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Council Bans Plastic Bags, Designates Day for Go-Go Dancers

City Council also votes to deny a petition for a modern condo beside the historic Hollywood Riviera building and to allow extra height at the proposed mixed-use development at the Faith Plating site.

Plastic bags will no longer be an option for shoppers in West Hollywood after a unanimous vote by the City Council on Tuesday night.

The council voted 5-0 during its four-and-a-half-hour meeting to ban single-use plastic bags at area businesses. The city will model their ordinance after one designed by Los Angeles County for use in the unincorporated portions of the county.

In an effort to encourage customers to bring their own reusable shopping bags, the council will allow Weho businesses to charge 10 cents for paper bags.

Councilman John Heilman noted that in Europe, shoppers are expected to bring their own bags, adding that shoppers there are accustomed to the extra fee for store-provided bags.  

Hayworth Condominum

Council also denied the petition for a four-story, 17-unit condominium building proposed for 1350 Hayworth Ave. The project will demolish an existing two-story, 16-unit 1940s era apartment building. Council members said the ultra modern building did not fit in with the rest of the block.

Hayworth between Sunset and Fountain is chiefly comprised of one- and two-story apartment buildings built between 1910 and 1950. The block is also home to the historically designated Hollywood Riviera designed by renowned architect Edward Fickett.

“This is a flat-footed response to an opportunity presented by being next door to the Hollywood Riviera,” said Councilman John D’Amico of the proposed building.  

Councilman John Heilman agreed, saying he did not think the building was well designed. “I don’t find this particularly creative,” he said. “Given the character of the street, maybe a modern design is not the most appropriate for this location.”

Mayor Pro Tempore Jeff Prang said he considered the building out of scale with the rest of the neighborhood. He felt three stories was the highest it should go. “This is not superior architecture,” Prang added.

The council voted 5-0 to continue the item to an undetermined future date, whenever the architect wants to return with a new design.

Go-Go Dancer Appreciation Day

The council voted 5-0 to designate Saturday, Oct. 29 as Go-Go Dancer Appreciation Day. A celebration will be held on Larrabee Street at Santa Monica Boulevard with nearby clubs and participating. Several Sunset Strips clubs have also agreed to be a part of the celebration.

D’Amico, who sponsored the item, noted that go-go dancing originated in West Hollywood in the early 1960s. The first female go-go dancers were at the on Sunset, while male go-go dancers soon followed at Ciro’s (now ).

D’Amico said he wanted to bring some fun to the city for a day, to give locals a chance to celebrate before the Halloween Carnival two days later. The Halloween Carnival traditionally draws 500,000 people. 

General Plan

In continuing their discussion of the proposed General Plan, which will guide development in the city for the next 25 years, the council again discussed the maximum height of buildings. At an , residents made it clear they did not want to see buildings go any higher than four stories.

D’Amico requested that staff change the designation of 45-foot maximum height along Santa Monica Boulevard between Crescent Heights and Fairfax to 35-foot maximum height. With that change, virtually all of Santa Monica will have a 35-foot maximum height.

However, “bonuses” are still in place, which allow developers to go higher. Under state law SB1818, if a project includes affordable housing, it can go 10 feet higher. Under city ordinances, if the project is mixed use (retail and residential), it can also go 10 feet higher.

With these bonuses, even buildings designated as a maximum 35 feet height can reach 20 feet higher. The state-required affordable-housing bonus can not be eliminated, but the city-sponsored mixed-use bonus could be removed. However, the council does not seem inclined to remove that bonus since they want to encourage mixed use.

Heilman also addressed the repeated concerns from residents speaking during public comment about the development allowed by the General Plan, noting not all of the approved potential development under the General Plan will occur. He pointed out that even under the current General Plan, there has not been a drastic amount of development.

“When people say there’s been so many changes and so much development, they’re really overstating what has occurred over the history of the city,” Heilman said. “Not everything that is approved is actually built. I think that’s likely to be the case going forward.” 

Faith Plating

The city did agree to allow extra height at the proposed mixed-used development intended for the site at 7141 Santa Monica Blvd. (at Formosa). A new buyer intends to close on the property within 30 days, but is faced with a $1.5 million price tag for cleaning up the toxic chemicals in the soil from the chrome plating for car bumpers that Faith Plating does.

