CM Koretz’ MP2035 Statement Made During Council [preliminary transcript]

KORETZ: Thank you Mr. President. And I’m not unenthusiastic about this plan, although I don’t think it’s cooked and I think it has holes in several districts. As I told the joint committee meeting, I’m not unenthusiastic about cycling, I’m an occasional cyclist, but I’m an enthusiastic cyclist.  I’m sure as an example I’m the only person that has done the California AIDS ride from San Francisco to LA on this council.  I’ve ridden all over the city.  I helped Bill Rosendahl in his efforts to start funding bike paths appropriately.

But I’m also a realist, and that’s why I strongly agree with the majority of residents and community groups in my district, that this stretch of Westwood, basically from Wilshire to UCLA, is not appropriate.  It is a danger.  We will lose crucially needed parking and turn lanes.  I believe traffic will be obstructed and safety will be risked, particularly because of the large number of buses that go through that short narrow stretch, over 900 buses a day, over 25,000 cars a day.

I believe we need a north-south route, to UCLA, but I don’t think we should pick the most dangerous possible choice.  And so, I believe that we should remove the section.  I believe we should ask the commission and the committee to study alternatives at a future date, but I’d like to see it removed.  I feel this process has completely ignored the residents of my district and their concerns, and it’s pretty unusual for the council to ignore a council member and their district concerns.  So I’d ask that you not do that.  it’s more difficult to amend this once it’s passed because it becomes part of the general plan, has to go back to the commission, there are a lot of extra steps.

And, while I have two amendments to propose, there is one that I know would not be precluded from being passed today, wouldn’t have to go back, and the significant portion of it says, “The street segments indicated on the networks represent potential opportunities to connect major destinations, but they are not intended to represent the full range of street options that may be considered during the implementation phase.

For example, while Westwood Boulevard is identified on the bicycle enhanced network as a plausible north-south means of connecting UCLA with destinations to the south, parallel north-south corridors maybe substituted to implement Westwood bicycle enhancements and provide an alternative connection to the city network based upon more detailed operational studies and community engagement.

So it would not remove Westwood, it would provide us the option later to remove it and substitute a route, if it can be found, that is more acceptable to the community and makes more sense after we further studied it.  So, I would ask that we pass that amendment.  If not, we can hear a more dramatic amendment that would actually mandate removing Westwood, with or without alternatives, but I think this one is pretty innocuous and I see no reason why we couldn’t include it now and move it forward.

 

CM Cedillo’s MP2035 Statement Made During Council [preliminary transcript]

CEDILLO: Members, let me add my voice to those who are concerned about inadequate community input, and public safety. My district is a district that is poverty stricken, pollutant-burdened, culturally diverse, linguistically diverse, and with respect to pedestrian fatalities, unfortunately number one, amongst those that are ranked within the data.

I would love to support and came to support this aspirational document.  But I’m concerned in doing so that with all the concerns that have been raised here, that this aspirational document becomes in some respects the constitution, for us, moving forward as a city.  We should not do that hastily.  We should take the time that’s needed to make sure that it’s completed in a way that contains all these elements.  Here’s what our concern is: that the foundation for this, in a city of 3.8 million people and where 92 languages are spoken, that only 1,114 active participants participated in the original drafting of the mobility plan.  That’s zero-zero-zero-two percent of the city’s population.  We can and must do better.

I’m concerned that not a single meeting, of four city workshops, two scoping meetings on the ER, seven community planning forums were in my district.  I have a district of Latinos and I’m talking about Mexicans and Salvadorans and Guatemalans and Central Americans.  I have a district of Asians, Chinese, various languages, Koreans, Filipinos.  They need to be part of this conversation and part of this dialogue.  I have a community where people are poor, and where they have pollution, and it’s-and, and they need a response that’s better than saying the transition will be difficult for some.  That is just inadequate, that if we agree that there’s going to be more congestion as a result of this transition period over the next 20 years, there has to be a deeper and more sensitive response than saying the transition will be difficult for some.  The fact of the matter is 85 percent of the people use their vehicles, 650,000 people drive into the downtown area, the greater downtown area, every day.  They’re not included in your statistics.  Right?

