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 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
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
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
In order to have the City Council approve the Garcetti Hollywood Community Plan on June 19, 2012, the HCP EIR deceitfully inflated Hollywood’s 2005 population by 23,880, claiming to have used SCAG Regional Transportation Plan numbers.
After the three lawsuits were filed and finding that the SCAG 2005 RTP had absolutely no data for Hollywood and finding no SCAG data on Hollywood’s population for any year including 2005 baseline or for the fictitious population of 244,602 ppl in 2030 anywhere in the 70,000 pages of administrative record, concerned citizens made a Government Code, § 6250 request for the SCAG population data on Hollywood. Guess what? SCAG had NO public data. There never was any official or public population data for the 2005 population of 224,426 ppl. Thus, it was a material fraud to tell the public that the baseline 2005 population was 224,426 ppl. Continue reading
Many retro-urban theorists maintain that high density is the key to urban prosperity. These theorists often point for justification to Santa Fe Institute research that, they claim, links productivity with density. Yet in reality it does nothing of the kind. Instead the study emphasizes that population size, not compactness, is the decisive factor.
Size does matter. A region is helped by the infrastructure that generally comes only with a large population, for example airports. But being big does not mean being dense. In fact the U.S. cities that made the largest gains in GDP in 2011 — Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and greater Detroit — are not dense cities at all. Continue reading
The New South Wales government has proposed a new Metropolitan Strategy for the Sydney area which would significantly weaken the urban containment policy (also called urban consolidation, smart growth, livability, growth management, densification, etc.) that has driven if house prices to among the highest in the affluent New World (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States) relative to household incomes. Continue reading