Tag Archives: CD4

Almost 200 Emails Between the City Of LA And the East Hollywood BID. Also, Lunada Bay Boys Hearing Tomorrow And Also Ethics Commission Meeting!

Dwarf bottlebrush plant from some plans that the East Hollywood BID exchanged with a bunch of lackeys at the City of LA in preparation for planting them along Vermont Avenue, most likely to thwart the homeless in some manner.
Tonight I had the pleasure of receiving from self-proclaimed active member of the revitalized Hollywood community1 Jeffrey Charles Briggs almost 200 emails between the East Hollywood Business Improvement District and various far-too-friendly folks at the City of Los Angeles. For now these are available here on Archive.Org. They’re PDFs, but they’re that super-PDF-format that one can make with genuine Adobe software that embeds attachments right in there with clickable links.2 I have only been able to give these a cursory look-over, but I can already see a few crucial items. I’ll be writing on these matters as soon as I possibly can, but if you want a preview of one of them take a look at this juicy little number.

And tomorrow is a huge day at the Civic Center. In the morning there is a hearing in the Lunada Bay Boys case, featuring Palos Verdes Peninsula zillionaire surf-localism-thuggery at its most flamboyantly weird. In the afternoon there is an essential meeting of the Ethics Commission. Turn the page for times, locations, and brief descriptions. Perhaps I’ll see you there!
Continue reading Almost 200 Emails Between the City Of LA And the East Hollywood BID. Also, Lunada Bay Boys Hearing Tomorrow And Also Ethics Commission Meeting!

Cracks Show In LA City Council Unanimity (At Least On Staff Level) As David Ryu’s Director Of Policy, Nicholas Greif, Comes Out Publicly Against Mitch O’Farrell’s Moronic Playground Motion

Nicholas Greif evidently agrees with his fellow Palms NC Board members that Mitch O’Farrell’s anti-playground motion is evil, evil, evil… which may be embarrassing for Nicholas Greif’s boss, David Ryu, who will have to vote for the motion if it ever comes up before Council…which it almost certainly will not at this point.
BACKGROUND: Recall, if you will, that this L.A. Times editorial kicked off a somewhat misguided firestorm of opposition to Mitch O’Farrell’s recent Council motion 16-1456 seeking to develop a legal tool for banning adults without children from playgrounds in parks in the City of Los Angeles.

So just tonight the Palms Neighborhood Council filed yet another Community Impact Statement opposing Mitch O’Farrell’s Kerry-Morrison-behested anti-playground motion. And like the Eagle Rock NC and the Lincoln Heights NC and the Los Feliz NC before them, they’ve made a well-reasoned and articulate argument:

This measure would penalize lawful park users and would result in discriminatory enforcement. Such a ban improperly assumes that adult park users in a children’s playground area are there solely for nefarious purposes and seeks to ban lawful conduct. Simply being present in a park and enjoying the surroundings is not illegal. There are already criminal laws on the books to address any improper conduct in these areas.

Again, as with all of the others with the minor exception of Los Feliz,1 this statement was adopted unanimously, leaving Mitch continuing to flounder around in the pool of shit into which he impulsively flung himself just because Kerry Morrison said it would please her to watch him jump. And there is one thing about the Palms Neighborhood Council which makes tonight’s Community Impact Statement marginally more impactful than the others. You see, Mr. Nicholas Greif is not only the chair of the Palms NC Executive Board and therefore part of the unanimous majority that approved the CIS, but he is also David Ryu’s director of Policy and Legislation.
Continue reading Cracks Show In LA City Council Unanimity (At Least On Staff Level) As David Ryu’s Director Of Policy, Nicholas Greif, Comes Out Publicly Against Mitch O’Farrell’s Moronic Playground Motion

What Does The City Of Los Angeles Consider “A Significant Number Of Protests” Against BID Formation Or Renewal? A Tragic Lesson From A Failed 2016 Attempt To Disestablish The Los Feliz Village BID

Looking south along Vermont Avenue from Russell Avenue in 1974 (with a good old triangular RTD sign in the foreground!). The trees are bigger now, but otherwise is Los Feliz Village really better off 43 years later?
Long-time readers of this blog will recall that the locus classicus of operational BID policies in the City of Los Angeles is to be found in Council File 96-1972, which is too old to have actual documents online, but I scanned and published a number of them last year.1 Therein may be found the City’s BID Policy and Implementation Guidelines, which are meant to provide an L.A.-specific implementation of the Property and Business Improvement Law of 1994.