The fact of the matter is, we have to do the things that position us to accomplish the things that are aspirational.  We have to build more housing, we have to build up, we have to be concerned about those who don’t have the capacity to make other choices.  The fact of the matter is, there’s one percent of the population that uses bicycles.  I’m excited that they may grow 170 percent through this plan, assuming that’s the case, that takes us to 2.7 percent.  The fact of the matter is, one percent are pedestrians, but all of us are pedestrians at one point in this process.

And when we reviewed the history in my district, the major concern that we have, are fatalities and hit and runs to pedestrians, and they have to be part of this conversation and part of this dialog.  I have to respect the fact that there are some seniors in my district.  I have to respect the fact that we have challenges with people with obesity and physical challenges, and accessability, and I have to be a representative for the entirety of my district, not simply one percent, but the entirety of my district.  We’ve had those conversations in my district.

We had two town hall meetings.  And let me tell you the results and the concerns were distinct from what’s being articulated here.  And many of the concerns were concerns around the question of public safety.  And that’s just a reality that we cannot avoid, we cannot be hasty about.  So while I may share your aspirations, I am a representative of an entire community, and as such I must be responsive to the entirety of my community, and as such, at this moment, unless you’re prepared to take our amendments that respect and respond to the entirety of CD 1, I must ask for a “no” vote.

[second section]

CEDILLO: As I said, I came into this building to vote for this mobility plan, I truly want to, I share the aspirations, I share the broader vision, in its entirety.  But, and so I want to be a member of this 15-member body that supports this broader view, but the reality is, is that I’m a representative of a specific district, and I have a responsibility to the entirety of that district, not simply those who have an interest, that drives their agenda, but to the entirety of the district.

I have, this responsibility, there’s no waiver, there’s no break in this, and so the amendments I brought, as a representative of that district, for me have to be part of this mobility plan.  And so I want to them be part of them, I’m asking for them to be voted upon, so that then I could vote for this plan, this is my simple request, Mr. President, that those concerns that have been raised, we’ve had public hearings that had more people percentage wise than the entirety of those who participated in the mobility plan.

And in that, there was not a consensus for this plan, and so the amendments we’re making address the concerns that were raised in those meetings.  And so I’m certainly asking, as a person representing my district, that those concerns, that I move them forward and that they have the deference and respect that I would offer and give to anybody else on this floor with respect to concerns that they raise, for their district.  I have full deference for every member on this floor.

 

Takeaways from the LA Times Article: “Silver Lake street serves as test run for L.A. traffic overhaul”

David Zahnizer and Laura J. Nelson of the LA Times provided us with an insightful article on the “road diet” concept at the heart of the new “mobility” plan.

The article can be found here: Silver Lake street serves as test run for L.A. traffic overhaul

A few key observations on the article:

  • FTC decided to check response times for the LAFD station in that area (Station 56).  The percentage of arrivals within five minutes of dispatch has gotten 11% worse – from an already scary 52.8% to an even scarier 46.5%.  It is supposed to be 90%.
  • The photo from the picture, like the other LA Times pictures on MP2035, tells the story: Cars as far as the eye can see stuck in traffic creating smog, one bicyclist (inhaling that smog).
  • “Tangible” safety results from decreased accidents (from 15 to 7) are reported.  What is missing is the loss of life and property from diminished access by first responders.
  • Increased congestion has resulted and has shifted traffic and unsafe driving to neighborhoods.  The article quotes one resident as saying “The added congestion…has prompted impatient drivers to take detours, sometimes driving too fast or rolling through stop signs. “The danger on Rowena got shifted to the surrounding streets, and that is the biggest problem.”  Another said her hillside street experienced significant spillover traffic from drivers trying to find east-west shortcuts.
  • A reminder that the “environmental review of the plan also warned of significant consequences, including an increase in cut-through traffic on residential streets and a doubling in the number of highly congested major street segments.”
  • An admission by the City that they made their decision “in the absence of data” in that “as they have expanded that citywide bike network, they have not looked to determine whether the number of backups on those corridors grew significantly as a result.”
  • The Board of Public Works rejected the idea of decreasing vehicle lanes with one member citing what he saw as serious traffic problems on Rowena saying it had been “a bit of a disaster,” producing major backups south of the Hyperion bridge.  He went on to say “I can’t in good conscience vote for anything that would compound that situation.”

