LA WATCHDOG - On Wednesday, the City Council will once again consider a motion by Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky that “the Council request the Director of Planning to consider rescinding the initiation of a General Plan Amendment for the Retreat at Benedict Canyon, …. inasmuch as the proposed amendment does not reflect the land use patterns, trends, uses, and environmental and safety concerns, and does not further the intent, purposes, and objectives of the General Plan, including the Community Plan, the Framework Element and Safety Element.”
On May 16, the City Council did not approve this motion in a 7 to 7 vote. This allows the planning process for this environmentally unfriendly development that is in a Very High Fire Severity Zone in the fragile Santa Monica Mountains to proceed.
What was surprising was the NO vote by Councilwoman Traci Park because a good portion of her Council District is in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Does this mean she supports commercial development in the Santa Monica Mountains?
Does she oppose the decades long efforts to protect this environmentally sensitive area by the Santa Monica Mountains Conversancy, the Coalition for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club, numerous other environmental and civic organizations, and the County Board of Supervisors?
More than likely, this is payback for Yaroslavsky’s vote to oppose no-camping zones for homeless encampments in Venice, part of Park’s Council District, violating an established protocol that you do not stick your nose into the affairs of other Council Districts.
But the time for payback is over and hopefully newly elected Yaroslavsky has gotten the message.
Likewise, Traci Park needs to let bygones be bygones and approve the Yaroslavsky motion so that this environmentally unfriendly development in a high fire zone in the fragile Santa Monica Mountains by an undercapitalized and inexperienced developer cannot proceed with his half-baked, yet to be disclosed plans.
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(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee, the Budget and DWP representative for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, and a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate. He can be reached at: [email protected].)