Chapter 2 of that law describes the process for establishment and renewal of a BID,2 and it’s remarkable how tentative, how conditional the process is. It’s well-known by this point that in order for a BID to be formed it’s necessary that property owners representing more than 50% of the assessed value be in favor.3 It’s necessary, but it by no means sufficient. Section 36625(a) very clearly leaves the question of formation up to the Council:

If the city council, following the public hearing, decides to establish a proposed property and business improvement district, the city council shall adopt a resolution of formation…

The only mandatory requirement with respect to BID establishment in the whole Chapter is found in Section 36623(b), which says that if owners holding 50% or more of the assessed value are opposed to the BID, not only can it not be formed, but no further attempts can be made to form it for a year.

And the discretionary nature of the process is reflected in the City’s BID Policy and Implementation Guidelines as well. Therein it states:4

The City Council can proceed with the BID if the protest is less than 50%. However, BID proponents are cautioned that they should not expect a favorable vote from the City Council with a significant number of protests.

From the context it’s clear that the policy means that there is some threshold of protest less than 50% with respect to which the Council will not establish the proposed BID even though the Property and BID Act would allow them to do so.

Thus the question arises as to what this threshold is. Well, it turns out that an episode early last year involving the Los Feliz Village BID sheds some light on this question.5 The short answer is that business owners6 representing 16.95% of the assessed value protested, an unprecedented number,7 and yet City Council renewed the BID unanimously. Turn the page for a detailed recounting of the tragic details!
Continue reading What Does The City Of Los Angeles Consider “A Significant Number Of Protests” Against BID Formation Or Renewal? A Tragic Lesson From A Failed 2016 Attempt To Disestablish The Los Feliz Village BID

Marisa Tomei Implores City Council To Grant Historic-Cultural Status To Lytton Savings Building, 8150 Sunset Subject Of Not One, Not Two, But Three (So Far!) Lawsuits Against The City of Los Angeles (Plus A Special Bonus Lawsuit Against West Hollywood!)

Marisa Tomei: “Please honor this building and its architect, Kurt Meyer, with a Historic Cultural Monument designation.”
I reported briefly last week on the whole to-do about the City’s wanton approval of a Frank Gehry megaplex at 8150 Sunset and, more recently, on the extremely weird fact that the Council’s PLUM1 Committee forwarded proposed historic-cultural designation of the Lytton Savings building on to the full Council without a recommendation, even though CD4 Councilmember David Ryu explicitly favors the designation. This is just a brief update with links to more documents.

First, Marisa Tomei2 wrote a stirring letter to the City Council urging them to preserve the building. Don’t forget, the hearing is tomorrow! There’s an excerpt after the break, as always, if you’re PDF-averse. Also, the Coalition to Preserve LA recently reported that Fix the City had sued LA over 8150 Sunset. It turns out that there were two other suits filed at about the same time, making a total of three suits so far over this one project. The City Council is going into closed session tomorrow to discuss all three of them. Turn the page for links to the petitions (and Tomei’s letter).
Continue reading Marisa Tomei Implores City Council To Grant Historic-Cultural Status To Lytton Savings Building, 8150 Sunset Subject Of Not One, Not Two, But Three (So Far!) Lawsuits Against The City of Los Angeles (Plus A Special Bonus Lawsuit Against West Hollywood!)

Is This The End Of “Deference” In The LA City Council? PLUM Committee Submits Historic Bank Designation To Council “Without Recommendation” Even Though David Ryu Explicitly Supports It

Julia Duncan, David Ryu’s planning deputy, spoke at PLUM in favor of a historical designation for the Lytton Savings building, but the committee forwarded the matter to Council without a recommendation. What can it mean?
Oh, the irony! Here’s the deal. It’s well known that Los Angeles City Council members never vote against land use matters in one another’s districts. This allows them to guarantee their campaign donors that they’ll be able to get their projects approved. The principle is called “deference” — they defer to one another with respect to their districts. This corrupt system is the basis for a lawsuit against the City by some Valley residents. In their pleadings they quote Councilman David Ryu’s disconcertingly honest explanation of how it works:

Councilmember David Ryu has described the Vote Trading Pact as one of “respect” for other Councilmember’s Council Projects and in return he expects the same “respect” for his Council Projects.

