LEGAL AMNESIA-We hear that a lot of people in Hollywood are upset over the proposed high rise construction planned in their neighborhoods. We also know that tall buildings with rotten foundations fall down. The same is true with the law.
When the legal basis for a project is rotten, the project fails legally. That is why we have a ½ finished Target Store at Sunset and Western (photo above.) Its legal foundations were defective. That is also why the high rise at 5929 Sunset sits vacant. It had no legal foundation. The judge invalidated all the occupancy permits and people had to move out.
Over two years ago in January 2014, the biggest Hollywood Project of them all came crashing down. That was the Hollywood Community Plan. The Community Plan is the legal basis for all the projects in Hollywood. Because the City built its Community Plan on a foundation of “fatally flawed data” and “wishful thinking,” the entire plan crumbled. As someone once said, if your foundation is in sand, it will be washed away.
Well, here we are more than two years after the court washed away the Hollywood Community Plan due to its defective foundations and the City has laid a new cornerstone for a new Hollywood Community Plan.
Guess what? This cornerstone is as bad as the one which the court rejected in 2014. The new cornerstone has a fancy legal name – the “2016 Notice of Preparation [NOP].” All that really means is that the City is starting to rebuild the Hollywood Community Plan.
Judge Goodman told the City that when it builds a new Plan, it could not base it on false data and wishful thinking. What has the City done? It has based the new plan on the same false data and wishful thinking that the court rejected in 2014.
Again, a little legalese is necessary. In 2012, the City said that its population data was based on the “SCAG RTP.” What is that? It is merely a report from the Southern California Association of Governments setting forth estimates for the populations in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. As Judge Goodman pointed out, the “SCAG RTP” had no population data for Hollywood and that made everything built upon that foundation fatally defective. So he rejected the Hollywood Plan.
The new cornerstone on which the City is constructing the new Hollywood Community Plan is likewise based upon SCAG RTP. Just like in 2012, the new SCAG RTP has no data for Hollywood. The only time it even mentions “Hollywood” is when it refers to the City of “West Hollywood.”
There is a legal word for making a materially false representation on which you intend other people to rely – it’s “fraud.” Not only is it aggravating to catch the City in such obvious deceit. It’s mind boggling when the City does the exact same thing that Judge Goodman told them not to do.
(Richard Lee Abrams is a Los Angeles attorney. He can be reached at: Rickleeabrams@Gmail.com. Abrams views are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.) Photo: Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times. Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.