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Residents Speak Out About General Plan at Final Workshop

Attendees say they are not interested in taller buildings or in increasing the city's population.

More green space, shorter buildings and additional parking were just some of the requests made by West Hollywood residents at a town meeting held Monday night regarding the General Plan.

About 100 people gathered in  for the two-hour meeting. It was the final workshop before the City Council votes on the plan in September, and one urged by Councilman John D’Amico.

The city’s first meeting regarding the General Plan was held in February 2008, with 200 people in attendance. Subsequent workshops were held in November 2008, January 2010 and July 2010. Additionally, the city conducted focus groups in March 2008 and held several neighborhood meetings in September 2008. 

After a short presentation, residents broke out into four groups—eastside, mid-city, westside and overall city—to talk about their concerns. After 45 minutes of discussion, each group reported back to the rest of the residents.

Residents have their say

Residents are happy with the city the way it is, they said. They like the urban village nature of the city and do not want to see that altered by taller buildings along Santa Monica Boulevard. Three stories, possibly four, are as high as they want to see them go. “Five is too high,” said one resident.

They say taller buildings will block the views of the hills and create shadows on the streets.

Attendees worried that if the city clusters new and taller buildings along major transportation corridors (La Brea, Fairfax and La Cienega), the other parts of town will suffer.

Residents are not especially concerned about increasing population density. “We’ve lost over 2,000 residents in the past 10 years. There are lots of condominiums sitting vacant. Why do we need to add more?” said one resident.

The city was severely criticized for not improving infrastructure, especially creating more parking. “How can we be talking about adding more people when those who are here can’t find places to park?” asked a mid-city resident.

Residents also want more green space in the city, some suggesting creating parks on the tops of parking decks. They also want to see more trees planted along Santa Monica Boulevard.

Spine of the city

The main focus of the meeting was mixed-use buildings—retail and residential in the same building—along Santa Monica Boulevard. As D’Amico told residents in his opening remarks, “Santa Monica Boulevard is the spine of our city. It’s our backbone, so we want to get it right.”

Current zoning laws allow for 45-foot tall buildings (four stories), but if developers meet certain other requirements, they can get a “bonus” allowing them to go as high as 70 feet (six stories).

One alternate proposal for the General Plan as currently written would see eight- and 11-story buildings along La Brea, five and six stories on Fairfax and Crescent Heights.

About 25 percent of those attending said this was their first meeting regarding the General Plan meeting. They said they came out because they care about the city.

City Planning Manager John Keho initially sat in on the groups, but stepped away when he found people looking to him as running the group. “It’s empowering to let them reach a consensus on their own,” Keho said.

Other ideas

Other ideas mentioned in the various groups include creating bike lanes by eliminating parking along Santa Monica Boulevard, starting a free or low-cost trolley to run the length of Santa Monica Boulevard and charging a toll for cars using the street.

Some residents also encouraged the city to create incentives for landlords to improve existing apartment buildings, rather than tearing them down to build luxury condominiums.

The question of how affordable housing would be affected by the General Plan was raised. D’Amico responded that affordable housing is based on the projects built, not where they are built.

D’Amico’s reaction afterward

After the meeting concluded, D’Amico told Weho Patch, “Tonight was the best of what West Hollywood has to offer, lots of people participating and making. This a really great city,” he said. “It’s very exciting for me that people really like to participate here and that they’re not afraid of their points of view.”

D’Amico also urged residents to contact each city council member to make their views known. “In the next 45 days, we’re going to pass this General Plan,” D’Amico said. “This is their last chance.”

Councilwoman Abbe Land was in attendance for the first portion of the meeting. Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Prang was there for the entire meeting. Mayor John Duran and Councilman John Heilman did not attend.  

White paper presented

Immediately before the meeting began, former City Councilman Steve Martin held a short news conference to present a “white paper,” a position paper suggesting changes to the proposed plan.

“There’s a lot of talk about what we want West Hollywood to look like, but a lot of what we have in West Hollywood now, we want to preserve and that’s not happening in the current General Plan,” said Martin speaking for a coalition of residents who worked on the position paper.

