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2ND UPDATE: Neighbors Angry About Hudson Block Party

The Hudson Block Party brought out thousands on Sunday and also brought out the ire of residents living nearby who were impacted by the 12-hour event. They cite noise, parking, traffic concerns and lack of advance notice about the event.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a response from the city's Code Compliance Manager Jeff Aubel as well as comments made by Councilmembers at Monday night's City Council meeting. Those updates are at the end of this story.

The may have brought out thousands of Angelinos for the chance to eat, drink and catch over a dozen bands.

It’s also brought out the ire of neighbors living around Santa Monica Boulevard and Crescent Heights Boulevard where the event happened. They are angry about the impact the Hudson Block Party had on their lives. They cite noise, parking shortages and traffic concerns as well as the lack of advance notice they got from the Hudson and the city about the event.

Below is a notice sent out to neighbors on Sunday night about the problems this event caused:

HUDSON BLOCK PARTYNIGHTMARE!!!

ARE YOU AS ANGRY & DISGUSTED AS WE ARE THAT WEST HOLLYWOOD CITY HALL APPROVED THIS EVENT????

_________________________________________________________________________________

● CALL WEHO CITY HALL!!     

● EMAIL THE WEHO CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS!!  www.weho.org

 ● CALL AND EMAIL THE 2 OWNERS OF THE HUDSON!!!  323-654-6686

       beau@thehudsonla.com    mike@the-churchill.com

● ATTEND A NEIGHBORHOOD MEETING ON THURS. MAY 24th at 6:30pm at 1217 N. Laurel Ave

_________________________________________________________________________________

OUR NEIGHBORHOOD IS NOT AN EVENT VENUE – How dare you, Hudson and the City of West Hollywood, be so inconsiderate and disrespectful of your neighbors!! If you want to have another Music Festival, move it to The Hollywood Palladium or venues that have space/parking for 8,000 attendees!!

NO NEIGHBORHOOD INVOLVMENT - The City of West Hollywood nor The Hudson gave our neighborhood any notice of this event nor did they ask for our participation/patience. The first we heard about this event was through an email from Jeff Prang late in the day on Thursday and City Hall was closed Friday. The LA Times wrote an article that truly alarmed us on Friday. By the way, this event was held August 13th last year and they extended the event by 2 hours this year.

NO PARKING – There’s already an incredible lack of parking in our neighborhood and the City of West Hollywood nor The Hudson had any parking plan for the 8,000 people attending this event. The City has ignored our desire for a parking structure between Crescent Heights and Fairfax to handle the MANY businesses without their own designated parking, all the while approving an unneeded 16 MILLION DOLLAR Automatic Garage behind City Hall. The Laurel Hardware restaurant will open soon with virtually no parking! This was a MAJOR impact on our neighborhood!!!

NOISE – The Main Stage was positioned at the back of the Bank Parking Lot and the sound barreled down Laurel Ave and all around the neighborhood, North/South and East/West. The City didn’t have anyone on hand to monitor the decibel levels so the music got louder and louder as they day wore on.

BLOCKED LANE & TRAFFIC FLOW – For set-up and strike, one lane of Santa Monica Blvd was completely blocked with trucks loading in/out, but the City didn’t post any signage for a lane closure and Westbound traffic was backed up for more than 2 miles most of the day.  

EVENT SET-UP & STRIKE – Our neighborhood was woken up extremely early by the sounds of tent pipes hitting the ground and other equipment being delivered. Likewise, the strike went well into the night. The total impact on the neighborhood was 20 long and exhausting hours!!!

THIS WAS NOT A COMMUNITY EVENT – The Hudson is a business that hugely PROFITED from this event (money and PR) and although some of the proceeds will benefit SOVA Food Bank, we are very curious to know how much The Hudson donates and will also follow-up with the Social Service Dept/Police Commission.

HOW MUCH OF CITY REVENUE WAS SPENT TO PROMOTE THIS FOR-PROFIT BUSINESS???

WE ARE SICK OF CITY HALL TAKING THE CENTER CITY AREA FOR GRANTED – Let them know that this event cannot be held again and keep the pressure up to treat us like they treat the West End!!!