 

Why Fix The City Opposes MP2035 – The “ImMobility” Plan

First off, FTC supports increasing mobility for Los Angeles.  We support encouraging alternatives to motor vehicles.  We support improved air quality.  Why then not support MP2035?  It is because MP2035 is not a mobility plan – it is a plan designed to create immobility while enabling increased development and density.

MP2035 exposes itself as a false “mobility” plan from the start.  It states point blank that reducing traffic congestion is not its goal.  For the vast, vast, vast majority of us in this City, being stuck in traffic is the precise opposite of mobility.  And that is what this plan promises to do – stick us in more traffic.

In fact, this so-called mobility plan states (and in fact relies on the fact) that it will increase traffic congestion by, among other things, removing traffic lanes used by cars for buses and bikes.  Far from trying to reduce traffic congestion, the (mostly unstated) theory is that if traffic congestion becomes SO unbearable (even more than it already is) it will magically force people to take other forms of transit – whether they currently exist or not, are convenient or not or are economical or not.

Removing traffic lanes for the overwhelming bulk of traffic (see US Census chart at the bottom) decreases the capacity of the street.  This not only creates longer commutes, but also forces drivers to seek alternative routes which, according to MP2035, will be right through residential neighborhoods.

The LA Times quotes a Senior City Planner as presenting this bit of twisted logic: “Slower moving traffic does not necessarily lead to congestion. Those two are separate.   Slower traffic can actually in some ways accommodate more cars moving through an area.”

That’s the kind of logic that tells you the best way to save a drop of water is to approve huge development projects that consume tens of millions of gallons of water, or that the best way to put out a fire is to douse it with gasoline.

People need look no further than this quote from the LA Times: “The City’s Environmental Impact Report concluded that the plan’s projects, if completed by 2035, would result in “unavoidable significant adverse impacts,” including additional noise, cut-through traffic and diminished access for emergency vehicles. The report also found that there would be a considerable increase in the percentage of major streets that are highly congested during evening rush hour.”

This is not Fix The City’s opinion or analysis.  This is the City’s analysis.  Strange:  None of those speaking in support of MP2035 highlighted this conclusion, though one council member dismissed any negative conclusions as “worst-case scenarios needed to avoid legal challenges.”  Given that the council must base their decision on substantial evidence presented in the MP2035 study, such unsubstantiated conclusions may be hard to defend.

Perhaps most troubling is the last “unavoidable significant adverse impacts“  mentioned above: That increasing traffic congestion on major streets not only slows regular traffic down, but it slows down emergency response vehicles.  Again, this too is admitted by the MP2035 plan.

In 2012, Fix The City’s data analysis exposed (first through KNBC and then extensively in the LA Times) that LAFD response times were falling short – way short, of the City’s stated metric of arrival within 5 minutes after dispatch, 90% of the time.  At that time councilmembers were outraged.  They promised immediate action to improve this most basic service: Ensuring the safety of the City’s residents.

According to the LA Times, then-Council member Dennis Zine said “he would not have voted for the cuts [to the fire department] if he knew the department was getting to emergencies in less than five minutes only 64% of the time, a figure lower than the 90% goal set by the National Fire Protection Assn.”  No such out for current councilmembers who voted yes on MP2035.