“The current General Plan is going to encourage a lot more density along Santa Monica Boulevard, a disregard for existing housing and exacerbate the issues of traffic," he added. "What we tried to do is come up with different ways and different suggestions to help the City Council craft a document that we can all live with.”

Many of the suggestions in that white paper were what residents mentioned later in the meeting. Other suggestions in the paper included mandating green construction for all new buildings, requiring solar panels on buildings over two stories, and having tighter parking standards for new buildings (no tandem parking at residential buildings, no “shared parking” at commercial buildings).

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me August 03, 2011 at 01:13 AM
why do we still need a BUS YARD taking up a major intersection and much land at SMB and san vicente??? why are there so many properties that sit empty for years and years, especially on sunset blvd??? (the petersen building for one) ALTHOUGH IT'S NICE TO PLAN FOR THE FUTURE, WHAT ABOUT THE ISSUES WE'RE HAVING NOW THAT ARE BEING COMPLETELY IGNORED BY THE CITY ????.....LIKE NO PARKING STRUCTURE IN THE CENTER CITY AREA WITH 5 CLUBS, RESTAURANTS ETC
MarkD August 03, 2011 at 02:49 PM
Some people could win a multi-million dollar lottery and still find nothing to do but complain. Nuff said on that. You're right Michael, it was a great evening and a great opportunity for the community to finally get a voice in this discussion, something that was denied the community under the former city council majority. What a great breath of fresh air it is to have someone like D'Amico -- who has a solid background in urban planning -- using his expertise to help guide the community discussion intelligently. If this topic interests you, plan to be at the West Hollywood Park auditorium on Aug. 15 for the official council deliberation on the General Plan and (hopefully) some final decisions about Laurel Park. It will be worth it, if for no other reason than to see how Heilman and Land try to claim credit for Laurel Park after they tried to destroy the property (like they did at the park dedication). BTW, three of the council members turned up at the Night Out celebrations around the city last night. To the best of my knowledge, two didn't turn up anywhere -- certainly not at Laurel Park. Guess which three mingled with the community and guess which two avoided the community.
Wesley McDowell August 03, 2011 at 03:02 PM
This was my first time going to one of the General Plan meetings. I expected it to be a typical setting where people spoke one at a time on a particular issue leaving the vast majority of people only to listen. What a refreshing evening it was to allow ALL of us to participate in the small groups. Doing so made it possible for everyone's ideas to be expressed and eventually presented. Yes, we're going to have development but at least it will be more in line with what most people want rather than dictated to us. Maybe sometime in the latter half of this century there will be a subway through West Hollywood but in the meantime we need to think and plan for NOT having it. All of us need to email the 5 members of Council to let them know where we stand.
Geoffrey Buck August 03, 2011 at 09:23 PM
Councilman John D'Amico did a great service to our community by presenting the General Plan Workshop. It provided a forum for the community to talk to one another about important issues. I was able to meet other eastside neighbors who share similar concerns about development and especially the plans for Plummer Park. This type of discussion will continue Tuesday, August 9 at a Community Green Space Discussion at Laurel Park from 6:30 to dusk. This event is being hosted by the West Hollywood Tree Preservation Society.
Pandora August 04, 2011 at 07:39 PM
This meeting was a JOKE! Only in WH and only in the PATCH would a meeting with 25 new people attending out of a population of 37,000, be considered a success or as Damico claims "the best of what the city has to offer". I was there and it was clear that he is very condescending as other people have claimed and also that he really doesnt know that much at all which made me question my vote for him. DUH, we all want more parks (and Laurel Park is not park by the by, it's the front yard of a house people, and more parking and less development but with so many plans on the way as in the new megacomplex at Tower Records and the numerous hotels and condo conversion projects planned that are already being built, it is to late for our voices to be heard. If Damico has a spine he would call for an immediate stop to all the projects until the new plan is adopted and then make sure that all of the current in development plans follow the new general plan but because he's in the pocket of all the develpers, like the rest of them, this won't ever happen! Only thing more of joke then this meeting was the press conference held by that bafoon Steve Martin and his ignoramous friends.
