Sat, May

Curiouser and Curiouser: City Resorts to Stealing Opposition Signs

ALPERN AT LARGE-"Curiouser and curiouser!", to quote Alice in Wonderland, as the City Council and its Planning Politburo are on their way to (again) knowingly breaking its own City Charter and laws, reward some wealthy lobbyists and political fundraisers with up to hundreds of millions of dollars in "variances" that are becoming "precedents", and yet wonder why Angelenos are unwilling to pay more taxes for services they've already paid for.

The numerous reports of signs opposing the Century City Center (a potential 37-story commercial tower with 730,000 square footage of office space, proposed by JMB Developers to replace another proposed residential/commercial project that the City approved in 2006) being stolen from privately-owned Circle Park and privately-owned parkways in Beverlywood are just...curiouser and curiouser! 

Certainly, a rogue union worker stealing the signs is understandable (he was caught), but videotaped footage of Bureau of Street Services workers removing the signs and giving threatening letters to honest homeowners is just ... curiouser and curiouser! 

So if the JMB Project (Century City Center project) is so great, how come the City is resorting to stealing opposition signs? 

If the Century City Center is so great, why block the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights? 

Considering that there is ALREADY a  proposed and City-approved (1996) residential/commercial development, with considerably LESS traffic/environmental impacts than the proposed Century City Center, at this site then why the need to squelch the opposition...who are merely exercising free speech and demanding that JMB Developers follow City law? 

Considering that there is ALREADY the ability for JMB Developers to build their proposed Century City Center LEGALLY by purchasing "trips"--defined and assigned to commercial square footage in the Century City North Specific Plan, so call them "credits" if you wish--from other commercial landlords, after JMB sold their previously-allotted "trips" to other developers, why break the law now?  

Considering that I've seen two Westside grassroots groups, the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and the Mar Vista Community Council, pass motions unanimously opposing this project in as many nights without any support for this project, why is Councilmember Paul Koretz still promulgating the paradigm that only a few NIMBY's in Beverlywood and South Robertson oppose this project? 

Considering that Paul Koretz vocally (and rightfully) opposed the equally-oversized Bundy Village Project in CD11, why wouldn't he expect the same from Westside groups both within and outside of his CD5 Council District? 

Considering that the only neighborhood groups supporting this project are ones that have taken money from JMB, with increasing opposition from all other groups (who, in contrast, don't want any of JMB's money, just for JMB to follow the law, thank you very much) why is this project so favored by a Planning Department that is acting more akin to a Politburo? 

Considering that FEWER union and related jobs will be needed to construct the proposed commercial office tower than the ALREADY-APPROVED residential/commercial project at this site, why aren't the contractors and trade unions supporting a project that will break the law and cost them money and jobs? 

Curiouser and curiouser! 

And considering that there is growing skepticism and opposition to a proposed taxpayer-funded bond, tax or other $3 billion scheme to fix roads that the taxpayers have already paid for (with the funds going elsewhere, of course), WHY oh WHY is this JMB Project (if it's so wonderful) now being rammed through over the objections of the taxpayers of the Westside? 

Curiouser and curiouser!


(Ken Alpern is a Westside Village Zone Director and Boardmember of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee.  He is co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chairs the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at [email protected] This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  .  He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us .  The views expressed in this article are solely those of Mr. Alpern.)







Vol 12 Issue 5

Pub: Jan 17, 2014