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The Dilemma PDF Print E-mail
Written by James O'Sullivan   
Friday, 10 February 2012 21:46


The update to the Hollywood community plan is posing a real dilemma for neighborhood councils. Long used to dealing with liquor licenses and individual projects in their areas, this update deals with the entire community plan area and many Neighborhood Councils are stuck within their self imposed boundaries while others are not. The issue will be whether to approach the plan update from their individual boundaries or examine the plan holistically to determine the impact up zoning will have on the entire area. An extra added challenge is that what happens in Hollywood doesn't stay in the Hollywood! The impacts of this plan for better or for worse will not be contained within the Hollywood boundary. If these neighborhood councils follow the charter there will be no dilemma. The charter is very clear in that it gives to neighborhood councils the responsibility to monitor city services. However there is already friction between neighborhood councils primarily in the hills and those in the flats. This is unfortunate because city infrastructure is not separated that way. When a water pipe breaks on Hollywood Boulevard there is a good likelihood that it will affect service in upper Beachwood Canyon as well as Melrose Avenue. If you need an ambulance up on Outpost and the roads down below are clogged with commuters or partygoers the fact that your streets are passable may be of little consequence if the ambulance is delayed. High winds up in the hills or fires that race up the canyons threatened power services of those living far below. So individual neighborhood councils may on paper experience very little change in this new Hollywood community plan update but they still have to look at basic services and how this new update will affect police, fire, water, power, sewers, streets, libraries, parks, and all of the components of the city's infrastructure system. I would argue that the Hollywood neighborhood councils have an obligation not only to their residents and businesses but also to the plan areas beyond their boundaries. Already some of Hollywood’s infrastructure services are not self-sufficient and the city cannibalizes resources from other community plan areas to service Hollywood. A recent Case in point is the rescue ambulance removed from Rancho Park and placed in Hollywood for 3 days during Halloween 2011. This effectively left sections of Century City in the West Los Angeles community plan area without a rescue ambulance. Hollywood's neighborhood councils must monitor city services.

This is the heart of the debate over the Hollywood community plan update. It is not about tall buildings, transit oriented districts, the CRA, or any number of other issues being debated today. They are important issues but the core issue is our infrastructure. Do we have enough? Do we need more? Are serious environmental impacts adequately addressed in this new plan update or is the city taking the field of dreams approach? Build it and they will come! Or not. Sadly this is the Field of dreams with no good ending. If you read the Statement of overriding Considerations (SOC) in the Final Environmental Impact Report you will see that this plan acknowledges that it will cause an increase in Green House Gasses in Hollywood but blames that on commuters traveling through Hollywood and not all the new development this plan endorses. The SOC acknowledges that there could be issues with police, fire and other services and promises to do nexus studies and hire more police and fire should there become a need. Does anyone seriously believe the City has the money to do that? Or to build new facilities if needed? Listing mitigations for serious environmental impacts without funding is a violation of the California Environmental Quality Act. The City knows this but typically they take the position that they can do whatever they want and if you don’t like it, sue them! We don’t want to do that. What we want is a government that is responsive to the people and not special interest.


So this is the crux of the of the dilemma Hollywood’s Neighborhood Councils will face. The Charter created them and charged them with bringing government closer to the people and monitoring City services. Will they do that or take the approach we got ours, you need to get yours.  I honestly don’t know. Each Neighborhood Council will have to choose between approving this plan with all its Environmental deficiencies or tell the City to go back to the drawing board and come up with a plan that protects the lives and safety of those that live, work and play in Hollywood.


Last Updated on Saturday, 11 February 2012 09:11
Hollywood Community Plan Fiasco PDF Print E-mail
Written by James O'Sullivan   
Tuesday, 24 January 2012 22:16

As the Hollywood Plan Update inches through the planning approval process it should give people all over Los Angeles a preview of what is planned for their neighborhoods, and it ain’t good! Tired of complaints from residents over quality of life issues and having their dream of Manhattan in Los Angeles stymied by people that don’t want to live in Manhattan the Mayor and City Council are going for the planning Kill Shot. Having chipped around the edges with large and small tweaks of the Municipal Code they are rolling the dice on a plan so outrageously flawed that if it is allowed to stand will ruin every neighborhood from San Pedro to Sylmar and all points in between.

It is one thing to dream big as long as that dream includes all the elements necessary to promote a quality of life we require and deserve. It is not alright to drop 50 story buildings right up against the Hollywood Hills and not mitigate the environmental impacts the increase density will bring. It is not alright to claim that 5 subway stations make a transportation system that can tolerate up to 50,000 additional residents. It is not alright to admit that this plan will increase Green House Gasses but by building in Hollywood it will preclude others from building elsewhere in the region. It is not alright to claim that the City will provide more police and fire service if necessary when the City is beyond broke and is losing first responders not gaining them. Already on Halloween a Paramedic Ambulance from Rancho Park was positioned in Hollywood for several days leaving the area around Century City without a Paramedic ambulance. Hollywood will only be able to provide adequate police and fire resources by cannibalizing resources from other area’s. Yours will be next.

