Volume 7, No. 1: Mar, 2006


    Spring 2006 | Volume No. 7 | Issue No. 1

    What’s The Plan?

    On Feb. 22, the Department of City Planning’s Community Planning Bureau held a Public Workshop on the Hollywood Community Plan Update’s proposed zone changes and plan amendments.
    Members of the Media District have been working on drafting recommendations for the Hollywood Plan for a number of years now, and early in 2005 formed an Ad-Hoc Committee with joint cooperation from the Central Hollywood Neighborhood Council (CHNC). The Committee met several times to look at the current zoning and usage of parcels within and around the Media District, and submitted a list of recommendations to the planning department. The list included many areas of the BID where the Committee would like to see taller buildings, mixed-use projects (including various combinations of retail, commercial and residential), and a cultural zone along Santa Monica’s Theatre Row to promote the arts, with cafes, restaurants and shops.
    Unfortunately, it did not appear that any of the recommendations had been taken into consideration at this stage. For the most part, the new plan ‘downzones’ most of the area within the Media District south of Santa Monica Blvd. to strictly industrial and manufacturing uses. No changes have been proposed to the area north of Santa Monica Blvd. within the District, other than a small area between LaBrea and Citrus, where they will be providing incentive for housing and mixed-use developments; and an area on Highland between Lexington and Sunset which for the most part is a name change only. On the West side of Highland south of Fountain and north of Lexington, they are proposing a name change, as well as restoring the Height District to full FAR (Floor Area Ratio) allowed by HD1 to accommodate economic growth.
    While many are disappointed by the lack of response to the recommendations submitted by the HMD and CHNC’s joint committee, the Department has stressed that nothing is final yet and there will be several more opportunities to submit feedback, and the process has a long way to go.
    The Media District is now looking into hiring a land use consultant to assist in the drafting of our own plan, which could then be submitted to the Planning Department.
    We will keep you updated on future public workshops as well as the progress made by the HMD/CHNC Ad-Hoc Committee.

    Industrial Land Use

    There will be a special meeting of the City Planning Commission about trends, demands and other issues related to the use of industrially zoned land in the City of Los Angeles.
    The meeting will take place Thursday, March 16 at 4:00pm in the Council Chamber, third floor of City Hall, 200 North Spring Street.
    A panel of experts will present information from the perspectives of industrial users, real estate developers, economists and housing advocates. The meeting is an important precursor to policy decisions that will address future land use designations in the City’s industrial areas.
    Every person wishing to address the commission must complete a speaker’s request form and submit it to the Commission Executive Assistant staff.
    For more information, contact Conni Pallini-Tipton at Conni.Pallini-Tipton@lacity.org.

    New Security Director

    The Media District’s Board of Directors is pleased to introduce Daniel Windtree as our new Securitas Project Manager. Daniel will be overseeing our safety patrol team out of the Field Office, located at 6775 Santa Monica Blvd. #1.
    Windtree is a veteran of the Army with over 25 years experience in the security industry, and has worked for Securitas since 2004. He is a native of Indiana but has worked in several different locations in southern California.
    If you have any concerns related to the security patrol or safety issues, please contact Windtree in the field office at 323-871-4150 or via e-mail, daniel.windtree@securitasinc.com

    Help the Farmer’s Kitchen

    The Hollywood Farmers’ Market, operated by Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles (SEE-LA), is holding a fund raising event to support its newest addition, The Farmer’s Kitchen. The Farmer’s Kitchen is a multi-use commercial teaching and food processing facility adjacent to the Farmers’ Market at the corner of Selma Avenue and Morningside Court. It is scheduled to open in mid-2006.
    The fund raising event will be March 26, 2006. It will be an evening of fun, food and wine held at the Kitchen Academy at the Arclight in Hollywood. Nationally acclaimed chefs Josef Centeno, Neal Fraser and Evan Kleiman will donate their services and demonstrate the preparation of a signature small plate; and they’ll share the recipes. In addition to the exciting chef demos, there will be a silent auction and a live auction as well as our special guest and favorite local TV personality, Huell Howser, as emcee.
    SEE-LA is a 501(c)(3) community, non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting access to nutritious food for all and to supporting small farmers by connecting rural farms to urban tables. SEE-LA operates the Hollywood, Hollywood-Sears, Central Avenue, Leimert Park Village and Atwater Village Farmers’ Markets, and the new Farmer’s Kitchen.
    Please contact Pompea Smith or Jane Allen at 323-463-3171 for additional information.

