L.A. city planners on Tuesday released a revised community plan to steer development in Hollywood, more than three years after a judge threw out an earlier plan citing faulty growth assumptions.
The new plan, laid out in a 135-page draft document, still calls for the focusing of most future development along a central core in areas within walking distance of the Metro Red Line subway, just as the 2012 plan did. But there is a stronger call for neighborhoods now dominated by single-family homes to remain as such. And there would be additional tools for historic preservation, including new types of overlay zones and height limits for new buildings near historic preservation zones.
“The update to the Hollywood Community Plan will create the necessary tools to preserve our historic structures, promote transit-oriented and pedestrian-friendly development, encourage production of affordable housing, and provide the ability to reimagine and repurpose our surface parking lots to make Hollywood more livable and more walkable,” said Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who represents Hollywood. “I encourage my constituents to participate in the public process and provide input that will help create a plan that benefits every stakeholder in Hollywood.”
The plan was greeted with cautious optimism from two of Hollywood’s main business groups: the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, a business improvement district.
“Most people will agree with the proposal that development should be directed into central Hollywood and that single-family and hillside neighborhoods need to be protected,” Leron Gubler, chief executive of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, said in an email. “Hopefully, the community will come together with any tweaks that are necessary to gain broad support so that it can quickly be adopted.”
Kerry Morrison, executive director of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, said her group welcomed the plan’s release.
“The proposed plan will promote a transparent and streamlined process that will encourage smart development and investment in our community,” Morrison said in an email. “On the housing front, the plan’s call for a balance of housing and jobs near transit continues to enhance Hollywood as a walkable neighborhood that fosters economic vitality.”
The current Hollywood Community Plan has been in place since 1988. The city released an update of the community plan in 2012, which called for high-density development of central Hollywood.
After the City Council approved that plan in 2013, the La Mirada Avenue Neighborhood Association filed suit to block it, saying it relied on faulty population growth projections to justify high-density development. The plan projected the population to increase from about 200,000 to 250,000 by 2040, despite the fact that population in the area had actually declined 7 percent between 1990 and 2010.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Allan Goodman agreed and ordered the plan to be redrawn to better comply with the California Environmental Quality Act.
The revised plan released Tuesday did lower the Hollywood population growth projections to about 226,000 by 2040. But, it did not substantially alter the preference for high-density development along transit corridors.
Robert Silverstein, attorney for La Mirada Avenue Neighborhood Association, said Tuesday he had not yet had a chance to review the revised plan. He said in an emailed statement that the city’s use of “false population data” to promote high density development had been “a fraud on the public.”
“Has the city engaged in responsible planning and followed the law this time?” he asked in the email. “Those are questions we will be asking.”
Public policy and energy reporter Howard Fine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.