Do You Think Our Council Members Would Approve An 8,000 Person Event On The Street Where THEY Live??????

----------------------------------------------------------------------

UPDATE: Code Compliance Manager Jeff Aubel reported to Weho Patch that the Hudson Block Party was approved as a special event by the city. Part of that approval process included sending out mailings notifying residents living within a 500-foot radius of the event. Aubel said that Hudson owner Beau Laughlin assured him the mailings had been done.

Aubel also said that a dozen sheriff’s deputies were on hand at the block party, paid for by the Hudson. There was also a code compliance officer on the premises.

City Hall received many complaints from residents about the block party this morning. City officials are responding to each complaint individually, he said.

Aubel assured that if the Hudson wants to do another block party next year, it will be more carefully scrutinized before receiving approval. “We’ll keep an eye on them,” he said.

Weho Patch has also contacted officials at the Hudson for comment. So far, no response has been received.

-----------------------------------------------------

2nd UPDATE: During Monday’s City Council meeting, Councilmember John Heilman reported that the Hudson was required to send out notices to residents about the party. He asked City Manager Paul Arevalo to look into the notification process. Heilman also suggested that in the future, the city could handle the mailings and have the business pay for it.

Mayor Jeff Prang, who attended the block party on Sunday, said it seemed to have shifted to more of a concert than the classic block party. Prang said it the Hudson Block Party were to continue, it would have to be reworked.