MarkD August 04, 2011 at 11:01 PM
Pandora, I have to say that much of what you claim I find to be factually inaccurate. Or just plain untrue. This post is no exception. Oh yeah, and one more thing: Laurel PARK!
joninla August 05, 2011 at 09:15 AM
My BIGGEST OPPOSITION TO ANY NEW "MIXED-USE" PROJECT - is the lack of any of the already built "mixed-use" projects being a success. Vacant High End Residences and Additional Vacant Storefronts for the Blvd. The way we live has changed, and will always be changing. Look at the results before continuing to build just because power hungry City Counsel Members want to "lock-in" their agenda for the next 25 years. That is ridiculous and another reason a totally fresh City Counsel and Process for making decisions that affects the residents should be taken. The creators of the City after 25 years remain on the Counsel and clearly are planning for their next 25 years of "Benefits" that arise from holding a small municipality position ..... warranting such relatively huge campaign costs for such a small city.
joninla August 05, 2011 at 09:23 AM
I think I figured out what is motivating this absurd building plan. There are State and possibly other Government Incentives (i.e. tax dollars being given out in one form or another). The most significant is the LOAN GUARANTEE for Developers who include a certain percentage of "Low-Income Housing" in their brand new high end projects. The Developers/Contractors can spend a fortune (pad bills, kick backs, pay offs to city officials who make these decisions) and if NO UNITS ARE SOLD - they would lose their shirts ..... BUT FOR THE STATE/GOV. LOAN GUARANTEE which allows them to walk away from their new projects with apparent no personal loss or gain. But there are HUGE PROFITS in building unsellable projects (i.e. The Hancock Lofts). Somebody lost money on that project, but not the Developers I suspect. If they can make a profit from not selling a single unit and vacant retail space, Something Is Not Right or else no other developer would consider such a known failure of a building plan. There is big money controlling the City Counsel. That's what I think the real problem is (one example). Meanwhile the Counsel holds these Stupid Meetings appearing to take Residents Input ... but it's just for show. The Developers (using the law like the loan guarantee example) are creating an undesirable long terms City Living Environment.
joninla August 05, 2011 at 03:20 PM
I can't believe this crazy long term plan has you so upset about traffic. MY GOD! THERE IS GOING TO BE AN ALMOST IMMEDIATE TRAFFIC SNARL from the ABSURD!! plan already approved for a $13+ MILLION DOLLAR "ROBO-GARAGE" behind City Hall. Apart from the cost being 10x or more than the average per additional parking spots built, by creating MORE parking at the Corner of Santa Monica Blvd and Sweetzer behind City Hall means..... EVEN MORE CARS COMING/GOING. TURNING RIGHT/LEFT. MANEUVERING THE BUS STOP, PEDESTRIANS AND ALREADY TOO NARROW SIDE WALKS. That corner WEST HOLLYWOOD CITY HALL CORNER is the exact START OF THE SANTA MONICA BLVD BOTTLENECK PROBLEM THAT BACKS UP TRAFFIC ALL THE WAY TO CENTURY CITY. ADDING MORE CARS TO AN INTERSECTION THAT IS TOO SMALL, IRREGULAR, IMPOSSIBLE TO WIDEN, TOO CONGESTED ALREADY IS ALMOST AS INSANE AS $13 (MORE LIKE $16 PLUS THE COST TO RUN THE FACILITY BY A FULL TIME TRAINED ENGINEER - YEARLY). Forget getting upset about the distant future. The ROBO-GARAGE is prefabricated an going to be installed while this non-sense that will not affect any decision the Counsel Wants to do about a 25 year plan. But yes I understand your future concern, I just suggest you not lose the forest from the trees (or whatever) and not look closely at what is GOING ON RIGHT NOW. STOP THE INSANITY!
joninla August 05, 2011 at 03:26 PM
GOOD QUESTIONS! I think a bunch of different answers. 1. I think the Bus Depot is County Right of Way Property and not upto WeHo to conrol. 2. Empty Projects? Because the Counsel Keeps It "Special Interest Campaign Contributiors" (i.e. Developers who want to turn a profit from new construction regardless of any need/use/success) 3. The Peterson building (I think) has an Asbestose or something like that hazardous waste problem delaying/preventing either demoliton or converstion into what I think could be quite nice and fashionable High End Sunset Strip Condos. PROBLEM - Is all the same ..... The City Counsel totally out of touch with the real life problems of Living in the City (they don't ever have to worry about parking, tickets, or getting immediate law enforcement response to any crime isssues the other residents do not get such free/excused or prompt service.) Get the crowd arguing over "the general plan" while the City Counsel Keep plugging along with Stupid Mixed Use Disasters! (for the money)