Since that time, response times have gotten worse and worse with the 5 minute/90% metric falling to under 60% for the City overall.  This last year the City Council congratulated itself for “addressing the problem” by including hiring in the current budget for the first time in years.

Unfortunately, not only is the approved hiring not even sufficient to replace firefighters lost to attrition, it does nothing to replace firefighters lost in previous years or to increase the number of firefighters needed to deal with increased population and density – and now decreased mobility for first responders.

Instead of doing what it takes to improve response times, the Council has approved a plan that admits it will harm response times.  To Fix The City, this is simply unacceptable.  Even more unacceptable is that certain council members hailed the plan as improving safety when the text of the plan and the plan’s analysis yields the opposite conclusion.

Even more callous is the public description of MP2035 as being one that increases public safety when the City’s own admissions show the reverse.  Yes, theoretically 1% of the people may be safer, but 100% of us will experience even more dangerously poor response times. (This is in no way meant to diminish the members of the LAFD who are truly amazing at what they do despite being given insufficient resources)

Below the surface, it is the hidden agenda of the MP2035 plan that links traffic congestion, emergency response times and consumption of other key resources such as water: The drive for increased density – even though the City cannot handle its current density.

Far more than being a mobility plan, MP2035 is actually a development-enablement plan which will have a dramatic effect on increased density in the City with all of its impacts.

How?  To combat troublesome neighborhoods from raising concerns about local impacts and the livability of their neighborhoods, the State legislature passed several laws granting expedited review or exemption from certain review for projects near transit (oddly just like the transit proposed by MP2035).

Chief among these is SB743 which states “This bill would provide that aesthetic and parking impacts of a residential, mixed-use residential, or employment center project, as defined, on an infill site, as defined, within a transit priority area, as defined, shall not be considered significant impacts on the environment.”  Tell that to the people that live in that environment.  AB744 provides for density bonuses within 1/2 mile of a major transit stop (which is pretty much everywhere once MP2035 is implemented).

MP2035 studied none of this growth-inducing impact, nor did it study the increased funding for “transit-oriented development” that may result from non-City sources.

What should further frustrate this City’s residents is that far from being a representative democracy in which our council members are allowed to represent their area’s interests, this City is increasingly run by a very few people who were not elected by those their decisions impact.

The recent Council vote on MP2035 had Council Members Koretz and Cedillo asking for modifications of the plan in their areas.  In theory, those council members were elected by their constituents to represent them and their interests.  It is expected that council members will have the ability to impact policy in their own districts.

Councilman Cedillo said it best when he said “I have to be a representative for the entirety of my district, not simply 1%.”  (He was referring to the fact that bike lanes would remove 50% of capacity for 85% of commuters while bike riders represent only 1% of trips.)

Instead, other council members ignored their colleagues.  Oddly, the elected class then wonders why voting in this City has declined to such low levels.  Why take the time to vote for council members if they can’t impact policy in their own districts?

We also wonder if the Council truly understands that AB2245 exempts the City/LADOT from having to conduct ANY further study for bike lane restriping once MP2035 is installed.  AB2245 “exempts from CEQA the restriping of streets and highways for bicycle lanes in an urbanized area that is consistent with a prepared bicycle transportation plan.”  No doubt there will be battles over what “restriping” is as the City attempts to shoehorn MP2035 projects into AB2245.

There is another troubling and misleading conclusion presented by the City:  That MP2035 will reduce pollution.  It is well established in the literature, and in common sense, that increasing congestion and therefore the time vehicles are operating leads to increasing air pollution.

So how do MP2035’s supporters attempt to circumvent this simple logic?  They attempt to use a metric called “Vehicle Miles Travelled(VMT)” instead of the current “Level Of Service(LOS)” or more logical “Vehicle Hours Traveled(VHT).”

Given that motor vehicles of all types represent the bulk of trips in the City, there truly is no other conclusion other than one that states the obvious:  Increased congestion for motor vehicles will worsen air quality.

