Meeting Date: 03/30/05 07:00 PM

Meeting Type: Regular

Location: International Cinematographers Guild
Conference Room
7755 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles

Details: Spaulding Square/Hollywood-Sunset Flat Area Committee-
Area 7 of the
Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council

Wednesday, March 30th
7:00 PM
International Cinematographers Guild
Conference Room
7755 Sunset Blvd.

Agenda:

1. Greeting and introductions by Anthony Deckoff, committee chair.

2. Discussion of the Department of Public Works plans for the old Durant Library on Gardner.

3. Discussion of the Business Improvement District proposed for Sunset Blvd. from LaBrea to Fairfax.

4. Discussion of the Planning Department’s proposals for zoning changes in our neighborhood as part of the new
Hollywood Plan.

5. Discussion of Fountain Avenue lane striping and traffic engineering problems. Possible vote.

6. Discussion of the noise generated by police helicopters over our neighborhood. Possible vote.

7. General public comment.

8. Adjourn (by 9 p.m.).

HHWNC Area 7 Committee
Minutes from meeting of 3/30/05

Over 25 committee members appeared for this well-attended meeting of the Area 7 Committee held at the Cinematographers Guild, based largely on broad interest in the agenda item on the Hollywood Community Plan.

Discussion opened with the Chair’s description of the DPW plans to construct an odor suppression installation on the site of the old Durant Library. Several stakeholders commented that they had personally experienced the sewer odors in question.

Stakeholder John Gile of Project Angel Food fielded questions about the proposed Business Improvement District for businesses along Sunset Boulevard, and most agreed that such an organization would generally benefit the neighborhood. It was explained that charges would apply only to commercial property owners or business owners on Sunset itself. Some expressed concern that a BID might lobby for zoning changes, but Mr. Gile stated that such lobbying would be outside the scope of a BID’s activities.

The bulk of the meeting was devoted to a discussion of the LA City Planning Department’s proposals for the new Hollywood Community Plan, which includes a density increase for business properties along much of Area 7’s stretch of Sunset, raising the FAR from 1:1 to 1.5:1. Chairperson Deckoff was informed by Mary Richardson of the Planning Dept. that a series of public hearings on the plan would take place in the coming months. The bulk of sentiment expressed by stakeholders was strongly against such a density increase, on the basis that traffic could be worsened still further, historic old shopfronts might be torn down, and the character of the neighborhood would be changed. Unanimous votes were taken in favor of the three following resolutions:

A) “The committee unequivocally rejects the current Hollywood Community Plan with respect to any proposed density or height increases to the existing zoning regulations within Area 7 of the HHWNC.”

B) “The committee unequivocally rejects the Hollywood Community Plan as a whole with respect to any density or height increases to the existing zoning in the entire Hollywood area.”

C) “The committee demands that the City of Los Angeles promptly undertake thorough measures to correct the existing traffic and transportation problems in Hollywood.”

While it was understood that the city may be currently seeking neighborhoods in which to increase density levels in order to accommodate the ever-swelling population of Los Angeles, it was felt that Area 7 is not an appropriate target for such density increases, given that there are few or no plans in place or even on the drawing boards that might actually make the neighborhood capable of handling the increases in traffic, commerce and population that such changes would entail.

Chairperson Deckoff next presented maps and pictures underscoring the dangerous traffic situation on our stretch of Fountain Avenue created by the City of West Hollywood’s institution of variable numbers of lanes in either direction during non-rush-hour periods. West Hollywood controls the street, which forms a major border with Los Angeles and with Area 7 in particular. The striping was changed five years ago to accommodate heavier traffic flow during the period of reconstruction of Santa Monica Boulevard through West Hollywood, but the changes were inconsistent and hazardous and have been left in place long after the Santa Monica Boulevard project was completed. Input from stakeholder Jim Tartan and others resulted in the following resolution, which passed unanimously:

D) “The committee requests that the City of West Hollywood restripe Fountain Avenue along the Los Angeles border to make it consistent with the more logical and safety-conscious striping that is currently in place on Fountain west of Crescent Heights Blvd.- i.e. permitting two lanes of traffic in either direction during rush hours, but only one eastbound lane on all blocks during non-rush-hour periods, thereby eliminating the current unsigned bottlenecks in which the street abruptly narrows to one lane from section to section in either direction.”

The current non-rush-hour situation causes numerous injury accidents and much property damage on both the Los Angeles and West Hollywood sides of the street.

The committee also discussed the problem of noise from helicopters — operated by both the police and news media — hovering over the neighborhood, particularly late at night. It was suggested that some of the recent increase may have been due to increased activity through the neighborhood caused by the closure of Laurel Canyon Boulevard in the winter storms, but it was generally felt that both the police and the news media should be discouraged from such hovering, particularly when no clear public interest is being served by their activity. It was agreed that further research would be carried out and the police department would be queried on the issue.

In general comments, stakeholders brought up questions about formerly discussed plans to institute towaway parking rules on weekend nights for permit parking districts east of Fairfax Avenue. We closed by thanking the ICG for use of their meeting room and Cheebo for providing food for the meeting.

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