You may have noticed that the Property and Business Improvement Law of 1994 makes allowance for property owners in a proposed BID to file “protests,” which must be accounted for by the City during the establishment or renewal process.1 For whatever reason, possibly the mandate that the City make a determination regarding protests received,2 these protests show up in the relevant Council File for all the world to read! And sometimes they are really interesting! Like the two recent doozies I have for your pleasant perusal today!
◪ Setrak Kinian protest — this is against the renewing Hollywood Entertainment District BID, filed by a property owner in the old Sunset & Vine BID — the two BIDs are being unified in their current renewal — and has some essentially kooky but nevertheless fairly explanatory3 allegations against Ms. Kerry Morrison.
For instance, Kinian claims that her BID pays off homeless people to hang around the properties of BID opponents in order to encourage them to support the BID. He also makes the not-completely-implausible claim that one goal of the BID is to force smaller property owners to sell out to larger ones. The Council File for this renewal is CF 14-0855. As always, turn the page for some selected transcriptions and commentary.
◪ Jim McQuiston protest — Against the renewing Hollywood Media District BID. McQuiston is a civil engineer and provides a really detailed4 denunciation of Ed Henning’s characteristically crapola engineer’s report. This is especially interesting to me given that one of my ongoing projects, which is to get the Board for Professional Engineers to take the preparation of engineering reports for BID formations seriously as the practice of civil engineering.5 The Council File for this renewal is CF 12-0963. Also Henning’s report is here. As always, turn the page for selected transcriptions and commentary.
I have no way of telling whether Kinian’s allegations of transient payoffs or forced buyouts are true or not, but that’s not what’s important about them. The point is that they efficiently express the kind of oppression that smaller property owners in Hollywood feel as they get steamrollered by the BID.
Because of the ballot-weighting scheme they have effectively no say in whether or not a BID is established, they can’t get on the board, and they just have to pay and pay and pay. The BID is a major reason why smaller businesses have been priced out of Hollywood, unable to afford their property when they were lucky enough to own it, and so on. Anyway, read for yourself:
Transcription of Setrak Kinian protest against the HED BID —
I am the owner of the above noted ‘Property’. It is a triangle lot surrounded with Delongpre Ave. on the north, Cahuenga Blvd on the west and Ivar Ave on the east side. It was about July 2007, when I started receiving calls at my business location at 1350 North Cahuenga Blvd. Los Angeles 90028 asking me to call the city council and complain about graffiti on our walls and transients outside our building. We really didn’t have any graffiti or transient problems. Most of the time, the graffiti was only once in the three months or so on one side of our exterior wall. These calls continued to come in, even though we informed the caller we do not have any graffiti or transient problems. I was wondering why these callers male or female wanted me to contact the city council and complain. After a few years, I felt that this was very odd. In mid 2009,1 specifically asked one of the callers not to call us anymore. The calls to request calling the city council to complain about graffiti stopped. At the beginning of 2010, many times I had a male individual stop by and tell me that there is graffiti on the outside of my wall and advised me to call the city council office and file a complain to take care of this problem. This sounded like a mirror of the telephone calls I was receiving in the past. Around February 2011, several times a female came to my business location and told me that there is an older person creating a nuisance in our area and she was trying to get rid of him. When I asked for her name, she introduced herself as Kerry Morrison. Ms Morrison said that he is about 60 years old and six foot tall. Ms Morrison advised me to call the city council office and complain about him. I informed her that I have no interest in calling the city council office for a minor issue like this. Ms Morrison also informed me that she represents a non-profit organization trying to clean up Hollywood. A few weeks after her visit, someone started taking a leak at our entrance door, while my store was closed. This new nuisance went on for five to six months. In the same period, I saw a few transients sleeping against the wall at the rear of my ‘Property’ on Ivar Ave side. Weeks went by and one day Ms Morrison came back to our store and left a pamphlet. She informed me that she is the director of a non-profit organization and she is submitting a plan to the city council for providing services such as cleaning the graffiti off the walls, cleaning the sidewalks, adding trash bins at street comers and providing security services to clean up the transients from Hollywood . She asked me to join the project. I informed her that I have no interest in this project and there is no real benefit to me in it. She continued explaining the project and how that the charges will apply to the linear frontage footage of my ‘Property’ at the street and how the charges will be added to the ‘Property’ annual tax bill. I again informed her that our property being a triangle, I have near 330 linear frontage footage and the cost of their services would be very expensive even discriminating to my ‘Property’ and there would be no real benefits to me or to our tenants. I think she was very unhappy with me declining her services when she walked away. After she left, I realized why we were getting the calls and the visits in the past three years asking us to complain to the city council. Beginning April 2011, the transients presence reached about five to six individuals at the rear of our building on Ivar Ave. I approached one of the transients and asked him ‘why you are sitting here under the sun in a hot day where you can be sitting in the shade across the street’. I even told him that there is a park about six blocks west of our location. He said ‘No I have to stay here’. When I asked him why? He replied ‘they paid me $20.00 to come here and more people will be here later’. I walked away, went inside into my office and called the police department. The police came later in the afternoon and moved everyone away from the sidewalk. Several days later, most of the same individual transients and more, came back and camped on the sidewalk again. The number of transients gradually increased to near 15 individuals. By September 10, 2011, the transients were camping east of our building on Ivar Ave and north of our building on DeLongpre Ave. These transients individuals were always camping on my property sidewalk of the street, but within two blocks of my property in any direction, there were no transients camping on sidewalks anywhere.
