L.A. to pay $1.75 million for legal bills in Hollywood zoning fight
The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to pay $1.75 million for the legal fees of three groups that succeeded in striking down a new zoning and development plan for Hollywood.
On a 12-0 vote, council members agreed to pay the legal bills of the La Mirada Avenue Neighborhood Assn., Fix the City and SaveHollywood.org. The three groups had gone to court to halt implementation of the Hollywood Community Plan Update, a document that sought to bring larger-scale development to the area’s transit corridors, among other things.
The Hollywood plan was approved by the council in 2012, but in January a Superior Court judge concluded that it had out-of-date demographic information and was “fatally flawed.” Lawmakers opted not to file an appeal, deciding instead to rescind and rewrite the plan.
Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who represents part of Hollywood, said through a spokesman that he did not expect a reworked version to reach the council for 18 to 24 months. In the interim, developers will need to abide by the rules laid out in a planning document in place since 1988.
Growth has been a hot-button issue for neighborhood groups in and around Hollywood. Opponents of the revamped Hollywood plan had warned of increased traffic, saying the neighborhood lacks the infrastructure to handle additional population growth expected by city planners.
Supporters of the revamped Hollywood plan countered it would bring jobs and help the area complete a 20-year economic transformation.
The largest share of Wednesday’s legal payout will go to the law firm of Robert Silverstein, who represented the La Mirada group and will receive $780,000, according to a spokesman for City Atty. Mike Feuer. Lawyers for Fix the City will get $600,000, and around $370,000 will go to attorneys for the Save Hollywood organization.
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