joninla August 05, 2011 at 03:31 PM
I do think any improvement is a good thing. Unfortunately, I think the "Ceremony" created to "Hear and Take Resident Input" was a fancier version of what caught my eye several months ago about "Resident Input". I believe Heilman (maybe another one) said it perfectly "Residents were allow to speak and their input was received." paraphrasing Yeah, you give them to minutes of GOOD INPUT, BAD INPUT, CRAZY INPUT - none of it ever ends up changing/affecting the actual development. Or on occasion - the "accommodations" made for "public space" or whatever end up being more problematic than of any real benefit when complete.
joninla August 05, 2011 at 03:36 PM
It was my understanding that the final Subway Plan has been decided for sure and WeHo is not on the line. As for the Subway, although we will not benefit directly for the decision not to go through WeHo, We ALL Will Benefit from the truly better plan through B.H. and the center of Century City. Many, many more people will use/ride that route (especially at rush hour) making the street traffic and bus routes move much faster for the whole system/area. But even brining it up after it's a done deal, no subway for WeHo seems like one of many issues brought in to distract from actaul progress in stopping the current and planned 25 year future plan WHICH IS DISASTEROUS FOR THE CITY!
joninla August 05, 2011 at 03:42 PM
BEST POINT ANYONE HAS MADE: "STOP ALL PROJECTS UNTIL A NEW PLAN IS ADOPTED!" EXACTLY - AND NOT SOME 25 YEAR PLAN. A more flexible plan for the changes that will occur in the way people live, work, travel and socialize for the next 25 years! 5 years from now, WeHo could NOT be THE SPOT for nightlife/entertainment. The Sunset Strip has a very long history of ups and downs. Some very low/dirty/crime periods and some of the highest and elegant in the world. What is this crazy 25 year plan? I AGREE: "STOP EVERYTHING" AND START FROM SCRATCH WITH FRESH, EDUCATED, EXPERIENCED AND NON-FINANCIALLY INFLUENCED CRONIES joining together to MAKE OUR HOME/CITY A BETTER PLACE FOR THE PEOPLE LIVING NOW AND THOSE WHO WILL COME TO LIVE THEIR LIVES IN WHAT IS AND COULD BE A WONDERFUL PLACE IN THE FUTURE TO LIVE.
joninla August 05, 2011 at 03:47 PM
Apparently optimistic, but several problems. 1. Whatever is decided by groups of Residents will never be implemented by the existing Corrupt City Counsel 2. "Personal Opinions" from various people usually become emotinally charged and then ignight into chaos when a true crazy person joins in with their non-sense. 3. "DESIGN BY COMMITTEE" (wikipedia/google it) is a known serious problem leading usually to terrible outcomes that makes nobody happy. It's a small city. But 30-35,000 people are a lot more opinons than the ones that this new group of people think is representative of a majority or even necessarily a large portion of the people living in West Hollywood.
MarkD August 07, 2011 at 05:06 PM
I find it difficult to take any post seriously that is written with the same tone, poor spelling and bad grammar as spam telling me there is $4.3 million in Nigeria with my name on it. At least try to get this right, city COUNCIL, city COUNCIL, city COUNCIL.
joninla August 07, 2011 at 08:31 PM
The uneducated, illiterate, slow and even the lame/dumb and blind - all (believe it or not) have both the right to try to express themselves as well as the right to be disturbed and desire to have action taken despite any impediments they may have. Your pinpointing your issue of so many upon the failings of an slow challenged person living with a disability and attempting to contribute to an ongoing repetitive long term farce of a "public hearing for taking public input on projects" is quite appropriate in showing how little the input of the weakest or by chance unfortunate people ... and in fact as people even worthy of any input. Contempt for a disability/illiteracy/stupidity/laziness is the the exact opposite of the entire point of what is being call a chance to HEAR THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE AND WILL BE AFFECTED BY PROPOSED PROJECTS. As to the repetitive posts ...... they are in reply to the exact same NEW SET of ill informed and strongly self centered concerns that .... no matter how many times it comes up (see the recent archives) it is all to no avail. See: http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2010/10/west_hollywood_city_employees.php or google tons of similar reports on what is actually a very serious issue involving major sums of money and possible criminal culpability. Try not to let any illiterate people spoil your day :)