Hope May 22, 2012 at 01:52 PM
I agree...Mark and "Me" need to get a life...vote them out if you really think they are doing such a crappy job. And then if you don't succeed, move!
Hope May 22, 2012 at 01:53 PM
I hope they don't tear it down before the "Lost 80's" gig goes on (August 24th). I mean, really, A Flock of Seagulls, Animotion, and others will be there. It does suck that people can't be respectful in the neighborhoods while enjoying the Weho entertainment.
Hope May 22, 2012 at 01:59 PM
True...this is a party zone we live in, love it or leave it.
Henry Scott May 22, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Everyone seems to focus on council members for criticism. I agree that they are ultimately responsible. But what about city officials? They are the ones who seem to have bungled this. And they are the ones who consistently ignore the problems my neighbors and I have had to deal with at the Mondrian. I was stunned to learn as a newcomer that City Manager Paul Arevalo doesn't even live in West Hollywood. I'm told that the argument for having a carpetbagger city manager is that it's not possible to attract such talent in West Hollywood itself. If that be so (and I'm not buying it), West Hollywood should do what other cities do when they recruit senior officials from other places: Require them to move! How can senior city officials understand West Hollywood if they're here for only eight hours a day, and not on weekends? What investment do such officials really have in this community?
meister4weho May 22, 2012 at 05:55 PM
A few years ago, the city changed the "Code Enforcement" department to "Code Compliance" -- so that should tell you where they stand.
allegra May 22, 2012 at 06:21 PM
The Hudson has been a good neighborhood friendly business...and the block party Sunday wasn’t fun for residents. I came home to no parking, a young very drunk guy peeing on my tree & a gaggle of guys on their way to the Hudson, making fun of being in Weho and “the faggots”. Who was this neighborhood, block party for? When I got home from dinner, my neighbor came over to tell me not to go to 7/11 because it was filled with loud drunks. On the other hand, 7/11 had their best Sunday, ever and it seemed to scare away the homeless people for the day. This event needs to be smaller, shorter with better planning or be in West Hollywood Park. I’d think, if it’s in the neighborhood, it should also be for the neighborhood.
me May 22, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Liquor License Number: 481774 Primary Owner: 1114 GROUP LLC Officer: CRANSTON, BRETT ALAN (MANAGING MEMBER) Officer: JAY, MICHAEL WILLIAM (MANAGING MEMBER) Officer: LAUGHLIN, VICTOR EUGENE (MANAGING MEMBER) Stock Holder: CRANSTON, BRETT ALAN Stock Holder: JAY, MICHAEL WILLIAM Stock Holder: LAUGHLIN, VICTOR EUGENE License Types 1) License Type: 47 - ON-SALE GENERAL EATING PLACE License Type Status: ACTIVE Status Date: 23-JUL-2010 Term: 12 Month(s) Original Issue Date: 22-JUL-2010 Expiration Date: 30-JUN-2012 Master: Y Duplicate: 0 Fee Code: P20 Condition: OPERATING RESTRICTIONS 2) License Type: 77 - EVENT PERMIT License Type Status: ACTIVE Status Date: 28-JUL-2011 Term: 12 Month(s) Original Issue Date: 27-JUL-2011 Expiration Date: 30-JUN-2012 Master: N Duplicate: 1 Fee Code: P20 Condition: OPERATING RESTRICTIONS 3) License Type: 58 - CATERER PERMIT License Type Status: ACTIVE Status Date: 01-AUG-2011 Term: 12 Month(s) Original Issue Date: 29-JUL-2011 Expiration Date: 30-JUN-2012 Master: N Duplicate: 1 Fee Code: P20 Condition: OPERATING RESTRICTIONS
Leandro M Pucci May 22, 2012 at 06:36 PM
no wonder your name is Idiotgiveafook... no one is saying here there should be no events. Events are fun and could be beneficial for the community (instead of just for the business owners). The issues here are: HUDSON gave a rat ass about notifying it's neighbors. The area is not capable of handling such an event (size). The damn thing lasted longer than 12 hours of full blast "music". Hudson attracts a low brow crowd (this is my opinion, by my experience). Permit or no permit, city and police should've had acted upon the huge amounts of complains immediately, not giving lip the day after. WEHO is a party town, but the party has it's well defined venues. Special event such as this mess need to be planned and supervised accordingly!
StoptheMadness May 22, 2012 at 06:49 PM
This thread sounds like it's been taken over by Hudson owners and staff (Idunt Givaphook, HollywoodRock, etc.). No one who lived nearby and was blasted out of their homes by the insanely loud music could possibly defend the Hudson's selfish money-making scam. Don't you dare tell us we're supposed to quietly take abuse from a private business. Any of us who live in West Hollywood are already well aware we're not living in quiet suburbia; we're reminded every day when we deal with parking, traffic, and drunks staggering up and down our streets. Usually, we just deal with it. But what the Hudson did was far above and beyond; they scammed the city, lied about their intentions and violated numerous ordinances that our local government doesn't seem interested in upholding. That's why those of us who live nearby are furious. The owners of a bar have NO RIGHT to drive residents from their homes, no matter how hungry they are for a quick buck, or how much their paying customers enjoyed doing so. That's the law, and it should be upheld. Oh, and the posters using "tax revenue" and revenue boosts to local businesses as an excuse for this travesty must be delusional. Do you really think attendees spent $$ anywhere but the Hudson? Wrong.
Leandro M Pucci May 22, 2012 at 06:54 PM