The new buyer is requesting to go up to 70 feet at the rear of the property to make up that cost. Council members said the site must be cleaned up, and agreed to include the extra height for the Faith Plating site into the General Plan.

Plummer Park

With renovations to Plummer Park due to start by the end of this year, a half-dozen speakers during public comment spoke against these renovations. Several said they had only just recently heard about the plans and complained that they did not receive earlier notification.

Prang, D’Amico and Councilwoman Abbe Land all said more outreach to residents was needed and suggested the city schedule more meeting on the topic. Mayor John Duran noted they needed to make sure the residents who were originally involved with the park plans were advised of the new meetings.

City manager Paul Arevalo said there was still time for more meetings, “even though we are 95 percent into developer drawings," he said. 

Project GreenBag September 07, 2011 at 05:56 PM
We must ban plastic bags. Many people will never change their habits otherwise. Project GreenBag is the sustainable, eco-friendly alternative to plastic bags. 100% organic cotton, biodegradable, and made in San Francisco California. http://www.ProjectGreenBag.com http://www.facebook.com/ProjectGreenBag http://twitter.com/projectgreenbag
Paul September 07, 2011 at 08:01 PM
Out of scale? How about the over sized new Library about to open. Talk about out of scale for the corner, West Hollywood in general. Not particular attractive as far as the architecture either. Just BIG that's all. Also, completely unnecessary considering these tough economic times California is experience not to mention the country. Shame on John Heilman & Abbey Land for pushing this to fruition! On a positive note, I am told they will return the baseball diamond they turned in as-fault for public parking.There are no nice parks in West Hollywood. I lived in San Diego for several years and whats nice about San Diego is they have beautiful park that are kept up nicely. I wish West Hollywood city council wasn't so hell bend on making this strictly a gay getto trap for drunks and drug addicts to come party at on the weekend. Normal people live here to. I thoroughly enjoy the beautiful fountains the PDC has going. Thankfully we have that here at least to enjoy.
Martin Pal September 07, 2011 at 10:01 PM
Sure it might be convenient for people who don't want to pay for a bag to keep reusable ones in their cars for use, but for those of us who travel by bus or walk or use public transportation this is a tax and one that I don't appreciate. As for building? I have lived in this city for 25 years and it has become worse, not better. I vote against the bought and paid for incumbents every chance I get. I'm going to get every plastic bag I can find and fill them with gifts for the city council.
Insider September 07, 2011 at 10:36 PM
City Council never skips an opportunity to punish residents for just living their lives.
me September 08, 2011 at 02:42 AM
gogo appreciation day???....now, i've FINALLY heard everything!!!...we will once again be the laughing stock of the nation....when will the city council roll up their sleeves and get some real work done???....further, even if someone wanted to have said event, why does the concil need to discuss it?..... dear council: what ever happened to that new street furniture you promised to replace the ugly cobalt blue street lights with the broken globes on top and nasty trash cans???....and how many more years must we see the tired holiday decorations that are only 1/2 lit because the solar component doesn't work???
Paul September 08, 2011 at 03:43 AM
Just go to Ralphs on Doheny & Beverly to do your shopping. For now they still have plastic.
me September 08, 2011 at 04:01 AM
better yet, maybe the council can close the groceries and make us all raise/grow our own food....please put this on their next meeting agenda
Insider September 08, 2011 at 04:14 PM
The Ralphs on Doheny/Beverly is in West Hollywood. Go to "rock & roll" Ralphs on Sunset.
Paul September 08, 2011 at 05:30 PM
No, Ralphs on Beverly & Doheny is in Beverly Hills so they still have plastic which I enjoy.
Ali September 09, 2011 at 01:53 AM
The City Council says they want to keep the older apartment buildings which are rent controlled, yet every week I read about another building slated for tear down so ANOTHER condo can go in. I don't believe a word they say anymore. Soon, there won't be any rent controlled apartments left, if they have their way.
Noelle Kim Retes September 11, 2011 at 05:39 PM
