With all undue haste, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will take the stage Monday morning for a political stunt in support of a new Hollywood Community Plan that gives wealthy landowners and well-connected developers billions of dollars in extra profits with density bonuses of 50 to 100 percent while trashing the quality of life for thousands.
At 9::30 a.m. Monday on the rooftop of the historic Hollywood Tower at 6200 Franklin Ave.– described on Yelp (2 stars) by a former tenant as a mix of ”Melrose Place,” “Animal House,” cocaine and heroin shaken liberally.and renting for $2,600 monthly for a small unit — Villaraigosa will perform for the TV cameras and assembled milquetoast media and put a smiley face on a far-reaching plan that takes the public out of the planning process and allows developers to do virtually whatever they want by right. (ANTONIO-hollywood.docx)
The sky’s the limit — literally — since the proposed plan just approved by the Planning Commission and headed early next year to be rubber-stamped by the City Council provides huge density bonuses that will fill Hollywood with towering skyscrapers. You can be sure they will be built with huge subsidies provided by taxpayers by looting the Community Redevelopment Agency and other funds intended to help the poor.
The plan is long overdue, nearly 25 years in the making, and perverts the language and ideas of modern urban planners seeking to create healthy and sustainable communities.
In the hands of honest public servants who respect the needs and values of their constituents, it might make. But in the hands of the crooks and self-servers elected to city offices by the dirty money of unions, developers, corporations and contractors, it is a license to steal.
It will worsen traffic congestion in an already congested area, drive people with modest incomes out of Hollywood, especially those in rent control apartments, and — worst of all — serve as a model for destroying the quality of life in every neighborhood in the city, at least those where wealthy developers can enrich themselves even more.
Long-time Hollywood area community activists are in uproar and hopefully will show up at the press conference and ask the tough questions the demoralized and crippled media won’t ask of the mayor as he touts this as the “perfect plan” since it eliminated all red tape in the way of profiteering by developer and he will claim it will preserve neighborhoods, which is why he picked an 80-year-old national landmark for his political theater.
This would be a perfect time for Occupy L.A. protesters to link arms with the army of long-time L.A. activists who have fought against City Hall’s corruption by the real 1 percenters — the special interests who reaped billions in profits while allowing the city’s infrastructure to rot, chased away tens of thousands of good-paying jobs and leaving L.A. with poverty and jobless rates comparable to the worst Rust Belt cities.
The irony of the venue chosen by the mayor is that current and former residents complain the rebuilt and expanded Hollywood Tower is like a fraternity house on steroids, perpetual party time — the kind of fun the mayor so much enjoys.
Here’s some of the key points being raised by opponents who are already consulting lawyers about a lawsuit in the certainty that the City Council will do nothing to protect the public interest:
Hollywood Community Plantakes away control from the
elected officials and the public by
allowing ”sky-high” high density projects by right,
- The impact on.traffic congestion, parking, the quality of life will be severe.
- The city’s water supply and lack of clean energy sources cannot support the massive population and density increases that City Hall is pushing for the benefit of the few.
- The desperate need to repair and upgrade the city’s deteriorating streets, sidewalks, pipes and power grid is far more important than creating yet another entertainment zone with posh living for the rich.
- The scenic vistas, historic buildings and sense of place in Hollywood is what makes it such an attractive place — not turning it into Times Square West.