jose August 09, 2011 at 12:59 AM
someone needs to tell our new councilman that the election is over and he won...no need to campaign any longer.....the city has already heard this point of view and doesn't care.
MarkD August 09, 2011 at 02:28 AM
I don't think it's campaigning. I think the point is that there are new people sitting in the decision-making seats, and he's one of them. He's also the only one on city council who has the education and professional experience to guide city planning. Instead of tearing the guy down for doing what we elected him to do, and trotting out the same complaints we had about Heilman and Land and trying to pin it on D'Amico as if they're the same, I think D'Amico deserves some support until he gives us genuine reason to question.
Pandora August 09, 2011 at 09:13 PM
if damico really wants to show his 'spine of the city' what he has to do is call for ALL projects that are being built to be HALTED until the the new general plan is approved otherwise they are just doing things backwards as per usual. Once the new general plan is approved they can go back and make sure that every plan adheres to it, otherwise we are all talking about "WHAT IF'S" and nothing concrete, pardon the pun. I also find it amusing that for all his talk about getting our input, there were only 25 new faces at this meeting.
joninla August 10, 2011 at 08:23 AM
I agree to STOP IMMEDIATELY for redo. But why is it a 25 Year Plan? Who can predict what changes will come that will make this binding "Plan" a barrier to what may be unforseen future needs.
MarkD August 10, 2011 at 03:35 PM
In industry and government, it's common to set out a blueprint to lead to the future. It's ludicrous to *not* have a master plan that projects far into the future. HOWEVER, it is just that, a plan. It isn't a Bible that must be strictly followed -- it serves as a guideline with the understanding that it *will* change in relationship to external forces. For example, I've seen a 3D interactive rendering of the UCLA campus in the year 2030. Does that mean anyone believes that future campus architects will strictly follow those plans? Heck no, a simple glance at past plans -- such as the Greek-inspired "Plaza of the Arts and Sciences" once proposed -- will tell you that is speculative, not concrete. The problem here seems to be that some residents don't understand that a plan is a guiding document, not law. That, at least, is understandable if no one takes the time to explain that. The bigger problem is that there are two council members who seem to believe that the General Plan is tantamount to law and can't be altered in response to new information (or, really, even old information that is no longer being suppressed). No reasonable person believes that a current 25 year plan will be executed to the letter -- or even would *expect* that it would be followed to the letter. But that doesn't mean you don't do the work and use it as a guide.
joninla August 12, 2011 at 09:11 PM
First as a UCLA alumni, I know all about the permanent state of Major Campus Construction Projects being built that greatly affect a large portion of the Campus for years at a time. Constant University Growth and Building, however, is very very different from a small City. UCLA (any university) has plans for long term growth and presentations in hopes of attracting philanthropic gifts to then pay for, inspire and direct the actual course of final design and construction. West Hollywood, an incorporated municipality hopefully is not making long term growth and building like a University/Institution/Business or Corporation. So I don't think that is an accurate analysis and answer to the concerns of the uneducated, misinformed and even those who do closely follow and listen to the words of the elected officials, whom you point out 'believe a written plan is the law'. "The Bigger Problem" you reference is actually the ONLY problem that exists. Until it is made clear to the Counsel Members, The Residents and the Developers who control the City Growth/Building through money and Counsel Member (I don't know which 2 you are sure are the only problem. I think there is a problem with everyone holding office, since the incorrect beliefs about what a General Plan Is and What it means they are failing to accurately inform their constituents - which again comes AFTER correcting the misunderstanding about it being "tantamount to law" held by the people in power.
joninla August 12, 2011 at 09:25 PM
