HOLLYWOOD LINE - When I wrote Hollywood Becomes Fraudywood on March 1 last year, I said that the population data in the Hollywood Community Plan [HCP] were fraudulent.
I now have additional evidence of the exact size of the fraudulent population figure which the Garcetti Hollywood Community Plan used for the 2005 baseline Hollywood population – 24,000 ppl. In order to have the city council approve the HCP on June 19, 2012, the HCP deceitfully inflated Hollywood’s 2005 population by 24,000 persons (exact figure is 23,880).
Councilmember Eric Garcetti’s HCP’s draft Environmental Impact Report placed the 2005 population at 224,426 ppl. The 2005 figure was crucial as it was used as the baseline population on which the rest of the HCP rested including the false 2030 projected population of 244,602 ppl in the year 2030. Hollywood residents knew that the figures were bogus. Years before the EIR was issued, residents were telling Garcetti that his portion of Hollywood was losing population. It defies belief that Garcetti did not know that his district was rapidly losing population.
The Garcetti HCP declared that the population numbers came from SCAG’s Regional Transportation Plan (SCAG’s 2004 RTP), but upon checking SCAG 2005 RTP, one discovered that it had absolutely no data for Hollywood. For example, “Population and employment estimates for 2005 were derived from SCAG’s 2004 RTP;” DEIR page 4.2-2.
After the three lawsuits were filed and the 70,000 page Administrative Record had been compiled, the public discovered that the City had no SCAG data about Hollywood’s population in the 70,000 pages.
After years of representing that everything was based on the SCAG data, there was no SCAG data.
Of course, normally a city would realize that the law limits the court to the Administrative Record when looking for Substantial Evidence to support the HCP’s conclusions. Without Substantial Evidence of the baseline 2005 population, there was zero evidence of the 224,426 ppl baseline. Did Garcetti really think the court would approve the HCP when it was devoid of evidence?
As people following this fiasco know, City Attorney Trutanich wrote the councilmembers on April 12, 2012 “proposing” that the council not approve the HCP but rather send it back for corrections. Nonetheless, with knowledge that there was no evidence to support the 2005 baseline population or the 2030 population of 244,602 ppl (FEIR p3-4), Garcetti had the entire city council approve the fatally defective HCP.
The June 19th approval of the HCP set the stage for the approval of the gigantic Millennium Project in 2013. As we have learned, the developer Philip Aarons spent $480,460.00 in one quarter to pay city hall lobbyists. We are definitely not saying that the word “bribes” may be substituted for “lobbyists.”
Thus, we see why Councilman Garcetti ignored the City Attorney’s advice not to approve the HCP. He needed it to provide falsified justification for The Millennium.
But, I digress, back to the frauds in Garcetti’s HCP.
After finding no SCAG data on Hollywood’s population for any year including 2005 baseline or for the fictitious population of 244,602 ppl in 2030, concerned citizens made a Government Code, § 6250 request for the SCAG population data on Hollywood. Guess what? SCAG had NO public data. There never was any official or public population data for the 2005 population of 224,426 ppl. Thus, it was a material fraud to tell the public that the baseline 2005 population was 224,426 ppl.
OK, here it gets complicated. What a tangled web Garcetti weaves when first he practices to deceive.
SCAG does have non-public, non-official population data for Hollywood. SCAG’s secret files showed that in 2004 SCAG had a non-public projection for Hollywood’s 2005 population of 224,296 ppl and then in 2008, SCAG had recalculated the 2005 population as 224,037 ppl, but by 2011, the year that Garcetti’s HCP’s Draft and Final EIR’s were written, SCAG had lowered its population determination by 24,000 people to only 200,546 ppl. The City Framework requires the updating of data as it becomes available.
For a community plan to use an old, superseded number in lieu of the final population determination is material fraud and a deprivation of the public’s due process rights.
Both the Draft EIR and the Final EIR had a legal duty to disclose the final SCAG 2005 population determination of 200,546 ppl.
On June 14, 2012 when the Garcetti HCP issued its Second Addition to the FEIR, it had another opportunity to tell the truth that SCAG’s final determination of the baseline 2005 population was 200,546 ppl.
But, Garcetti’s HCP doubled down on the fraud. The FEIR not only concealed SCAG’s actual population number, but it also invented the fiction of Hollywood’s fluctuating population to explain why the HCP said the 2005 population was 224,426 ppl and the US Census showed a 2010 population of only 198,228 ppl. A population exodus of 26,000 people in five (5) years mandated an explanation.
Instead of a correction of the false baseline population, we received the super whooper lie of wildly fluctuating Hollywood population.
There is not a scintilla of evidence that Hollywood’s population fluctuated from 210,794 ppl in 2000 up 14,000 ppl five years later in 2005 to the 224,426 ppl and then cashed to only 198,228 five years later.
There was no population fluctuation, only decline. The facts show a decrease from 213,883 ppl in 1990 to 198,228 ppl in year 2010 with no evidence of any increase at any time between 1990 and 2010. The Garcetti HCP knowingly chose to use the falsified data for the 2005 baseline and for the 2030 projected population of 244,602 ppl. They are useful lies if you want approval for a one million square foot project called the Millennium.
If the population could vacillate so wildly every 5 years, then building for a population of 250,000 by 2030 seems reasonable. The more likely population in 2030 is 190,000 or fewer.
Three lawsuits are challenging Garcetti’s HCP, and Garcetti expects the judge to rule in his favor when there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever in the Administrative Record to support the fraudulent population numbers. Both non-public SCAG and the public US Census data show that the 2005 baseline population in Garcetti HCP is false as is the projected 2030 population.
Here’s a problem which will soon face new City Attorney Feuer. Will he represent to the Court that the fraudulent 224,426 ppl 2005 baseline population is true now that everyone knows, I repeat the crucial word “knows,” that the 2005 baseline population is false? City Attorney Trutanich advised Garcetti to fix the numbers, but the ethical decision will fall upon Feuer whether to make materially false representations to the court that 2005 baseline population is correct.
ABA Rule 3.3 could be helpful in City Attorney Feuer’s making this decision. “(a) A lawyer shall not knowingly: (1) make a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal or fail to correct a false statement of material fact or law previously made to the tribunal by the lawyer.”
(Richard Lee Abrams is a Hollywood activist and an attorney. He can be reached at: Rickleeabrams@Gmail.com ) –cw
Vol 11 Issue 51
Pub: June 25, 2013