that moment, the Council camera captures Paul Krekorian getting up out of his seat at the far end of the horseshoe and making a beeline to the dais. “How far behind are we on our community plans?” asked Alarcon. Planning Director Michael LoGrande gave him a long-winded response that never came close to answering the question. There is intense conversation between Krekorian and Assistant City Attorney Dion Connell. A visibly concerned Connell confers with other city officials over a few minutes while another city official whispers in Alarcon’s ear. A lip reader could have fun and maybe learn a lot studying the video of the conversations caught while Alarcon was hesitantly raising a curious question about the City Attorney wanting greater environmental protections. Watch the two realities: The feigned stupidity of city planners that was broadcast and the background mystery.

A Big Lie

Over the behind-the-scenes objections of the honest city planners and with a disregard for the advice of the City Attorney, on June 19th the City Council adopted the corrupt Hollywood Community Plan (HCP).

The HCP is based on two material frauds:

1) Hollywood Must Build for 250,000 ppl in 2030

The Plan insists that in 2005, Hollywood’s population had increase from 210,794 ppl in 2000 to 224,426 ppl. Hollywood’s population was not 224,426 ppl in 2005.  In 2005 Hollywood’s population fell to about 206,000 ppl and by 2010, it had fallen to 198,228 (US 2010 Census). There has been an accelerating exodus from Hollywood starting in 1990, and there are no facts to show that after the decline began, it reversed itself and started to increase only to drop again.

2) The City Studied All Reasonable Alternatives

It did not study the mega-Sizing Alternative of building for 250,000 ppl, the mini-mega-Sizing Alternative of building for 244,000 ppl, the adverse impact of increasing population density beyond 21,000 ppl/sq. mile nor the No Project Alternative. The HCP did not even mention, let alone study, the Down Zoning Alternative which was required due to the fact that Hollywood has been losing population since 1990. In the thousand or so pages of the HCP, the DEIR, the FEIR and the attachments, there is no detailed examination or analysis of anything, only conclusions which support the mega-Sizing desire of Garcetti.

LA City Hall: A Temple to Crimogenics  by Richard Lee Abrams – City Watch 6-26-12

On to Phase Two

George Abrahams — People for Livable Communities and the three other organized groups fighting the Hollywood Community Plan have understood from the beginning that the fight to get the City to respect State Law and even their own laws is a long-term effort. All of us have been working toward the goal of being able to establish the basis of a winning legal challenge to the proposed Plan. The principal focus is the Administrative Record. The Administrative Record is the legal foundation upon which all discussion before a court of law must be based. The period where facts and expert analysis can be introduced is the time from when the Plan is first presented to the public by the City Planning Department to when the City Council votes on the Plan. It is the only time when interested parties can introduce relevant material. All four groups opposing the Plan have been diligently building our case. In alerting the residents of Los Angeles to our effort and raising public awareness about the many faults in the proposed Hollywood Community Plan, we were making it clear to the City Council that their votes on that Plan will have consequences. In this regard we were successful. The PLUM Committee went into closed session to confer with the City Attorney on a matter where “there is significant exposure to litigation, based on ‘existing facts and circumstances’ and the advice of counsel” and ultimately sent the Plan to the City Council “without recommendation”. This was a major admission by the Committee that there were faults in the Plan and that they would face a significant risk of losing in court. When the Plan went to the full Council, it looked for a time that we would be able to make them see reason and send the Plan back to the City Planning Department for correction of the faulty data, a full recirculation of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and a study of the Downzoning Alternative. In the City Council meeting (June 19th), Councilman Alarcon had his doubts about the Plan and questioned the City Attorney and the Planning representatives about it. The Council chose to ignore the warning from the City Attorney and voted to approve the flawed Plan. This was Phase One. However, this does not mean that the fight for a fair and just Hollywood Community Plan is over.

The City has long had a “so sue us” strategy when facing challenges to their abuse of authority, hoping that the people opposed will acquiesce, give up and go away. But fat chance of that. The facts in the administrative record and the law are on our side. So, we go onto Phase Two — we sue them. The case will likely go through both trial court and appeals court before it is settled. The City has to pay all the attorney fees and court costs when it loses a suit. But, until the final decision of the Court is made, the plaintiffs in a case must be able to fund the suit.

We need your help again. Please help us win the case for a Hollywood Community Plan that will fairly serve the interests of both the residents and the businesses in Hollywood. This will also benefit all the residents in Los Angeles who will be affected by the outcome of the suit and harmed if the current Plan is not stopped. Please use the “Donate” button to save Hollywood from excessive density, over-development, skyscrapers and traffic grid-lock.

LA Weekly:  Hollywood Community Plan Passed by L.A. City Council: Welcome to Skyscraper Hell

Hollywood Patch:  City Council Approves Hollywood Community Plan Update

Hollywood Community Plan at City Council THIS Tuesday, June 19th at 10 a.m.

The heat is on and the City Council has finally agreed to add it to their agenda this Tuesday. Please make a special point of being there. Bring your neighbors and friends. The City Council needs to see that there are more than just hillside residents concerned over this dangerously flawed plan. This Just In: Agenda for the Tuesday hearing.

Please take a look at this article – Hollywood Community Plan: Boon or Bust? by Aaron Blevins and published today in the Park Labrea News/Beverly Press