A new Hollywood Community Plan has been submitted and there are scoping meetings being held across the City of Los Angeles – Click here to see the NEW PLAN. We will post these meetings on the FACEBOOK SITE as well as on this website.
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
By Kate Linthicum, Ben Welsh and Robert J. Lopez, Los Angeles Times, November 15, 2012
Waits for 911 medical aid vary dramatically across Los Angeles and many of the city’s most exclusive neighborhoods have the longest response times, according to a Times investigation.
Under national standards adopted by the Los Angeles Fire Department, rescuers are supposed to arrive within six minutes to almost all medical emergencies. But the Times analysis found that in affluent hillside communities stretching from Griffith Park to Pacific Palisades, firefighters failed to hit that mark nearly 85% of the time. Continue reading
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.
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.
The earthquake faults in Hollywood are described in this report from the Southern California Earthquake Center:
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
Here’s the unveiling of the HOLLYWOOD COMMUNITY PLAN UPDATE – ALTERNATIVE VISION submitted by the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council Planning Entitlement Review Committee. This is worth careful consideration as we go forward. What do we really want? What’s a good fit for the Hollywood of today and for years to come? Check it out!
This Daily News article highlights the extreme vulnerability within our communication system – the very system that makes 911 calls save lives, gets fire engines to your home on time, and allows seamless communication between officers, dispatch, etc. This vital communication hub on Mt. Lee was offline for a full 12 hours on Tuesday, April 3rd due to an accident during the testing of a back-up generator. Mayor Villaraigosa attempted to downplay the significance of the communication failure, the magnitude was significant.
Councilman Mitch Englander of the 12th Council District, blamed Tony Royster, the General Services Department General Manager, for the error and is even calling for his head on some bureaucratic platter.
The real fault is with the mayor and the city council. They are responsible for the absence of a fully redundant emergency communication system. While they have been wasting money on pet projects and busy diverting the tax base increment to failed, money-losing CRA projects, our infrastructure has been badly neglected.
I suggest anyone living in Hollywood or Los Angeles, for that matter, do two things right now:
1) Write to Councilmember.Englander@lacity.org and tell him not to get rid of Royster! This man is being made a scapegoat. There’s no value in adding one more person to the unemployment lines. The City Council and Mayor should take full responsibility for this event.
2) Write a letter to Sharon.Gin@lacity.org in the City Clerk’s office. Refer to file number 12-0303. This is one more example of why we need to oppose the increased density element of the Hollywood Community Plan Update. Our inadequate infrastructure cannot support the development we currently have.
Daily News – Rick Orlov, Staff Writer
After Los Angeles Police Department radio communications went down for half the day on Tuesday, a city councilman on Wednesday demanded the firing of the official whose agency caused the problem.
Councilman Mitch Englander said he will call for the dismissal of General Services Department general manager Tony Royster for the power outage Tuesday at Mount Lee, where all LAPD radio communications equipment is housed.
Englander, who is a reserve officer, said General Services crews were sent to the Mount Lee facility – located not far from the Hollywood sign – to test a backup generator. However, he said, the test failed and knocked out all power at Mount Lee, shutting down radio communications.
“It placed the public and officers at extreme risk,” Englander said.
LAPD officials and the Mayor’s Office, however, said backup systems were used that ultimately prevented any serious breakdowns in communication.
LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the power failure turned into a test of the department’s emergency response operations.
“We were able to handle it without too much of a problem,” Smith said. “We run drills all the time to test our system and that’s what this turned into.”
“It was a good exercise for us. Our center was down for about 12 hours, but we still had communication from the stations to the cars and the car computers never went down.”
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s office was informed of the problem and said backup systems were put into effect.
“When that equipment didn’t work, other redundant systems kicked in at the LAPD,” spokesman Peter Sanders said. “The LAPD successfully handled 911 calls and no emergency responses were threatened.”
Englander, however, insisted that the problem was more serious than that. The communications breakdown meant a delayed response to emergencies, as 911 calls had to be answered manually with operators then calling stations to dispatch an officer, he said.
For officers, he said, the danger came in the form of an inability to get immediate access to information, such as a driver history based on license plates.
“We weren’t able to find out if the person had a record, was being sought for anything or had violent tendencies,” Englander said. “A traffic stop can be the most dangerous stop we make.”
Because the Valley Dispatch Center was also down due to electrical problems, Englander said the department also lost communication with the main Metropolitan Communications Dispatch Center.
“They should have checked with the department first and there is no way they would have allowed them to work on Mount Lee until the Valley Dispatch Center’s problem was fixed,” Englander said.
“While the system is back up and operating normally, a failure of the GSD management of this magnitude resulting in the shut down of our most critical system (demands answers),” Englander said. “Whoever is responsible for this lapse needs to be held accountable.”
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.”