The basic focus of “LOS” is to determine local impacts on intersections near a development project based on how free-flowing traffic is through that intersection.  LOS A means no traffic/free flow, LOS F means traffic jams/no mobility.

A huge project that creates 10,000 new trips per day would clearly impact local traffic in the area around the project.  It was getting harder and harder to justify building new mega-projects in areas with LOS F gridlocked traffic.  This analysis has annoyed pro-density forces as it had the nasty side effect of showing huge impacts on residents, businesses and neighborhoods near the project.  This made for bad politics.

So, what is the solution for pesky analyses that show negative local impacts?  You simply need to pull back a bit and look at the larger(and unprovable) picture until you are so far away that local neighborhood impacts can no longer be seen.

MP2035Example

 

A plan such as MP2035 that will have major negative local impacts would merely try to do some fancy footwork to claim that because of unmeasurable efficiencies, overall regional VMT will be reduced.  What goes unstated is that this approach, even if valid and provable, has at its heart ignoring impacts on local neighborhoods in favor of some theoretical larger regional improvement.

Forget that local traffic will be even more soul-crushing than it is now.  Forget that local first responders won’t be able to get to neighborhoods fast enough.  Forget that local air quality will be negatively impacted.  Forget that parking and traffic lanes will be removed causing harm to local businesses.  For voters, the most troubling is that some councilmembers have accepted this approach:  Region/politics first, neighborhoods last.

One of the most frustrating parts of the MP2035 plan is that it is wholly inconsistent with itself and with other City policies, plans and laws.  Among these are the General Plan, Community Plans and several up and coming plans.

Nothing highlights the hypocrisy better than simultaneous support for MP2035 which admits it will increase congestion (which it counts on to discourage car use) and support for the “Westside Mobility Plan” which labels congestion as the enemy and seeks its reduction.

Three days before the council approved MP2035, it approved a motion to extend the $200,000+ contract for the Westside Mobility Plan.  Yes, the City is spending money in one place to solve the problems it is spending other money to create.  Our tax dollars at work.

One interesting admission was made by the City through its planning department and through the council:  That it is no longer possible to improve traffic congestion by widening lanes or using other measures.  This will come as a huge surprise to developers that have produced environmental impact reports which come to the opposite conclusion.  Ironically, these same environmental impact reports that say it IS possible to reduce congestion by making physical changes are universally given a stamp of approval by the City including the Council.  Those studies and their traffic conclusions may now no longer be supportable.

Fix The City supports improving public safety and improving the quality of life.  There is no more basic responsibility a City has than to the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of its residents.  Fix The City strongly believes that a plan that harms first responders’ ability to get to those who need help threatens the lives of the residents of the City.  We believe that being caught in ever-increasing traffic jams caused by over-development and now decreased road capacity keeps us prisoners in our cars and keeps us away from our families.  Not only does this impact our quality of life and our pursuit of happiness, but it makes pursuing happiness take far longer and far less happy.

Fix The City will be pursuing a legal challenge to the MP2035 on multiple grounds towards the goal of having an honest and productive policy which improves the quality of life for all of the City’s residents in all of the City’s neighborhoods.

2013 ACS Transportation Survey

2013ACS

LAT: More than 40% of Los Angeles water pipes graded C or worse

The LA Times reported on the state of the City’s water infrastructure.  (LAT Story)

“The new information about the decrepit state of the city’s water infrastructure comes amid increasing water conservation efforts as the state is seeking to cope with an unrelenting drought and as Angelenos express growing concern over recent major water pipe breaks that have flooded roadways, damaged property and snarled traffic.”

What will happen in an earthquake?

Fix The City Releases Los Angeles County Fire Department Response Data

Fix The City’s public records request and statistical analysis of LAFD records resulted in the disclosure of faulty response time data at that agency.

Fix The City has now released an initial analysis as well as raw data for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The release of the data follows a months‐long effort to obtain the data from the County. Raw data can be found on here. (All huge files – 100MB+): 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Our initial analysis shows that hillside areas often have on‐scene times in excess of 300 seconds.