“For someone to come in at the tail end and to disagree with my recommendation after meetings with the community on dozens of occasions and with other city departments and after I have involved stakeholders,” doesn’t make sense, he said. “I might make a decision…and my colleagues respect it. Even if they might disagree with my decision, they abide by it because they were not there during those community meetings.” Los Feliz Ledger September 1, 2016

The next piece of today’s puzzle has to do with the proposed Frank Gehry megaplex at 8150 Sunset Blvd., recently approved by the LA City Council over vigorous opposition from everyone who’s not being paid to support it. Part of the problem with the building is that it’s on the site of a beautiful modernist bank building.1 The Los Angeles Conservancy has filed suit against the City in an attempt to force them to preserve the building.2 and they’re also pushing for the bank’s designation as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural monument. This tactic seems to be supported both by people who want to save the bank and by people who want to stop the 8150 Sunset project.
Continue reading Is This The End Of “Deference” In The LA City Council? PLUM Committee Submits Historic Bank Designation To Council “Without Recommendation” Even Though David Ryu Explicitly Supports It

David Ryu’s Staff Evidently Considered and Rejected Lisa Schechter’s and Media District BID’s (Illegal, Unethical) Plea For A Council Motion Regarding Oversize Vehicle Parking In February 2016

Lisa Schechter in February 2016, right around the time that David Ryu's staff was quite sensibly deciding to ignore her illegal and unethical lobbying to ban RV's in the Media District.
Lisa Schechter in February 2016, right around the time that David Ryu’s staff was quite sensibly deciding to ignore her illegal and unethical lobbying to attack homeless people by banning RVs in the Media District.
Recall that in August 2016, Mitch O’Farrell and Mike Bonin introduced a motion in Council to attack the homeless by prohibiting RVs from parking overnight in the Media District BID. This was as a result of lobbying by Lisa Schechter, now executive directrix of the Hollywood Media District BID, but formerly Tom LaBonge’s high muckety-muck for something or another. The full story is here. At the time I wondered why David Ryu hadn’t seconded the motion, given that (a) Schechter had lobbied him heavily to do so, and (b) a significant part of the Media District BID is in CD4:

[His non-involvement] suggests the possibility that Ryu isn’t as invested in pleasing these BIDdies as O’Farrell is. Or maybe he’s sitting it out because his staff has made him aware that Schechter’s up to something sneaky.

Well, I recently obtained emails from CD4 that bear on the matter. These are heavily redacted, but interestingly, as is sometimes the case, the redactions themselves tell part of the story.
Continue reading David Ryu’s Staff Evidently Considered and Rejected Lisa Schechter’s and Media District BID’s (Illegal, Unethical) Plea For A Council Motion Regarding Oversize Vehicle Parking In February 2016

Crime Does Pay At City Hall: Anti-RV Resolution Introduced In Council This Morning At Behest of Media District BID Director Lisa Schechter, Acting in Apparent Violation of Her Post-Employment Lobbying Ban

RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue
RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue
This morning, CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell introduced a resolution seeking to impose restrictions on parking oversized vehicles in a semi-industrialized sliver of the Hollywood Media District BID located roughly between Cole Avenue and Vine Street west to east and Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue north to south. There is a never-ending flow of these seemingly innocuous items in the agendas of our esteemed Council, but I just happen to know an awful lot about the backstory to this one, which is anything but innocuous, actually, and is the subject of today’s post.

The Media District BID is particularly attractive to people living in RVs because it’s industrialized, so no night-time neighbors to annoy, and it’s close to the center of Hollywood. Especially on Lillian Way and its cross streets, Romaine, Willoughby, and Waring, there has been a thriving but quiet community of RV-dwellers for years on end. But the Media District BID hates it. They just can’t deal with it. For instance, see this email chain from March 2015 where Hollywood cop Julie Nony discusses how to get rid of them with erstwhile Media District BID director Steven Whiddon and a bunch of overprivileged proprietors who don’t understand the concept of public space. But, probably not surprisingly, Steven Whiddon was unable to orchestrate any lasting action.

RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue
RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue

So enter Lisa Schechter, employed by erstwhile CD4 rep Tom LaBonge until June 30, 2015. Sometime between then and October 2015 she was hired by the Media District to replace the departed but unlamented Whiddon. Very soon after that, in fact on November 5, 2015, Schechter and current Media District Board President Laurie Goldman met with O’Farrell’s Hollywood Field Deputy, Daniel Halden. Dan was kind enough to supply me with a copy of his notes from that meeting, wherein (on the second page) one can read the portentous words: “Oversized vehicles Resolution — MAP.” There’s no question that this meeting between Halden, Goldman, and Schechter, is the genesis of the resolution introduced this morning by Mitch O’Farrell.
Continue reading Crime Does Pay At City Hall: Anti-RV Resolution Introduced In Council This Morning At Behest of Media District BID Director Lisa Schechter, Acting in Apparent Violation of Her Post-Employment Lobbying Ban