From the office of city clerk of Los Angeles, I received the management district plan of the Sunset & Vine BID Project District in early July 2011. The plan stated that The Sunset and Vine BID project was to be voted on September 13, 2011. Since the plan map showed that my property at 1350 N. Cahuenga Blvd was not part of the BID project, I did not attend the public hearing on September 13, 2011. The Sunset and Vine bid project was approved by the council chamber on Sept. 13,2011. On Sept. 14, 2011, a day after the Sunset and Vine project approval, there was not a single transient on the sidewalks of my property at 1350 N Cahuenga blvd., even though the project was going to start by Jan. 2, 2012. How is it possible that all these transient individuals disappear one day after the Sunset and Vine BID plan approval. Where as the services will start implementing by Jan., 2012. In my opinion, it looks like these transient individuals were somehow connected to the Sunset and Vine BID project and since the project got approved, they were no longer needed to create a nuisance in our area any more. My ‘Property’ was assessed at approximately $5,800.00 a year for the Sunset and Vine BID project which my ‘Property’ is not even a part of this project nor am I getting any services from this BID project.
In my opinion, some of these transients if not most of them, were getting paid to camp at my ‘Property’ sidewalk to create a nuisance so I would willingly join the SUNSET & VINE BID Project. Just before I started writing this letter I checked the BID Project Map again. Another property at 6300 Sunset Blvd where the property owner did not participate in the Sunset and Vine BID project. These twin buildings were occupied by Wells Fargo Bank and Bank of America. I clearly remember seeing near 8 to 10 transients sleeping or sitting on the sidewalk in front of Wells Fargo Bank and Bank of America almost every time I go to make a bank transaction at that location during the same period . But there were no transients across the street or a block away of this location, I wonder if some of these transients were also getting paid to camp at that location.
As per Los Angeles Council File 11-1177 in Council District 13 The ‘District’ Plan Map of Sunset & Vine project clearly indicates that my property at 1350 North Cahuenga Blvd. Is not a part of the Sunset & Vine project. In June, 2014, I contacted assessors office. I spoke to a supervisor believe his name was Fred. After explaining my case, I informed him that I like to have all charges assessed to my Property which relates to the Sunset & Vine project to be removed permanently from my annual property tax bill. Mr. Fred informed me that I need to contact the Sunset & Vine Bid Project. I contacted The Sunset & Vine Bid Project. After several attempts I finally reached Ms Morrison, the director. She told me very rudely ‘Sorry we already passed the plan not much you can do any more’.
Attached is a copy of the Council File 11-1177 in Council District 13 The ‘District’ Plan Map. In the map, Sunset and Vine Bid clearly states and shows that my triangle ‘Property’ was a Potential Sunset and Vine Expansion Parcel subject to the owners approval which I always declined.
I have never authorized or agreed in any shape or form to be a member of Sunset and Vine project.
Today, I am petitioning and requesting to have my property not to be a part of Hollywood Entertainment District COUNCIL FILE 14-0855. Setrak Kinian
Unfortunately, for technical reasons, I’m not able to transcribe the bulk of Jim McQuiston’s protest against the renewal of the Media District BID. But it is well worth reading, and is by far the most interesting of these two. I feel that the most important aspect of McQuiston’s protest is his attack on Ed Henning’s nonsensical report writing style. For instance, McQuiston says:
The “Engineer’s Report is totally defective and uncompliant with Sections 36600 et seq, California Streets & Highways Code as currently in force. The Report’s style and lack of content became passe in 2008.
The Report is simply a re-hash of platitudes, which Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association v Santa Clara County OSA declared unconstitutional because Prop 218 is part of the California Constitution (Articles XIIIC & XIIID).
Nothing in the Engineer’s Report complies with the Supreme Court’s unanimous Santa Clara ruling regarding what a lawful Report must prove per Prop 218’s special-benefit and proportionality strictures.
Proof regarding specific impact, necessity, and reasonab le allocation per parcel of proposed and specific work, required of the City by law and Santa Clara, is totally absent. Obviously arbitrary assumptions and assessments violate the plain language for streetscape work in the Streets & Highway s Code, which is the alleged subject of the Proposed District.
I reject the Report, as Professional Engineer #6091 who was qualified to make Reports long before the one who made the defective Report now in the Council File received his license to engineer buildings.
I have no way of knowing whether Jim McQuiston is right about the case he cites, but he sure ought to be right. Ed Henning is famous for his nonsensical engineering reports, for which he does not seem to even visit the locales involved. He plagiarizes himself, he imagines figures and attributes them to his thirty years of experience, and so on. It’s really shameful, which is why it will be so important to get the Board for Professional Engineers to really take a good look at the guy’s work. You might consider this post a kind of a prelude to that upcoming complaint. Stay, of course, tuned!
Image of Kerry Morrison is ©2018 MichaelKohlhaas.Org and is a chop job performed on these 22,500 pixels right here.
- This is discussed at §36623(b), which describes the procedure for handling protests and at §36625(a)(4), which requires the City to account for the protests received.
- At §36625(a)(4).
- In the sense that urban legends may be demonstrably false and yet have vast explanatory power with respect to problematic aspects of the lives of those who propagate and believe them.
- And to me, anyway, quite convincing!
- As of April I have a firm commitment from Ric Moore, the Board’s executive director, to take complaints against these engineers seriously. With Ric Moore’s promise, it now seems worthwhile to spend the time to complain about some of these jokers. For instance, I am prepping a complaint against Ed Henning, which you’ll see soon, I really hope, although it’s turning out to be harder than I’d anticipated, just because of the level of detail necessary.