View more videos at: http://nbclosangeles.com.
Among the handful of ordinary people who made their way past security in time to get to the rooftop of the Hollywood Tower Monday morning for the mayor’s media event was Lucille Saunders, the La Brea-Willoughby Coaltion leader who has fought for years to make City Hall fulfill its legal obligations to report annually on the cumulative impact of development on the infrastructure.
hand, asking if there were “more press questions.” i kept my hand
raised and he called on me. i marched to the podium, moved the mike
from his mouth to mine — he could have fainted!! i identified myself and
asked about the absence of infrastructure language in the hcpu. he
handed the question to (Planning head Michael) logrande– who gave a non answer that the eir was
certified as having infrastructure in the plan…more b.s…that’s what was expected. and what happened…i and others handed out media releases.” (HollywoodPlanOpposed.pdf)
development around transit hubs — a doctrine Mayor Antonio Villaraigosalikes to call “elegant density.” The
principle can be seen in the pricey downtown condos built over the last decade,
and can be expected to be repeated in the future at current and future
transit-rich communities like Woodland Hills and the Crenshaw district,
officials say,” according to the Times.
“Ostensibly, Hollywood is a place where the payoff
for the region’s multibillion-dollar investment in a rail transit network
should be easy to recoup. After all, it has a pioneering past, and in recent
years it has seen a burst of new development that has revitalized its central
Hooray for Hollywood!
All it takes is a bus stop or better yet a subway or train stop and the HCPU — intended to be a model for every other part of town especially those where developers and investors can profit handsomely — will provide a bonanza that allow for density bonuses allowing or 50 to 100 percent or even more in some cases. And it will be by right — no process for governmental approval or input from the public — and surely come with various tax breaks and redevelopment subsidies.
Virtually the only voice allowed to interrupt the cheerleading for over-development is that of urban affairs expert Joel Kotkin — dismissed as a “champion of traditional suburban developments” when he argues for healthy sustainable with a high quality of life — sort of like L.A. used to be before the politicians sold out to developers and trashed planning and zoning rules for their own benefit and the benefit of developers.
is the endless Villaraigosa fantasy that you’ll get wealthy people to live near
bus stops,” Kotkin said, noting the total lack of evidence that the affluent are flocking to the city’s transit system.
Even Planning Commissioner Mike Woo, who lost his ultra-liberal idealism back when he lost the mayor’s race in 1993 Dick Riordan, one of the few outsiders to be elected to city office in more than a generation, could offer only this in support of the HCPU:
“This is really what government is supposed
to be doing. We’re supposed to be guessing and dreaming
about the future. Who knows, in 2030, whether we’ll have been right.”
Say what? Guessing and dreaming — is that what planning is all about, is that what the government is supposed to do for you, guess and dream instead of protecting and serving and making sure things are getting better?
You can be sure developers will be generous to Garcetti and the rest of the political machine come election time just as the unions are grateful to City Hall for their sweetheart contracts and project labor agreements.
This is the moment of truth for Lucille Saunders and the other Hollywood residents who protested at the mayor’s dog-and-pony show and for all the rest of us love L.A. for the quality of our lives and who see the abuses of power and what they are doing to our town.
We either get our act together for the 2013 city elections and put strong, courageous and independent people into office or we get of town before all our neighborhoods are a Skyscraper Hell — which is what the Westside will be most of all when the “subway to the sea” is built and Expo Line extended.
That’s what East Hollywood Neighborhood Councilmember Doug Haines meant when he questioned why a community that worked so hard to clean up crack dealers and prostitutes and slum conditions and now is having massive developments shoved down their throats.
“We feel like we’re being punished for sticking it
out,” he said.