This Community Plan Update uses flawed data and timelines and provides no funding for mitigations the California Environmental Quality Act requires. If you are wondering how this affects you since you don’t live in Hollywood, your area is probably next for an update. If this plan is unchallenged in the courts and is adopted then when they come to your area you will be up the creek without the proverbial paddle. You probably won’t be legally time barred from filing a lawsuit but for all practical purposes the precedent will have been set.

One group is organizing to file a suit once the Council adopts this plan and the Mayor signs it and others are also seeking council to mount a challenge. None are against development, what they are against is an unresponsive government that thinks it knows best, that would put their way of life and lives at risk.

Stay tuned, they will not go quietly into the night.

Written by James O'Sullivan   
Tuesday, 26 April 2011 12:34

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Infrastructure Lawsuit Moves to Next Phase

An appeal was filed today by several Los Angeles community groups to overturn a Los Angeles Superior Court judge’s denial of their landmark lawsuit to force the city to produce and implement its Annual Report on Growth and Infrastructure. Superior Court Judge John Torribio ruled the City of Los Angeles need not follow mandatory duties and mitigation measures set out in its General Plan Framework Element, the City’s “land use constitution”. The appeal requesting review of the decision was filed in the Second District Court by group attorneys Sabrina Venskus and Doug Carstens. The original complaint was filed in 2008, case number L.A.S.C. BS115435.

As part of its General Plan update, the City promised to monitor and report upon its infrastructure, including public services, and population growth, and further to put building controls in place if growth was found to outpace infrastructure availability. The City has not produced and implemented an Annual Report on Growth and Infrastructure since 2000.

“With fire services being cut, police hiring being frozen, roads deteriorating, libraries schedules being cut, park staff and hours being cut, traffic gridlock, water main breaks occurring and water rationing put into effect, there is little doubt that the infrastructure is more than threatened – it is collapsing,” said Lucille Saunders of the La Brea Willoughby-Coalition, one of the groups suing. “ Now we know why.

Many of the city’s community plans clearly describe the required monitoring and mitigation set forth in the General Plan. Those community plans state:

“…if this monitoring finds that population in the Plan area is occurring faster than projected; and, that infrastructure resource capacities are threatened, particularly critical ones such as water and sewerage; and, that there is not a clear commitment to at least begin the necessary improvements within twelve months; then building controls should be put into effect, for all or portions of the West Los Angeles Community, until land use designations for the Community Plan and corresponding zoning are revised to limit development.”

The City provided further clarity in their mitigation program for the General Plan. It states:

“Lastly, the policy requires that type, amount and location of development be correlated with the provision of adequate supporting infrastructure and services”

Unfortunately, the City has failed to implement its own mandated policy, resulting in the predictable: existing residents and businesses are dealing with an utterly dysfunctional government that fails to improve its infrastructure and provide adequate public safety services.

Jim O’Sullivan of Fix the City, another group involved in the suit, stated: “We will pursue this lawsuit as far as necessary to force the city to do its job as required by law. The city’s failure to ensure adequate infrastructure is costing us police and fire coverage and putting public safety at risk. We just are not going to let that happen.” ###


Contact: Jim O'Sullivan


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Fix The City Appeal Brief Filed PDF Print E-mail
Written by James O'Sullivan   
Sunday, 30 October 2011 20:30


Fix The City filed a brief that challenges the failure of the City of Los Angeles ("City") to fulfill its legal obligation to implement and monitor a critical measure required to mitigate growth impacts associated with its 1996 approval of the General Plan Framework Element ("General Plan Framework" or "Framework Element"). The City's General Plan Framework Enviromnental Impact Report ("EIR") contained a well-defined system that was found to be feasible in reducing growth impacts that were predicted to be significant even with mitigation. That mitigation system required annual monitoring of the infrastructure, reporting about it, and, if any aspect of the infrastructure was threatened, that threat would be addressed through adding infrastructure capacity or limiting development. The City has failed to implement this system for controlling the adverse impacts of growth. Fix the City asks this Court to require the City to implement the reporting and mitigation measure monitoring as required by state law and as promised by the City when it adopted policies in its General Plan Framework to ensure mitigation would occur.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 November 2011 08:15
DWP Rate Calculator Online! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Scott McNeely   
Thursday, 01 May 2008 07:06

A revised residential electric rate calculator is now available below:

The calculator is easy to use and projects rates through July 2009, taking into account the proposed tiered rate structure that may be implemented this summer. The proposed temperature zones are based on the Los Angeles microclimate study performed by the UCLA Department of Atmospheric Studies.

To calculate your potential bill, simply input the kilowatt hour amount shown on your LADWP bill into the field indicated on the calculator for either Zone 1 or Zone 2. Clicking on the tabs at the bottom of the calculator will take you to more detailed breakdowns for your specific circumstances.

For any questions regarding this notification, please contact LADWP Governmental Affairs Liaison Winifred Yancy at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (213) 367-0025.
Last Updated on Friday, 02 May 2008 09:21
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