First Amendment Coalition Sues City of Los Angeles Over Tom LaBonge’s Illegal Records Destruction, Alleges Possible Felony Records Destruction, Eric Garcetti Still Not Held To Account For Similar Crimes

Current CD4 representative David Ryu, whose termed-out predecessor Tom LaBonge ordered the destruction of public records, leading to both an FAC lawsuit and a council motion to prevent this kind of thing in the future.
Current CD4 representative David Ryu, whose termed-out predecessor Tom LaBonge ordered the destruction of public records, leading to both an FAC lawsuit and a council motion to prevent this kind of thing in the future.
In January 2016 the Los Feliz Ledger broke the story that termed-out CD4 Councilmember Tom LaBonge had ordered the destruction of public records prior to his leaving office on June 30, 2015. Emily Alpert Reyes, writing in the Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday that the First Amendment Coalition had filed suit against the City of Los Angeles, claiming, among other things, that the destruction of this material either violated the California Public Records Act or else the fairly draconian Government Code section 6200. Thanks to FAC director Peter Scheer I have a copy of the petition to share with you, and you can read some further commentary after the break.
Continue reading First Amendment Coalition Sues City of Los Angeles Over Tom LaBonge’s Illegal Records Destruction, Alleges Possible Felony Records Destruction, Eric Garcetti Still Not Held To Account For Similar Crimes

Dan Halden and Mitch O’Farrell’s Staff are Among the Readers of this Blog and Other News from a Batch of Highly Assorted Emails from CD13

Dan Halden of CD13 forwards links to MK.org around to his colleagues and tells them not to reply.  What's up with THAT, we wonder, although we could certainly make a guess!
Dan Halden of CD13 forwards links to MK.org around to his colleagues and tells them not to reply. What’s up with THAT, we wonder, although we could certainly make a guess!
Last Wednesday our faithful correspondent and a small contingent of other MK.org staffers hit the 704 Eastbound on SMB to the Echo Park Office of Hollywood’s own Mitch O’Farrell, where he had an appointment with Hollywood Field Deputy Daniel Halden to look at both oodles and scads of very highly miscellaneous emails and other goodies.

It was our intention to follow our traditional course of conduct after such missions and hit up the loveliest Brite Spot at the corner of Sunset and Park, but ’twas not to be. For some reason known only to them and their accountant they’re closing at 4 pm throughout the Summer. One can only hope and pray that they’ll get back to normal hours later. But we digress.

The Brite Spot in May 2016.  This is your brain on diners.
The Brite Spot in May 2016. This is your brain on diners.

Here is a link to the raw scans, which we’ve barely had time to sift through. Some are renamed, but most are not. Extraneous blank pages have mostly not yet been stripped. If you’re interested in reading hundreds of pages of emails from her highness, Queen Laurie Goldman about random multi-use monstrosities in Hollywood and why Robert Silverstein is pretty much Satan incarnate we’ll hook you up! There’s even a letter from Silverstein to someone about something in there somewhere. We got a few emails about recent anti-nightclub conspiracies between Mitch O’Farrell and the cops (recall that we reported on this a lot last year). But the real gems (that’s sarcasm, of a sort) we’ll reveal below the fold!
Continue reading Dan Halden and Mitch O’Farrell’s Staff are Among the Readers of this Blog and Other News from a Batch of Highly Assorted Emails from CD13

Many, Many New Emails from CD13 About Homeless Encampments, From CD4 About the Food Coalition, and From South Park BID About Street Vending

An image attached to one of many CD13 emails discussing breaking up homeless encampments on Melrose, Vermont, Alvarado, Beverly, and some adjacent streets.
An image attached to one of many CD13 emails discussing breaking up homeless encampments on Melrose, Vermont, Alvarado, Beverly, and some adjacent streets.
Today I’m just announcing three new collections of emails, all of which can be found (for now) exclusively in our Archive.org collections. First we have emails to and from CD13 about homeless encampments on Vermont Avenue, Melrose, Beverly, Alvarado, and some adjacent streets. The Council District was involved with breaking up these encampments in March 2016 and these emails document the process. They also contain a lot of fodder for future requests, since some of them list specific document numbers for Bureau of Street Services and also Sanitation Department orders and reports. It’s almost as if no one at CD13 was aware that breaking up homeless encampments puts federal money in jeopardy.
Continue reading Many, Many New Emails from CD13 About Homeless Encampments, From CD4 About the Food Coalition, and From South Park BID About Street Vending