Tag Archives: Economic Development Committee

It Appears That East Hollywood BID Director Nicole Shahenian Lied To Los Angeles City Clerk Holly Wolcott About The Circumstances Of The Preparation Of The EHBID’s 2015 Annual Planning Report And, As Shahenian Was A Registered Lobbyist At The Time, Thereby Violated LAMC 48.04(B)

Nicole Shahenian, you got some splainin’ to do!
The background to this post is unavoidably technical and lengthy. If you’re already familiar with the Annual Planning Report process for BIDs as mandated by Streets and Highways Code §36650, you may want to skip directly to the report I submitted to the City Ethics Commission this morning.

One requirement that the Property and Business Improvement District Law places on BIDs, found at §36650, is the submission of annual planning reports (“APRs”) to the City Council:

The owners’ association shall cause to be prepared a report for each fiscal year, except the first year, for which assessments are to be levied and collected to pay the costs of the improvements, maintenance, and activities described in the report. … The report shall be filed with the clerk … The city council may approve the report as filed by the owners’ association or may modify any particular contained in the report and approve it as modified.

And it seems that the BID isn’t allowed to spend money on stuff that’s not discussed in the APR, so it’s not a trivial matter.

The way this piece of code plays out in Los Angeles is that, first, a BID director submits the APR to the Clerk along with a formulaic cover letter. For instance, here is the one submitted by Nicole Shahenian on December 30, 2014 to accompany the East Hollywood BID’s APR for 2015. This is essentially the same letter submitted by all BIDs:

Dear Ms. Wolcott:
As required by the Property and Business Improvement District Law of 1994, California Streets and Highways Code Section 36650, the Board of Directors of the East Hollywood Business Improvement District has caused this East Hollywood Business Improvement District Annual Planning Report to be prepared at its meeting of December 29, 2014.

And don’t forget that state law requires the City Council to adopt the report either with or without modifications. In Los Angeles this part of the process is initiated by the Clerk sending another form letter to City Council, recommending that they adopt the BID’s APR. It’s my impression that the Clerk doesn’t recommend modifications to the report at this stage. These seem to be handled by Miranda Paster before the APR is submitted to Council, as in this example involving the Media District BID. Anyway, take a look at Holly Wolcott’s January 14, 2015 recommendation to City Council with respect to the East Hollywood BID’s APR. Like every such document, this states:

The attached Annual Planning Report, which was approved by the District’s Board at their meeting on December 29, 2014, complies with the requirements of the State Law and reports that programs will continue, as outlined in the Management District Plan adopted by the District property owners.

And it goes on from there to recommend:

That the City Council:

  1. FIND that the attached Annual Planning Report for the East Hollywood Property Business Improvement District’s 2015 fiscal year complies with the requirements of the State Law.
  2. ADOPT the attached Annual Planning Report for the East Hollywood Property Business Improvement District’s 2015 fiscal year, pursuant to the State Law.


But there are a number of problems with this story. First, it appears that the East Hollywood BID Board of Directors did not actually meet on December 29, 2014. In fact, it appears that they did not meet at all in December 2014. Of course, it’s notoriously difficult to prove a negative, but I’m going to give it a go.
Continue reading It Appears That East Hollywood BID Director Nicole Shahenian Lied To Los Angeles City Clerk Holly Wolcott About The Circumstances Of The Preparation Of The EHBID’s 2015 Annual Planning Report And, As Shahenian Was A Registered Lobbyist At The Time, Thereby Violated LAMC 48.04(B)

First Step Toward Establishing Venice Beach BID to be Taken in Council This Morning

The beautiful Venice arcades on Windward Avenue, soon to be patrolled by BID goons in jellybean-colored tee-shirts.
The beautiful Venice arcades on Windward Avenue, soon to be patrolled by BID goons in jellybean-colored tee-shirts.
In its meeting today the City Council is slated to act on CF 16-0749, establishing a property-based Business Improvement District in Venice. This is a tragic but expected development in the ongoing degradation of what was once the loveliest neighborhood in this city. The impending clash between BID security and the politically organized, aware, and active homeless population of Venice is going to be cataclysmic. Once this BID is up and running I will be covering it extensively.
Continue reading First Step Toward Establishing Venice Beach BID to be Taken in Council This Morning

Epic Fact-Finding Journey to Echo Park to Document What Will Be Lost if the Proposed BID is Established and Call to Political Action!

If the BID is established forget about food trucks.  BIDs freaking hate food trucks.  Especially if they're near a restaurant, like this one on Logan Street North of Sunset is.
If the BID is established forget about food trucks. BIDs freaking hate food trucks. Especially if they’re near a restaurant, like this one on Logan Street North of Sunset is.
If the Echo Park BID is established forget about little old ladies selling flowers, like this one on Sunset Blvd. just West of Echo Park Avenue.  BIDs freaking hate little old ladies!
If the Echo Park BID is established forget about little old ladies selling flowers, like this one on Sunset Blvd. just West of Echo Park Avenue. BIDs freaking hate little old ladies!
If the Echo Park BID is established forget about signs like this.  BIDs freaking hate signs on the sidewalk.
If the Echo Park BID is established forget about signs like this. BIDs freaking hate signs on the sidewalk.
If the BID is established in Echo Park say goodbye to RVs around the Park itself.  BIDs freaking hate RVs.
If the BID is established in Echo Park say goodbye to RVs around the Park itself. BIDs freaking hate RVs.
Due to some kind-hearted click bait1 bestowed by loyal FOMs Esotouric, my colleagues’ recent post on the resurgence of the long-dormant proposed Echo Park Business Improvement District has turned out to be one of our most popular posts of 2016. The colleagues left out some absolutely essential information and so I’m following up on their behalves. Also I used the whole situation as an excuse to ride the 704 Eastbound to Echo Park Avenue and Sunset Blvd. to check out the situation on the ground.

First the essential info: This thing is on the agenda for the Economic Development Committee meeting on Tuesday, May 10, in room 1010 in City Hall. You can go tell them what you think about it. Unfortunately I have other commitments, and I’m sure approval is a foregone conclusion, but there’s the info if you want it.

Second, as you can see from the images accompanying this post, if the BID’s approved a lot of stuff is going to change out there. They’re going to chase off taco trucks. BIDs hate taco trucks with a passion that’s hard to understand. They even, believe it or not, hate taco trucks parked on private property. Showing an astonishing ignorance of the rights of property owners in a free society, they’ve been known to express amazement that they’re not against the law.

If the BID is approved, sidewalk signs have got to go. BIDs freaking hate sidewalk signs. In fact, one of the very first things Kerry Morrison did in the 1990s after the Hollywood Entertainment District BID was established was to go after businesses with signs on the sidewalk. Why? Who the hell knows? It offended her sense of order or something. Why should Echo Park expect anything different.
Continue reading Epic Fact-Finding Journey to Echo Park to Document What Will Be Lost if the Proposed BID is Established and Call to Political Action!