To Park or Die in LA
Hollywood residents are facing two issues that could seriously impact our quality of life. Anyone who drives a car in this town has probably reflected on their good sense in not owning a gun because the urge to reduce the number of drivers on the road might have overcome them by now. Whether it's parking, driving or just the sheer visual mass, we all suffer from the negative effects of too many cars, not enough space. Now Hillside residents must add two other issues into the mix: the LAFD proposed No-Parking Priority Enforcement Program and the motion (soon to be voted on) before the City Council on Inclusionary Zoning. Why I put these two issues together might have some of you scratching your heads but to me they have one thing in common that affects all of us. the increasing lack of adequate Parking.
With the fear of a catastrophic fire such as that suffered by Oakland, CA (and terrorists) consuming the City, and its need for quick access into the hills (the so-called Extreme Fire Danger area), the Fire Dept. has come up with restricted parking proposals to go with their proposed "Red Flag Days". Red Flag Days are when the humidity is less than 15% and the winds greater than 25mph. At this time designated streets will become "No Parking Zones", subject to citations and towing. As the Fire trucks have increased in size, our streets have stubbornly remained the same and there are many places where the trucks just cannot maneuver. We all agree that this is a problem. On August 24 th Susan Swan of the Hollywood United NC Board convened a Town Hall on this issue and invited the Mayor's Office, DOT and the LAFD. Over 125 residents, many from the Dell, attended. The maps designating the proposed redlined-no-parking areas were promised and at the HDCA September 15th meeting we were able to see the results (link available at www.hollywoodunitednc.org). What had us all scratching our heads was why the worst streets in the Dell were untouched but some of the more easily accessed ones were redlined. We also felt that the issue of notification had not been adequately addressed as well as what people, some with no garages, do with their cars. We are also concerned that the LAFD is not involved in the decision-making process when Building & Safety/Zoning departments approve more development in the Mountain Fire District without adequate parking in these areas. To this end, the HUNC will be working on making LAFD involvement a high priority.
The other issue, Inclusionary Zoning, refers to affordable housing for working adults. There is a crushing need in LA and the methods used to try and correct this imbalance needs to be carefully monitored. I've included the summary of recommendations from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. They will make a presentation to HUNC at our September 20 th Board meeting.
1. The plan must be optional, not mandatory.
2. Any specific plans or hillside ordinances now in effect should take precedent.
3. All for sale units should be offered at market price without regulation. All for sale construction should be charged an in-lieu fee equal to 8% of the total construction cost if they choose to use the IZ options. This fee will be optional for rental property.
4. All In-Lieu fees should go to the Housing Trust Fund to be invested in same council district for the construction of low income housing through the existing network of not-for profit developers or purchase assistance programs.
7. Transportation corridor should be defined as any parcel within the two (2) city blocks on either side of a major transportation line as currently defined by the City Planning Department.
8. Reduce "in-building" open space requirements (e.g. court yards, patios and recreation rooms) for buildings in transportation corridors.
9. Parking requirements for all new construction in transportation corridors should be changed to those currently in existence for apartments with the addition of ½ parking space per unit for guests.
10. Change the proposed 12% set aside requirement for the 50% of AMI income level back to the 10% now in effect. Density requirements (as well as FAR requirements) should be eliminated for new construction within the transportation corridor.
1. Eliminate front setback requirements for those properties facing a major transportation corridor or in a commercial zone.
2. Limit appeals to one. Area Planning Commission decisions should be final and non-appeal able.
3. Dedicate a portion of the in-lieu fees to the Planning Department to up-date the city's general plan and to work on a more proper rezoning of all city areas.
4. The method of calculating subsidized rents and how buyer assistance programs are to be structured must be included in the discussions .
Additional items of concern and a complete copy of our report plus supporting information is available at http://www.hollywoodchamber.net/legislative_actions.shtml
I would like to see what the City is going to do to address the current parking nightmare before increasing density and lowering requirements for developers to include adequate parking spaces in their projects. It would be great if the City focused on quality of life and community involvement and not just more rental units. Hollywood already has more renters per capita than most of the rest of the City. And we need the real improvements promised on Hollywood Blvd. Personally, I wish they would give incentives for tearing down those ugly strip malls and redesigning them for mixed use live/work spaces (with underground parking). If you have any ideas send them to me at email@example.com . I will be sure to bring them up at our HUNC meetings.
Hollywood Dell Community Assn Member
Vice-President Hollywood United Neighborhood Council