This is to proof how narrow minded you seem to be! Halloween is planned, there are announcements even on TV. You are prepared for it. it takes place between 6pm and midnight (6 hrs vs 14hrs) Same with Pride. The thing has been going on for 40 years and the festival is contained in an area that is mostly commercial. I am sure neighbors close there get frustrated by traffic and noise, but they KNOW IS COMING EVERY JUNE!
Leandro M Pucci May 22, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Allegra, the type of "neighbors" like HollywoodRock and Hope seem to be by their comments here are not capable of seeing this point. They had fun, that's all it matters for them.
me May 22, 2012 at 07:38 PM
YES, EXACTLY!!!.....it should be "for the neighborhood"....after all, isn't that what a BLOCK PARTY is??....they weren't inclusive of other businesses (nor neighbors obviously)....i've now heard that "faggots" thing from 4 different people.....ughhh.....PLEASE attend the meeting THIS THURS NIGHT at 6:30pm at 1217 N. Laurel Ave
me May 22, 2012 at 09:46 PM
ONE MORE COMMENT FROM THE LA TIMES WEBSITE: Jayfly at 9:33 AM May 22, 2012 I love how this article says that this festival is a ‘community event’ when I live in the neighborhood and don't know a single one of my neighbors who went. This event was poorly planned, with no regard to the residents living in extreme close proximity (the stage was set up approximately 10 ft from a residence.) This event drew 8000 people into a small parking lot and one 100-ft long narrow street for an unbearable 12 continuous hours of music not counting the set up and break down noise before and after that continued until 2 in the morning on a Sunday night/Monday morning. BY CONTRAST, the Sunset Strip Music Festival with its estimated 30,000 people attending had 4 entire blocks of the multilane Sunset Blvd closed and the interiors of 4 clubs to accommodate people, and DOES NOT PLAY MUSIC AS LATE AS 11 PM ON A SUNDAY NIGHT. Also, SSMF offers impacted neighbors basically free tickets to compensate for noise, and people who live up on the Sunset Strip know from 50 years of rock history that it will be loud with music and patrons whereas The Hudson restaurant moved into a quiet residential neighborhood and has barraged neighbors with noise and drunken vomiting patrons for 2 years in a row (and not properly noticing the event ahead of time to warn residents) Anything with the decibel levels that this ‘community event’ had, being called 'low-key' is laughable.
me May 22, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Those are apartment windows right behind you, you little screamers!!!!.....people LIVE there!!!....anyone interested in moving this event under YOUR bedroom windows???? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xq8i4UDxYb0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrpaJIskaMA
me May 23, 2012 at 02:46 AM
FROM WWW.GUESTOFAGUEST.COM----------------------- Sorry For Partying?: Hudson Block Party Neighbors Are *PISSED* (But It Was Seriously Good Times) It's not our place to say whether the anger and outrage of the neighbors of Sunday's Hudson Block Party is inappropriate. We're just saying if the residents occupying the same vicinity as the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval, Elton John's Oscar viewing party, or just the routine shitshow that takes place outside the Hudson and the rest of Santa Monica Blvd on the weekends are this "disgusted" over the Hudson Block Party, it must have been one helluva messy rager. And actually, we know it was from everyone who was there and have photos of the good times to prove it. (continued below)
me May 23, 2012 at 02:47 AM
(continued from above) But before delving into that, let's take a look at the disgruntled neighbors' gripes as cited on the flyers they've canvased across WeHo and brought before a West Hollywood City Council meeting last night. Here's a breakdown of the neighbors' complaints over the day-long music fest event: Taking over an already congested area too small to accommodate the crowd (estimated at about 8,000). Lack of timely prior notice. No parking. I'm sorry, I need to just interject here: um, but there never is??? I was at The Hudson last week and witnessed someone getting a BUI in front and the cops strapped his bicycle to their cruiser, I assume to impound it, and I think it was because of his wonk parking job in a red zone. The "parking" situation over there is so far beyond hope, let's complain productively about stuff that might actually change in our lifetime. Loudness. They be bringin' the NOISE! All day. Aaaallllll day. Traffic. What? Is this a joke? I sit in bumper to bumper over there on the daily. It takes me 30 minutes to get to that Whole Foods from La Cienega. I'm going to cut it there, hopefully you get the gist. You can read the rest of HERE. Listen, I wouldn't be thrilled if I lived over there too. But I don't, so................... Sorry for partying? By Emily Green May 22, 2012 6:51 PMWest Hollywood To contact the author of this post, email emily.green@guestofaguest.com
me May 23, 2012 at 02:50 AM
There you have it folks. She said it ALL in her last sentence: "Listen, I wouldn't be thrilled if I lived over there too. "
Yoga Chick May 23, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Many of us have lived in West Hollywood for 15 plus years and no, this was not the big party area when we moved in. We moved into our rent controlled apartments because it was a quiet neighborhood. We stay because many of us can't afford the higher rents in other parts of the city. Your comment is not only stupid, it's utterly uninformed.
Brian May 24, 2012 at 11:46 AM