    February Business Watch

    The February Business Watch meeting proved to be extremely productive with a lot of information from LAPD, LADWP, and DOT.
    First up was the introduction of the new Senior Lead Officer for the area south of Santa Monica Blvd. Bill Sollie can be reached at 213-793-0703.
    Representatives from DWP, including Jack J. Feldman, Manager of Distribution System Engineering, were on hand to speak about several projects that are in the works concerning the BID area. Feldman mentioned that undergrounding all the utilities on Santa Monica Blvd. is a goal, but one that will take a long time to accomplish. Currently, 40% of the city’s utilities are underground. Last year, DWP spent $3.5 to $4 Million on undergrounding. The department is preparing a plan to underground the whole city, for a cost of $16 Billion and a time frame of 40 years.
    DWP also addressed concerns about power outages. They have reported about an average of 1 hour of outage per year, and LADWP is in the top 25% in the nation in service. A lot of the outages that do occur have to do with weather and changing out cables. Their goal is to only have 1 outage every 2 years. One exciting new method of preventing outages is called “infrareding the system,” in which an infrared gun is used to check overhead lines for “hot spots” where something is about to fail.
    1-800-DIAL-DWP is the number to call to report outages or for general inquiries.
    LADOT representative Jeannie Shen spoke with stakeholders regarding concerns of overnight parking, and street cleaning during business hours. The council office is working with DOT to prohibit vehicles over 6’ tall from parking on certain streets in the District.
    BID stakeholders discussed changing the hours and days of Street Sweeping to 4am – 7am weekdays. This would help cut down on overnight parking as well as provide more daytime parking for employees. (See next article)
    The next Business Watch meeting will be Thursday, March 9 (see Mark Your Calendar).

    A New Parking Proposition

    The Media District is in the process of exploring a new way to increase day time parking, while decreasing overnight parking by vans, trucks and RV’s which are often lived in.
    By petitioning the Bureau of Street Services to change the time of street sweeping from the current times to 4am-7am Weekdays, we can free up daytime parking and discourage overnight parking. This has already been done on McCadden Place south of Santa Monica Blvd.
    If your street is completely commercial or industrial and currently has “No Parking: Street Sweeping” signs posted during daytime hours, please contact the BID office at 323-460-6322 and we can begin a petition drive for your block.

    HMD Officers Announced

    The Board of Directors is pleased to announce the new officers for the 2006 Board of Directors of the Hollywood Media District.
    The Executive Committee nominated a slate of four individuals to serve as officers, which was approved by the Board at the February meeting. The new officers are:
    Tim Mahoney – Hollywood Center Studios, President; Jack Fleming – Advanced Digital Services, Vice President (former President); Amie Moore – Musician’s Union, Secretary; and David Mozes – CMS Group, Treasurer.
    The Board of Directors meets regularly each month, usually on the fourth Thursday, at 3:00pm, at The Musician’s Union, Auditorium, 817 N. Vine Street in Hollywood.
    To submit a concern or agenda item to the Board of Directors, please contact Devin in the office at 323-460-6322.

    Media District Briefs

    • LACC (Los Angeles Conservation Corps) recently planted 40 trees in the Media District, which were donated by LA DWP’s Trees For A Green LA program. The trees replaced dead or missing trees which had been planted through the program in 2003.
    • Although the BID is not able to remove bulky items such as couches and furniture which has been illegally dumped, the city will remove any items within about a week just by calling 311. A live operator will take your request and dispatch a crew.
    • Got a broken sidewalk? Property owners need to call 800-996-2489 to request a repair. A confirmation number will be given so that you can track your request.
    • BID Staff recently had two meetings with officials from MTA and DOT regarding the three primary grants the BID is receiving: Pedestrian Improvements; Wayfinding Signs; and Bus Stop Improvements. All three grants are moving forward as planned, and we will keep you updated on the progress.
    • Metro Video Systems has been hired by the BID to install 5 security cameras throughout the BID, following the example set by the Hollywood Entertainment District BID on Hollywood Blvd, which has installed 5 cameras through Metro Video and will be installing 4 more soon. The cameras are monitored by LAPD Hollywood Division and the HED has reported a significant amount of arrests made using the camera system.