We live in a wonderful city and we want our city to be the best it can be!
Those of you who know me know that I am not one to stay quiet when I think that we -- the City -- can do better. That is why I've introduced an item regarding future hotel development for the April 3rd Council meeting. An analysis of the lodging market within the City of West Hollywood was prepared in 2015 and recently presented to Council as a "receive and file." The analysis indicated that approving new hotel projects in West Hollywood would create additional competition that “would cannibalize the market” and impact the City's TOT revenues, and that it would take West Hollywood lodgings until 2026 to return to a stabilized 80% occupancy. Meanwhile, we have 6+ new hotel projects in the pipeline. My item proposes a moratorium on new hotel approvals, an updated market analysis and a policy discussion. Please take a look, and if you have thoughts on this, let me know. I value your opinions.
Council will also be receiving an update related to the planning and programming of LA Pride and reviewing new requests for funding. As you may be aware, this year, in place of a parade, Christopher Street West (producer of the LA Pride event) is requesting approval to produce a march and rally in alignment with Pride marches occurring nationally that weekend. This is an opportunity for you to weigh in.
Also on the agenda for this Monday night is the staff report on the Eastside Community Priorities Plan. It's a roadmap for future development of the east side of our city and I hope that all of you will read it. Gentle reminder -- our city is only 1.9 square miles and east side, center city or west side, we're all one city!
Another important item on the April 3rd agenda is a legislative item to make our residential and commercial buildings safer. The Community Development Department will be presenting a revised draft ordinance to introduce new seismic retrofit provisions for the strengthening of existing buildings. This ordinance will apply to many properties in our city -- so please check it out.
What else is new?
Over the past three months, I worked on a number of initiatives that are near and dear to me.
Approved by Council, these initiatives directed staff to:
- Study eliminating Mixed Use development incentives related to additional height and density.
- Study mixed-use projects that allow the combining of properties located in both residential and commercial zoning districts and consider eliminating lot ties across these different zones so that we maintain the integrity of our neighborhoods.
- Bring back a Zone Text Amendment (ZTA) that clarifies the Zoning Ordinance to ensure that housing bonuses, incentives, and concessions apply only to permanent residential housing and not to corporate/temporary rentals or extended stay rentals.
- Modify the City's Urban Designer role to help raise the bar on building design, make the design review process more transparent and increase community input. Thank you Councilmember Horvath for asking me to co-sponsor.
- Establish a pilot program to expand sidewalk cleaning for the commercial areas of West Hollywood. My colleague, Councilmember Duran, co-sponsored.
- Prohibit City Hall from doing business with entities that provide financial or other benefits to the President of the United States. This measure simply states that the City of West Hollywood will not be an accessory to any potential violations of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, regardless of who is President. In addition, staff has been directed to review Wells Fargo and other financial institutions doing business with the city to ensure their core values are aligned with those of West Hollywood.
- Design a rainbow version of the Route 66 sign, to be placed along Santa Monica Boulevard. The installation of rainbow Route 66 marker signs on Santa Monica Boulevard will continue the tradition of recognizing the road’s place in West Hollywood’s history but also, what it represents to the LGBTQ community. In this time when LGBTQ rights are threatened, rainbow Route 66 marker signs will make a powerful statement.
While my Council colleagues supported my initiative for a crystal meth prevention public education campaign, they did not support my item for a public education campaign regarding responsible use of recreational marijuana. However, we at least started an important conversation about what the City needs to do to begin preparing for the legalization of recreational marijuana in 2018.
In case you missed it...
There's A New Captain In Town!
The City of West Hollywood is welcoming a new Captain to the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station -- the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has appointed law enforcement veteran Sergio A. Aloma as the station’s new Captain. He will begin as Captain on April 1st. Captain Holly M. Perez is being promoted to Commander within the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Join me in thanking Captain Perez for her service here in West Hollywood. Captain Perez and I held four Coffee with the Captain "meet and greets" across the city during my time as Mayor. It was a pleasure to get to know Captain Perez, and I look forward to working with Captain Aloma in his new role.
City Switches On "Lights On West Hollywood" Public Safety Program
The City's "Lights On West Hollywood" Program provides free motion-activated lights for West Hollywood residents, businesses and property owners. First come, first served! For more details, visit the "Lights On West Hollywood" web page on the city's website.
I was honored to work with NYC's First Lady Chirlane McCray on a short video produced for Twitter to get the message out: @usmayors across the country are uniting to defend the Affordable Care Act (ACA). And yes, I tweet! You can follow me on Twitter @meister4weho
Ocean-Friendly Demonstration Garden Unveiled!
The City and West Basin Municipal Water District unveiled an Ocean-Friendly Demonstration Garden on the medium on Santa Monica Boulevard, just east of Doheny. A big thanks to West Basin Municipal Water District Director Scott Houston and West Hollywood city staff for making this happen!
Don't forget to check the City Calendar for upcoming City meetings and events.
For Minutes on past City Council meetings, visit the City web page, Document Central.
Our next City Council meeting will be held Monday, April 3, 2017.
Be sure to check the City's website for the Agenda.
As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments or suggestions!