Red pins represent incidents with on‐scene times in excess of 300 seconds with green under 300 seconds

Red pins represent incidents with on‐scene times in excess of 300 seconds with green under 300 seconds

Buried in LACOFD reports are some hints as to why the response times are lagging.

The report states: “While demand for Department services continues to increase, it is met with unfunded mandates from federal and state laws and programs creating additional budgetary pressure.”

 It goes on to say: “Negative press, legal battles and state political machinery, labor/management challenges…are all potential issues for the department.”

Most tellingly, the note from the Fire Chief states: “Although our budget is $900 million, due to the decrease in tax valuation, we have lost significant revenue since 2008.  Currently, we have implemented over $50 million per fiscal year in curtailments, and have had to delay essential infrastructure needs.”

Fix The City believes that public safety is Job 1 of government and that the infrastructure has been neglected for far too long.

Judge: HCP Resolution City adopted was “demonstrably arbitrary, capricious and without basis in law”

On June 20, 2014 Fix The City, Save Hollywood, La Mirada, HELP and Attorneys for the City of Los Angeles once again stepped into Judge Allan Goodman’s Superior Court to deal with the now-defunct Hollywood Community Plan update.  More specifically, FTC and its fellow community groups were there to challenge what the City did in response to being ordered by the Court to scrap the flawed plan.

In February of this year the City was been soundly defeated by the above coalition of community groups  when Judge Goodman ordered the City to rescind its new Hollywood Community Plan.

The City did rescind the new plan and reenact the old plan.  However, in the guise of complying with the Judge’s order, the City voted on April 2nd, 2014 to modify the General Plan Framework to make community plan monitoring and reporting discretionary.   The City Council even went so far in the Resolution they adopted to deal with the stern admonition from the Court to state that the intent of their action was  to “overrule and supersede” the writ and judgment of the Court. The judge was probably being very kind when he said that move was “too clever by half”. 

But Judge Goodman did not stop there. He stated that the Resolution the City adopted was demonstrably arbitrary, capricious and without basis in law, that no reasonable person could conclude that adoption of the April 2nd Resolution made the General Plan of the City of Los Angeles internally consistent but that the contrary was the case. Further he stated that the City’s actions constitute a misstatement and misapplication of the City Charter, state law and his February 11, 2014 Judgment.

However one of my favorite quotes was that “The Court holds that that portion of the April 2 Resolution which states or implies that the to-be revised HCPU (and EIR, etc.) need not comply with the City Charter or state law, including but not limited to Public Resources Code section 21081.6, is contrary to law and to the Judgment and Writ issued by this Court on February 11, 2014.”

In court, the Judge was clear in pointing out, over and over, that CEQA requires monitoring and reporting.  The City argued that monitoring and reporting were discretionary at both the General Plan level AND at the Community Plan level.  The Judge, distinguishing this case from a previous case concerning infrastructure reports, pointed out that the previous case did not address State law (CEQA) requirements.  He stated that since monitoring and reporting were required by CEQA, monitoring and reporting had to be mandatory somewhere.

Why is the City Attorney fighting so hard to make monitoring and reporting discretionary instead of mandatory?  It is clearly linked to how the City promised to use that monitoring and reporting in implementing the required CEQA mitigation created by City known as Policy 3.3.2. 

That policy, as stated by the Cityrequires that type, amount, and location of development be correlated with the provision of adequate supporting infrastructure and services.”   If you monitor and report on infrastructure and supporting services and find them lacking, certain inconvenient problems arise.

 

In a lawsuit years ago in support of the General Plan, the City even argued that:

“What became clear was that a crucial feature of dealing with growth impacts was contained in the General Plan Framework – its program for timing allowable development with available infrastructure…” 

They went further stating to a previous Court that:

“This alternative (The General Plan Framework) was particularly helpful because it informed the City that a triggering mechanism should be included in the GPF so that allowable increases in density through community plan amendments would not occur until infrastructure and its funding was available.” 

