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L.A. council committee delays vote on zoning for Hollywood

March 27, 2012 |  6:13 pm

A key Los Angeles city planning committee on Tuesday put off a vote on a controversial plan to bring denser development to parts of Hollywood.

City Councilman Ed Reyes, who chairs the Planning and Land Use Management Committee, said he felt  lawmakers needed more time to digest the issues raised during a long afternoon hearing on the proposal.

If approved by the full council, the plan would raise size limits on buildings in some parts of the region and offer incentives to developers who build near bus and subway stops. Los Angeles officials say the new guidelines are part of the city’s long-term strategy of concentrating growth around transit hubs.

But not everyone shares that vision of L.A.’s future. Of the dozens of people who spoke at Tuesday’s meeting, more than half were against the plan. Hollywood is already crowded enough, opponents said, and many complained that the plan is based on inaccurate projections of population growth.

Although condos and other new developments in central Hollywood have drawn new residents there in recent years, census figures show the larger region lost about 6% of its population over the last decade.
City officials based their new plan on population forecasts from the Southern California Assn. of Governments, which show Hollywood with 244,602 people in 2030 — about 23% more than the 2010 census count of 198,234.

City planner Kevin Keller defended the plan at Tuesday's meeting. He pointed out that the plan also protects historical neighborhoods, places new limits on building density on steep hillside lots and calls for street-level improvements in Hollywood's central corridor to help make it more pedestrian-friendly. 

He noted that contrary to many people’s fear, the plan would lift height limits in only a few places, and will lower them in others. But the changes to density allowances mean that on many lots in the blocks surrounding Sunset and Cahuenga boulevards, developers will be able to build more square-footage than before. Large projects will still trigger an environmental review, Keller said.

Reyes said his committee would take up the issue again in three weeks.

 

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-- Kate Linthicum at Los Angeles City Hall

Twitter.com/katelinthicum

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