We (the Residents of WeHo) are told we need a plan 'but it's not like it's written in stone'. Years later we are told 'look we invested time and gave the residents the time for their input before the very carefully thought out plan was finalized and adopted." Example - The Veterans' Memorial (incorrectly punctuated and 'written in stone') by IHOP. A wonderful idea to tribute ALL VETERANS (I think there should have been a special recognition for the gay veterans who have served in hiding .... but that's not the point). The "VETERANS" memorial went OVERNIGHT from a small, tasteful 'monument' to US War Vets that was both seen and used heavily by local residents for outdoor recreation - to ... POOF! An offensive self aggrandizing QUARTER MILLION DOLLAR monument to a dead West Hollywood Counsel Member. Apart from the incorrect punctuation - The failure for anyone to notice in both planning and construction both metaphorically and in reality, shows the lack of intent, respect or consideration of United States Veterans. The fact that the only 'Vet' reference is on the back side of the fountain and not visible by anyone driving by on any side explains the lack of notice (in truth, I didn't notice it at all. I was told by several better educated and upset neighbors/residents/strangers) who think that error trumps all 'veterans' memorial being a "Sal" memorial so many years after "A PLAN WAS MADE IN WRITING"
joninla August 12, 2011 at 09:39 PM
The CURRENT HALF (or more) COMPLETED 25 YEAR PROJECT (the New Library etc...) is AN IMMEDIATE PROBLEM AND CRISIS JUST ABOUT TO HAPPEN. The library is wonderful and all. But now - the $13 to $16 MILLION DOLLAR - "ROBO PARKING GARAGE" is in full swing and unstoppable by a "PLAN" that was approved and more than half completed. EVERYTHING is wrong with the Proposed Garage. EVERYTHING we are 'told' in 'New Stories" both official brief city hall news, as well as others like this "patch" is: Untrue Statements are only being made "pre-controversy" and IN WRITING to upcoming real issues local residents will have when they realize what is being built (which, like the history shows, will all be answered by "look we already explained and gave everyone notice and time for their input" CONTRADICTS CONTEMPORANEOUS SEPARATE "PITCH" STATEMENTS/ARTICLES - (eg The removing of street parking in favor of bike lane article/issue. Is there adequate parking now? Is there such a terrible parking crisis that $16 is the only way to resolve the problem? Is the Robo Garage for City Hall Use Only? Is the Robo Garage the answer to all concerns about no parking during the day for the local retail establishments (open during the day when the Garage is clearly off limits to day use). Is the City Counsel engaged in Financial Corruption as other articles have discussed and like we have seen with other small LA municipalities?
MarkD August 13, 2011 at 08:56 PM
So we're wrong for having a plan, and we're wrong for not following the plan, and we're wrong for not stopping to question the plan. And the solution you propose is completely throwing out all plans and stopping every single project, regardless of its state of completion (90% done? Too bad!) and violating any trust business might have in working with the city and citizens. So you've complained about every step of the process. What do YOU propose is the solution? (And please, if you are a UCLA alumnUS you should know it is city counCIL)
joninla August 14, 2011 at 02:12 AM
Spelling: No I am not capable of competent spelling, never have been. As for what to do .... I am not opposed to growth and construction at all. I just think the projects should be both successful (i.e. people want to buy the expensive condos, open new retail on a blvd that is already full of empty retail - though it seems to finally be getting a little bit better) as well as provide the Residents of West Hollywood some kind of perk or benefit from the windfall annual revenue that is unique in this economy and being spent on fountains commemorating a person of no significance. I know there is a parking problem and I don't even have or drive a car any more. I do, however walk my dog several times a day and everyday I see people getting parking tickets. Not for expired meters and not because they were trying to get away with parking illegally. I have also seen countless strangers who have returned to their car with a totally unexpected parking ticket and often I see people pull out the cell phone camera and take pictures of the parking sign, their car and the who scene, truly believing they have read and are in compliance with the totally confusing parking sign throughout the city. To now vote to increase the ticket patrol to raise even more revenue, for parking violations is both "wrong" as well as a threat to our local businesses when people finally get so fed up with being ticketed, they shop outside the City.
joninla August 14, 2011 at 02:24 AM