They went even further by saying the GPF was selected because it had the “best combination of land use policies tied to mitigation measures tied to annual reporting and selective amendments of community plans only when consistent with the GPF policies.”

The Judge found inconsistency for a good reason: More than half the Community Plans contain CEQA required monitoring language that depends on the CEQA-required monitoring and reporting.  They say:

“…if this monitoring finds that population in the Plan area is occurring faster than projected; and, that infrastructure resource capacities are threatened, particularly critical ones such as water and sewerage; and, that there is not a clear commitment to at least begin the necessary improvements within twelve months; then building controls should be put into effect, for all or portions of the [plan area], until land use designations for the Community Plan and corresponding zoning are revised to limit development.”

The 2008 Housing Element incorporated the GPF monitoring when it stated: “…mitigation measures have been incorporated through the re-adoption of the Framework Element’s Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program…”

Why is this dry discussion of monitoring, reporting and mitigation important?  It relates directly to public safety and our quality of life.  As proof, this is the mitigation section from the General Plan Framework relating to Fire/EMS:

2014-07-20_10-15-25

In a time when our firefighters don’t have the necessary manpower to achieve required response times (despite their much-appreciated best efforts), our streets are disintegrating, traffic is crushing, sidewalks are broken, parks are understaffed and we are told each and every day that we are running out of water, Policy 3.3.2 becomes more and more important.

If the City continues to ignore its own required monitoring and mitigation policy, we will end up with… An unmitigated disaster.

Fix The City would like to thank Judge Goodman for his careful and thorough review of this important issue.

Follow us at @FixTheCityLA

Judge Orders City to “Reconsider” its Attempt to Change the General Plan

Fix The City, Save Hollywood, La Mirada and HELP won a victory earlier this year when Superior Court Judge Goodman ordered the City to rescind its new Hollywood Community Plan.

In response, the City not only rescinded the flawed plan, but also passed a resolution amending the General Plan to “overrule and supersede” the Court’s order.

A hearing was held June 20, 2014 and Judge Goodman’s ruling came out today. (Ruling here)  (Amended Writ here).

Key Court Findings:

  • “The Court holds that that portion of the April 2 Resolution which states or implies that the to-be~ revised HCPU (and EIR, etc.) need not comply with the City Charter or state law, including but not limited to Public Resources Code section 21081.6, is contrary to law and to the Judgment and Writ issued by this Court on February 11 , 2014.”
  • “The resolution of Respondents adopted on April 2, 2014 is demonstrably arbitrary, capricious and without basis in law for these reasons and to this extent. Further, no reasonable person could conclude that adoption of the April 2 Resolution made the General Plan of the City of Los Angeles internally consistent; indeed the contrary is the case for the reasons stated. “
  • “Because the offending part of the Resolution cannot be severed from the balance, Respondents are therefore ordered to reconsider the April 2 Resolution in full .”
  • “At this stage in this litigation it does appear, however, that Respondent City Council’s adoption of the April 2 resolution errs, inter alia, by suggesting that it need not redraft the HCPU, its EIR and related documents to provide appropriate monitoring or reporting programs; and Respondents’ actions constitute a misstatement and misapplication of the City Charter, state law and the February 11, 2014 Judgment.”

Fix The City had filed a supplemental writ concerning the City’s efforts in case the City claimed their actions represented their final action on the Court’s order.

Save Hollywood, La Mirada and HELP asserted that the City had created a new inconsistency in the General Plan, that the City had not complied with the writ and asked the Judge to force the City to rescind the change.

The Judge found that Save Hollywood and HELP were correct and that the City had therefore not complied with his original writ.

As such, since the writ was not final and FTC’s supplemental writ was “early.”  The Judge did inform FTC that FTC could re-file once the City’s final actions were known.

FTC thanks Judge Goodman for his careful and thorough review of this important issue.

(this post updated to reflect that the Judge ordered the City to reconsider its action, not rescind.)