Wow "me" ... I for one commend the city council for trying to breath more life back into the legendary Sunset Strip by remembering part of it's fun history. http://www.gazzarridancers.com/hollywoodagogohistory.html ... I cannot believe you suggested we'd be the laughing stock of the nation?!?!? Yeah, uh huh, then the bullies will steal our lunch money and poke our eyes out like we're one of the Three Stooges! You're not going TOO overboard now are you? I also don't see any cost involved in simply declaring a day "Go Go Dancer Appreciation Day" whereas the items you've asked about have a cost involved. I am thinking you have a greater chance of being the laughing stock of this webpage when you have the temerity to trash Christmas Decorations? Times are tough all over and who are you to pooh pooh City Council who are merely trying to stimulate commerce while giving a nod to our rich history. Hmmm, maybe if enough people attend, the city will make additional revenue as well, therefore possibly expediting the fixing of fixtures around town.
me September 11, 2011 at 08:48 PM
i stand by my opinion, or aren't we allowed to have our own opinion anymore?....but first off, they aren't celebrating gogo on the sunset strip, now are they?....it's on santa monica blvd at larrabee....secondly, "stimulate commerce"????....seriously???....the gay bars will show a small spike in sales....what else?....i hardly think wall street will notice...as for weho being a laughing stock, AP just used this for a national lead story because the idea is so, well, stupid.....we have so many bigger issues that aren't being addressed in this city....perhaps this is meant to steer us away from what's really happening (or isn't happening) right now
Lynn Russell September 12, 2011 at 06:21 PM
This go-go dancer thing while probably intended as a humorous accolade was truly not well thought out but seems consistent with the wide swings between serious issues facing most folks, wherever they reside and the silly isolation from reality that seems a defining characteristic of WH. The priorities here appear to be sorted in a cocktail shaker. Someone mentioned at a CC meeting that part of WH be named "Peter Pan Town" or "Party Town" indicative of folks that never grow up and continue to exhibit irresponsible behavior. My guess is that such behavior is endorsed by WH as long as they can find a revenue stream attached to it.
brad September 13, 2011 at 12:53 AM
As per the plastic bag issue. Traders double bags paper with handles while Pavilions asked like your asking for special treatment if you want paper with plastic as I take the bus about 80 percent of the time or walk and patron both places. But people in my opinion won't buy the expensive plastic bags that are more "green" So the point again in my opinion is you will just have a surge in sales of plastic garbage bags. But not the greener ones. I'm not completely against the ban, people go back and forth about the paper, but charging is not right. I try to put half in the recylce bin if double bagging. Be sure to wash the recylable ones as having food products can contaminate them. So more wash, or driving to Rock and Roll Ralphs....
brad September 13, 2011 at 12:59 AM
And yes I'm being just a tad cynical but just feels like its more goverment in our lives. I applaud people who do the right thing and don't use bottle water, but a resuable one filled with Brita, we all try to do our part. But I'm not perfect either!!!!
brad September 13, 2011 at 01:01 AM
btw I do that, use brita in a reusable bottle.... just sayin'
Chloe Ross November 18, 2011 at 10:21 PM
Europeans have schlepped their groceries in their own bags for decades. Why not us. And in Europe - if you wanted a store bag, you paid for it. Why not us. It seems juvenile to waste gas and energy to drive to a grocery simply because they use plastic. Think about it. As far as the carrying of the ubiquitous water bottle - don't babies have their comforting bottles snatched away as soon as possible. ("Oh little Monterey only used the bottle for a year, then we took it away") Adults carrying bottles of water everywhere - as if they are crossing the Empty Quarter look silly. They do.
joninla December 08, 2011 at 01:30 AM
NOW HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF NOT CONSIDERING THE 'NEEDS' OF THOSE PEOPLE IN THE WEST PART OF THE CITY AND THE GO-GO CELEBRATION THAT WAS MUCH NEEDED AND WAS OF SERIOUS CONCERN FOR A RARELY DISCUSSED TINY MINORITY LIVING ON OUR WEST SIDE. Let me Clarify the Needs of those We Don't Know or See: The Westside has been a strong City Supporter based primarily on the Gay Nightlife. After the last Election John Heilman was yet again re-elected, but from what I've heard, not by majority for the first time and was very upset about it (despite keeping his seat on the board) - but a now forgotten old man the gay you have never heard of. PURELY TO ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF THOSE UNDER SERVED, IT WAS IMPERATIVE FOR HEILMAN TO PUT DOWN THE RUSSIA LANGUAGE LESSONS AND ADDRESSES 'HIS PEOPLE'. Thus, THE CELEBRATION OF GO-GO-DANCERS WAS NECESSARY TO HELP THE UNKNOWN NEED AND TERRIBLE LOSS OF SUPPORT OF POOR OLD LONELY JOHN HEILMAN HAS THAT HAD SECURED 'THE GAY VOTE' FOR HIM, BUT NO LONGER. Thus to address Poor Heilman's Need to get that voting block back, and given his age and lack of appeal to the younger gay community, THROWING A PUBIC NEAR NAKED STREET PARTY (and the offensive attempt to officially call the Westside "BOYS TOWN" were there to help recover the tiny unknown suffering minority ... Known as John Heilman and his NEED TO KEEP POWER and get back the gay vote.