I have many good ideas. When the newly appointed dismissed the much higher crime rate in the City of West Hollywood as 'not a issue because the crime comes form the weeked bar/restuant/club patrons, and it is those tax dollars that give West Hollywood its Tax Base relatively HUGE every year (good or bad economy). We, the residents get both the beneifts of what I think is a wonderful place to live in LA, as well as Serious Potential Crime, along with the noise, traffice and whatever the tax paying weekend visitors make. In fact I think new construction is great, but to build yet another 'community meeting room' or a solution to the parking problem that will cost $13 million dollars, not provide a single daytime parking space for non-city hall use, and is the OPPOSITE of what is necessary in terms of the traffic problem in West Hollywood. More city hall parking spots, means more cars every day coming and going to and from city hall. That intersection is "the bottleneck" causing traffice backups to BH and beyond and FEWER cars should be going to City Hall, rather than more. A 'Free To City Residents' bus/trolly bus that goes up and down the Blvd would make it possible and encourage more residents 'hop on the trolly' to get to Trader Joes or the gym, rather than add to the Traffic and then have to deal with the parking problems which are and will always be a situation of simple not enough space for the cars.
joninla August 14, 2011 at 02:36 AM
Another sad problem I have noticed is the number of people who were 'dog friend' - neighbors I knew well, but only from talking when walking our respective dogs - many of whom told me they were laid off after the economy tanked. The number who just have now vanished (move out of weho) is really high. With everyone hurting in this economy, the $13 to $16 million dollars for a robotic garage could be better used as a 'local stimulus' for the residents of the city. To some $350 could be just enough to prevent eviction. A godsend to the elderly who can not afford their prescriptions. Needed help for those laid off/hours cut who are still in WeHo but just barely getting by. And for those 'well off' it can be spent on "HIGH GAS PRICES" (which were recently all everyone was concerned about). The lack of 'infrastructure" from a money 'had out' actually will do more for the city than a garage because much of the 'stimulus' money would be spent in the city. That would help failing shops, increase employment and provide a revenue stream from the tax back to City Hall. The economic health of the City Residents affects everyone's life from property value for sellers of property, to safety and crime prevention that is growing worse as the homeless population grows and has so many empty store front doors to sleep in. The library is a GREAT example. A project that Benefits The Residents. A crazy garage or empty new condo benefits none of the residents, other than Council Members.
joninla August 14, 2011 at 02:51 AM
AND THIS IDEA JUST CAME TO ME YESTERDAY - SO HERE'S ANOTHER POST: With the idea, desire and need to find more ways to save energy - along with the desire to the City to be a "Leader" with a newsworthy City Green Project .... I realized looking at my phone and it's wifi connection the unbelievable number of individual WiFi routers people have (myself included). Each one uses power and causes numerous overlapping signal issues. With Starbucks and many other local retailers providing free Wifi to attract customers, I noticed one can walk down the Blvd and have full free WiFi access almost about 50% of the time on a long walk. For a relatively nominal cost, a solar powered system providing free WiFi signals for WeHo All Residents would benefit everyone. All those thousands of Personal Routers could be unplugged and replaced with one solar powered array. Residents get 'a perk' which is fair in light of the nightlife hassles/noise we live with, the signal will be better without so many overlapping individual routers, the signal would attract customers to ALL West Hollywood business and IT COULD MAKE THE NATIONAL EVENING NEWS ALLOWING THE CITY COUNCIL TO GET'S IT MUCH DESIRED PUBLIC PUBLICITY FOR "GREEN FORWARD THINKING, COST CUTTING AND ENERGY SAVINGS" for an entire city. Daily life will be better with the new library. However the plans for Walgreens, if built will have many negative impacts on daily life.
joninla August 14, 2011 at 02:57 AM
Any other proposed/partially completed projects like the Library? Most seem to be projects that will be just like the existing failures (I use Hancock Lofts for its blatent example of a well constructed, but horribly designed, so much so that they could sell a single condo and there remains empty retail storefronts I don't know how many years now since completion. The Library is a unique project with respect to the positive impact to the city, its residents as well as local property values and the desirability that will draw renters to fill the high vacancy rate the broken economy caused.

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