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.



Hollywood’s Deepening Cesspool

Originally published in CityWatch by Jack Humphreville

LA WATCHDOG – You never would have guessed that the area around Hollywood and Vine was a hot bed of economic activity based on the concessions that the Community Redevelopment Agency and the City Council granted to the inexperienced, under capitalized, and litigious Hal Katersky and his Pacifica Ventures, the developer of The Cesspool on Vine, the “shovel ready” $57 million Class A office building located at 1601 North Vine, a block south of Hollywood and Vine.

Yet, according to Roger Vincent’s May 13 article in The Los Angeles Times, [link] “Big Building Project Planned Around Capital Records Tower,” New York City developers, Millennium Partners and Argent Ventures, are proposing a 1,000,000 square foot development less than two blocks north of The Cesspool on Vine.

This $1 billion Millennium Hollywood development is on 4.5 acres and will consist of two towers, one of which is an overwhelming 48 stories.  The preliminary plans call for a hotel with 250 rooms, 300 to 600 condos and apartments, 150,000 square feet of offices, and 100,000 square feet of retail space.

And less than a quarter of a mile to the east of The Cesspool on Vine is Blvd6200, a $500 million development of 1,000 apartment units and retail space.

(Note: According to March 31 post on Curbed LA, only 10 of the 143 residences at the W Hollywood have been sold.)

However, neither of these two massive developments was part of the discussion in the more than a dozen meetings of the CRA and the City Council prior to the Council’s March 9 approval of Disposition and Development Agreement (the “DD Agreement”) which resulted in a $4.6 million concession to Pacifica Ventures and Hal Katersky, the principal in the now bankrupt Albuquerque Studios.

But that begs the question: Why weren’t Millennium Hollywood and Blvd6200 part of the conversation? Especially since the CRA and City Hall were more than aware of these projects that would hardly support the claim of a blighted neighborhood?

For openers, the disclosure of these two projects and the resultant discussion would have blunted the arguments that supported the almost $5 million gift to Hal Katersky.  This is the same Hal Katersky who was alleged to have engaged in “various acts of fraud and embezzlement” by the owners of Culver Studios and who made “a large financial settlement” and gave up “all [his] financial interests” in Culver Studio.

Of course, a full discussion of these two monster projects along with The Cesspool on Vine would have focused on the disruptive impact on the local community of these multiyear construction projects.

Furthermore, it would have triggered a call for a comprehensive plan for the area surrounding the historic Hollywood and Vine intersection, analyzing the impact of this massive increase in densification resulting from all the new residents and retail space on the already congested intersections, the surrounding lunar cratered streets, and the surrounding communities.

Eric Garcetti, in defending the 2006 $5.45 million purchase from Ullman Investments, representing a $1.35 million, 35% premium over the CRA appraisal of $4.1 million, and the bargain basement sale price of $825,000 to Katersky, said the Vine Street Tower project would be “aggressively scrutinized” given the high level of public skepticism.

Now is the time to begin aggressive scrutiny of the current status of the Vine Street Tower, including the necessary leases need to secure the financing, the debt and equity financing arrangements, and whether this “shovel ready” project will begin in earnest in the fall as promised by Katersky.

Furthermore, the local Hollywood business and residential community deserves to get a better understanding of the collective impact of all this development and resultant densification.

And finally, Angelenos need to understand why the CRA, the City Council, and Council District 13 did not consider the Millennium Hollywood and Blvd6200 developments when approving the DD Agreement.

Of course, the underlying reason is that the developers of Millennium Hollywood and Blvd6200 may be maneuvering for big time handouts from their cronies at City Hall at a time when the City is broke!

Is The Cesspool on Vine just part of The Hollywood Cesspool?

(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee and the Ratepayer Advocate for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council. Humphreville is the publisher of the Recycler — www.recycler.com . He can be reached at:   lajack@gmail.com )