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Gridlock & Crumbs

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MILLENNIUM A POLITICAL APOCALYPSE? - On Tuesday afternoon, June 18, the Planning and Land Use Management Committee (Councilmembers Reyes, Huizar, and Englander) will review the controversial $664 million Millennium Hollywood real estate development plan that was approved by Villaraigosa appointed density hawks on the City Planning Commission. 

 

This oversized, 1.1 million square foot, ultra luxurious residential and hotel development (with a little office and retail and dining space tossed in for good measure) on only 4½ acres will turn the streets surrounding the historic intersection at Hollywood and Vine into a traffic hellhole because of the associated increase in traffic and the lack of adequate parking. 

This traffic fiasco was confirmed in a highly critical letter to the City from the California Department of Transportation which stated that local gridlock will adversely impact the Hollywood Freeway and create dangerous driving conditions. 

See the CityWatch April 30 article, “Will the LA City Council Save Hollywood from the Alien Implants” for more details on the Millennium Hollywood real estate development.  

Underlying this David and Goliath struggle between the under gunned residents of Hollywood and the big time New York City developer is the projected profit of $1 billion for this high rise luxury development, resulting in a return of six to eight times on the investors’ equity contribution. 

The local community, on the other hand, gets nothing but gridlock and crumbs.  

As a result, Millennium Hollywood has been spreading money all over town, hiring big time downtown lawyers, high priced public relations firms, and well-connected lobbyists, all of whom have tentacles that reach deep into bowels of City Hall.  They have also spent big bucks to buy off the local opposition and to pay for “volunteers” to attend community meetings.  

But more importantly, the developer, its employees, and their cronies have made significant direct and indirect campaign contributions to our local politicians during the past election cycle.  

The Millennium Hollywood crowd is also trying to hoodwink the public by claiming that this project will create 3,000 construction related jobs.  However, if these were full time jobs, that would imply 18 million hours of work, which, based on fully loaded labor rates, would consume the entire cost of the project. 

Rather than proceeding with the Millennium Hollywood real estate development, the Planning and Land Use Management Committee should instruct the City’s Department of Transportation to analyze the impact on Hollywood’s traffic of this monstrosity and the other 57 announced developments in this area. 

Of course, the Planning and Land Use Management Committee and the City Council can approve this development that is vehemently opposed by the local community, most of the surrounding Neighborhood Councils, and their stakeholders.  But this will only serve to further alienate the voters from City Hall.  

But is this the way that Eric Garcetti wants to begin his new administration and to end his 12 years on the City Council? 

And does Mitch O’Farrell, Eric’s successor on City Council, want to create his own personal war zone in Hollywood? 

By proceeding with this and other large developments opposed by local residents and their Neighborhood Councils, our new mayor and the reconstituted City Council will be creating a voting bloc that will oppose any efforts of the City to increase our taxes, including the Street Repair Tax that is under serious consideration by City Hall. 

So Hollywood and the other besieged communities have a very simple message.  Respect our neighborhoods.     

 

(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee,  the Ratepayer Advocate for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, and a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate. Humphreville is the publisher of the Recycler Classifieds -- www.recycler.com. He can be reached at: [email protected]. Hear Jack every Tuesday morning at 6:20 on McIntyre in the Morning, KABC Radio 790.)
-cw
 

 

 

 

CityWatch

Vol 11 Issue 49

Pub: June 18, 2013

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