On a side note to this, has anyone else noticed the kids that are out after the bars in this town...they are like wild animals feeding off each other, walking down the alleys, pissing everywhere...it is frightening here now. I'm out as soon as I can afford it.
Cathy May 24, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Does any one remember the Hudson block party last year? The comments/complaints about it were pretty much the same as I recall. I wonder if notices were taped to people's front doors, the same way as movie studios do when they are filming in your hood, would that have it made any difference to the neighbors? I think that events like these are virtually impossible to "control" enough for all neighbors to approve. On the one hand, it happens just once a year (at that venue), and neighbors are now well aware of what is to be expected. Does that mean that those who do not want to party need to run for the hills? Or is there a way to be more respectful to the community? Neighbirs need to unite and figure out a way to really be heard by the owners of the Hudson....because I just do not think that the city will.
Sheila Lightfoot May 24, 2012 at 09:03 PM
I am so sorry to see that this event was so problematic for neighbors this year. I live just west of Crescent Heights near Norton and I thought last year’s block party was nice. It really did feel more like a neighborhood event last year. I wasn’t as directly effected, but I support your demand for answers. In my view, The Hudson has been a pretty good neighbor. For last year’s Neighborhood Watch National Night Out Party, they donated 10 times more food for neighbors to enjoy than our other already generous neighborhood businesses. And they stopped by to chat and get to know people. I don’t think they anticipated this kind of crowd or this kind of inconvenience to the neighborhood. However, there were obviously problems, like the location of the bands, they should have foreseen. But bottom line, the City co-sponsored this event and it’s their job to draw the lines and plan for parking, traffic, noise, etc. This event was passed on the Consent Calendar at the February 6 City Council meeting. Go to: http://weho.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=22&clip_id=1630 and click on the staff report of 2H (Hudson Block Party). It definitely sounds like a different event than the reality.
Sheila Lightfoot May 24, 2012 at 09:04 PM
cont... Some very logical solutions have been offered here and in comments to the earlier article that the City and, yes, The Hudson, too, should have put in place. As usual, the City swings back and forth from nanny state bans to total abandonment of responsibility – with no logical or consistent set of policies. That’s what happens when a City is run according to personal fiat instead of accountability to the residents. We have a right to demand better. But, I hope we can do it in a way that expects more of the Hudson without condemning them.
Me May 24, 2012 at 10:33 PM
The difference between Sunset Strip Music Festival and Halloween Carnaval and PRIDE are SO different compared to the Hudson Block Party. SSMF stops music by 10pm and last a total of 9 hours. The stages are located much furthur from residences than at the Block Party though decibel level is probably equal. Halloween can last until midnight only on a Fri or Sat but doesn't start until 6pm. (Total 5-6 hours; stages farther from residences). PRIDE is the only one that lasted as long as the all day Hudson party (12 hours long, but is located in a completely commercial zone. not adjacent to resdiences as the Hudson Block Party is.). For anyone to compare the events that is ridiculous.
Karl May 27, 2012 at 07:34 PM
If you want to contest the Extended Alcohol License (till 2am!) at Hudson call Stacy Williams at the Department of Alcoholic and Beverage control 213 833 6099. Call this weekend and leave a message for Stacey as the deadline is listed the 29th May (how convenient). Partition is by 1114 Group LLC (Hudson).
Karl May 27, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Woops :) I meant petition. Call now before it's to late.
Karl May 27, 2012 at 07:48 PM
I heard at the meeting Voyeur is reopening as a Burlesque Night Club. Another round of issues here. Parking problems, noise problems, property damage, speeding taxi drivers, paparazzi the list goes on. There needs to be more security on the streets etc etc. More transparency rather than under the table deals. Get involved early on this one. Keep Weho sane.
Leanne May 28, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Does anyone actually know if SSMF is going ahead this year, there seems to be a delay in any information being given - only the date at this stage - maybe these local issues with noise etc may be the reason?
me May 28, 2012 at 01:27 AM
what IS the deal with speeding taxi's when voyeur was popular????....were they fighting over better tips from that crowd?....i wouldnt think so.....my neighbors car was side-swiped on norton by a taxi circling the block and an eye witness saw it and the name of the company....they didn't get anywhere with them, no compensation, nothing
me May 28, 2012 at 01:30 AM
they're most likely not ready to announce the line-up yet....i'm sure it'll happen
me May 28, 2012 at 01:46 AM
it seems the hudson wasn't honest with us during the neighborhood meeting regarding the liquor permit changes.....the neighborhood is working to defeat this.....I understand "someone" (use your imagination here) is going around and pulling down our flyers and protest materials.....here's stacy's email: stacy.williams@abc.ca.gov .......although the letter says to respond in writing, an email couldn't hurt either and a phone call too.....SPREAD THE WORD ON MONDAY!!!! (as Tuesday is the deadline)

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