Judge Rules Community Plan Is "Flawed"
Posted by Alex Nochez on Dec 19, 2013 - 12:50:38 AM
HOLLYWOOD HILLS — A judge has halted proceeding with the Hollywood Community Plan based on findings that are “fundamentally flawed” on December 10.
An excerpt of the Community Plan.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Allan J. Goodman has made a tentative ruling against the City of
Los Angeles that effectively prevents the Community Plan from being enacted until certain elements of it are corrected. In the ruling, Judge Goodman goes over the contentions from all parties involved, including the separate plaintiffs that are Fix The City, La Mirada Avenue Neighborhood Association and SaveHollywood.org. The judge did note that the ruling will apply to all defendants.
The problem stems from flawed population data that the Hollywood Community Plan, and its Environmental Impact Report (EIR), uses as the basis for the whole project. Specifically, the EIR uses the 2005 population numbers from the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), which are 224,426. From there, the EIR uses a projected population growth for the year 2030 that goes to 249,062.
A draft of the EIR was completed in March 2011, but the U.S. Census data was released in May 2011, which showed much different population numbers of 198,228. Despite that, Judge Goodman notes that the EIR continued to use numbers similar to those from SCAG instead of those from the Census. In addition, the 2030 projected growth numbers were also not adjusted to account for the Census numbers, which meant the Community Plan was based on incorrect or outdated data. This resulted in a “failure to proceed in a manner required by law.” Other issues included the city's failure to include proper alternatives to the Community Plan.
Judge Goodman also stated that the incorrect data in the EIR constituted “an abuse of discretion” on the part of the city for not including accurate information that could hamper important decision-making and “public participation,” based on Public Resource Code sections 21168 and 21168.5.
Because of the city's “insufficiently-reasoned rush to completion of the EIR process,” Judge Goodman ruled that all actions approving the Hollywood Community Plan must be stopped, as well as any permits or grants that are derived from the plan. In addition, the Community Plan must be amended using “legally adequate findings.”
Vice President of Fix The City Jim O'Sullivan stated on the group's website, “The first step in fixing the City is to have accurate data.”
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