Paul December 08, 2011 at 02:45 AM
When does the stupid plastic bag ban go into effect anyway? The plastic bags are useful for numerous things around the house. If you have pets it is nice to use the bags in collecting your animals unmentionables....... These council members need to get beyond this plastic bags are bad crap.
joninla February 25, 2012 at 03:22 AM
Feb 24, 2012 ----------------- The health consequence of contamination and cross-contamination have been highlighted today by Dr. Oz when an expert was on his show and explained the actual studies done about the contaminants that are already on and part of the moving belt we load groceries onto at checkout in supermarkets. We live daily with so many potential places to pick up every kind of bacterial or other potentially dangerous invisible yet dangerous to our general health contaminants, to ban the plastic bag and mandate everyone bring used bags back and forth will unquestionably lead to increased numbers of people catching 'cold' and other moderate and temporary illness. But the bigger serious risk is the very real possibility of an outbreak of a potentially fatal condition which would first hit and affect the elderly community and children, but once it starts to spread could become an epidemic. The listeria in cantaloup last year is just one example. Just the outside of the melon carried and spread the listeria that lead to several actual deaths. That outbreak would have been much worse had the listeria contaminated everyone reusable grocery bags and brought it back and forth exposing everyone else, even to people who never ate or touched cantaloup (for example).
Lynn Russell February 25, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Joninla: You were highlighted during Tuesday evenings City Council meeting during Public Comment by Jean Dobrin, the doyenne of city watchfulness. You may be interested in catching this moment while you are trolling through the archives.
Ali February 25, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Oh for goodness sakes jon, people wash their reusable shopping bags. You just have to put a negative spin on everything, don't you? The ban is good for the environment. The plastic bags don't break down. They will be around for thousands of years in the landfills. Like Chloe said, in Europe people have been bringing their own bags for a long time.
Lynn Russell February 25, 2012 at 03:48 AM
Citywide Alert: Check under your beds for the bogey man......and in your reusable bags. Anyone know at what location the loons are getting into the LSD?
joninla February 26, 2012 at 07:13 AM
I have been following this issue and seen numerous publications about 'public health issues' beyond just the feel good 'let's all just go green' middle class mentality of how to create an ideal world. People may wash their bags, that's irrelevant. The issue is the effects on the most vulnerable people in society. The elderly, poor, ill and many others you don't see in your life, who would have impacts from the serious potentials of not having a clean sanitary means of bringing food and health care purchases into their home. In a city with so many elderly and people living with compromised immune systems, your callous disrespect towards me, includes a lack of any awareness of the society we live and share with everyone.
joninla February 26, 2012 at 07:16 AM
You should go back and look at your obsession with me. It is unhealthy and makes you look foolish and crazy. I don't care what you write, I just ignore your posts. Your fixation on me, and anything I comment on (check your own writings) is spiraling out of control, and having no affect of me. You may need to seek psychiatric assistance.
Lynn Russell February 26, 2012 at 07:21 AM
As you wish, I will check in tomorrow and all will be well with WH and the world . Thank you for caring. And thank you for saving us all from ourselves.
Lynn Russell February 26, 2012 at 07:30 AM
Before I go , please grant me one more thought. Have you ever traveled to rural China or rural anywhere else out of the US.? You may also look into positive thinking and endeavors as there is also scientific and empiracle evidence that extreme negativity is detrimental to one's health and well being.

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