Judge Orders City to Rescind its Attempt to Change the General Plan

JusticeGraphicPublished July 17 in CityWatchLA:

THE CITY-On June 20, Fix The City, Save Hollywood, La Mirada, HELP and Attorneys for the City of Los Angeles once again stepped into Judge Allan Goodman’s Superior Court to deal with the now-defunct Hollywood Community Plan update.  More specifically, FTC and its fellow community groups were there to challenge what the City did in response to being ordered by the Court to scrap the flawed plan.

In February of this year the City was soundly defeated by the above coalition of community groups  when Judge Goodman ordered the City to rescind its new Hollywood Community Plan.

The City did rescind the new plan and reenact the old plan.  However, in the guise of complying with the Judge’s order, the City voted on April 2nd, 2014 to modify the General Plan Framework to make community plan monitoring and reporting discretionary.   The City Council even went so far in the Resolution they adopted to deal with the stern admonition from the Court to state that the intent of their action was  to “overrule and supersede” the writ and judgment of the Court. The judge was probably being very kind when he said that move was “too clever by half”.

But Judge Goodman did not stop there. He stated that the Resolution the City adopted was demonstrably arbitrary, capricious and without basis in law, that no reasonable person could conclude that adoption of the April 2ndResolution made the General Plan of the City of Los Angeles internally consistent but that the contrary was the case. Further he stated that the City’s actions constitute a misstatement and misapplication of the City Charter, state law and his February 11, 2014 Judgment.

However, one of my favorite quotes was, …see complete article here.

Judge Goodman’s Ruling

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

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

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

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.

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

We Have Something to Fight For

by George Abrahams

East Hollywood Neighborhood Council Planning Entitlement Review Committee submits Hollywood Community Plan UPDATE – Alternative Vision

The Hollywood Community Plan needs to consider the reasonable alternative of down zoning from the 1988 standards in order to improve quality of life and improve infrastructure. On Tuesday, March 27, 2012, the LA City Council Planning and Land Use Committee (PLUM) held its first public hearing on the proposed Update of the Hollywood Community Plan.  This hearing confirmed what the Plan’s skeptics have maintained for years – this planning process is dedicated to real estate investment. Its only implementation program is dramatic increases in permitted heights and densities.

Down zoning Hollywood is the most realistic way to:

1) avoid the adverse impacts contemplated under the Planning Department’s plan to maximize the size of the population,

2)  upgrade the infrastructure, and

3) implement California Environmental Quality Act’s (CEQA’s) purpose “to provide a high-quality environment that at all times is healthful and pleasing to the senses and intellect of man.”

Link to this powerful alternative plan