In a key decision on North Hollywood redevelopment, the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday extended the life of a neighborhood advisory group dominated by project supporters.
The action came as the Community Redevelopment Agency and Council President John Ferraro have been struggling to put the flagging project back on track.
On a unanimous vote, the council extended by five months the tenure of the Project Area Committee, an elected neighborhood advisory group of 25.
The CRA’s legislative mandate to operate in North Hollywood has expired, and it is seeking a new 12-year charter from the council, a process in which the advisory group will play a central role.
Critics of the project were dealt a second setback Wednesday when the council declined to provide $10,000 for them to hire an attorney. Project opponents contended they needed an independent counsel in order to evaluate the new charter prepared by the CRA.
Mildred Weller, a North Hollywood business owner, CRA critic, and PAC member, blamed the rebuffs Wednesday on Ferraro’s influence. Ferraro represents most of the neighborhoods in the CRA project area.
Weller and her allies narrowly failed to obtain a majority on the PAC panel in an election last October. At that time, half the members were elected to one-year terms expiring this October, the others to two-year terms expiring in October, 1994. The council extended the terms of each member five months at the committee’s request.
Lillian Burkenheim, the CRA project director for North Hollywood, said the extension was sought because the PAC was embroiled in distracting controversies during its first five months of existence.