Even though it is April 1st, it's no April Fool's prank! We are already saying goodbye to the 1st quarter of 2018...
What were some highlights?
This quarter, we celebrated the grand opening of the WeHo Dog Parks in West Hollywood Park. The new off-leash dog parks -- one for small dogs and one for large dogs -- are located on either side of the outdoor basketball courts at the north end of West Hollywood Park. They have already proven themselves to be quite popular and I wouldn't be surprised if they are our most utilized public facility yet!
Photo credit Jon Viscott (for WehoCity)
In case you missed it, we also celebrated International Women's Day. The event was sponsored by the City's Russian Advisory Board and featured musical performances, a fantastic fashion show, scintillating speakers, small business presentations, tasty treats and fun for all ages.
Photo credit for Oleg Volovik (for WehoCity)
If you happened to pass The Abbey on Robertson Boulevard on March 15, you may have seen us launching "The Drop." Curb zones marked “The Drop” are convenient areas for people to be picked up or dropped off by ride share drivers between 6 pm and 3 am. There are approximately a dozen so far.... and I imagine, more to come!
Photo credit Jon Viscott (for WehoCity)
And just this past week, the City's Women’s Advisory Board and the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce presented the 23rd Annual Women in Leadership Awards and Reception. The awards honor the achievements of local women in the professional and commercial/industrial business community. What a dynamic group!
Photo credit Jonathan Moore (for WehoCity)
What did we accomplish in the first quarter?
Council adopted several of my initiatives this past quarter, including:
- "Next steps" regarding the City's response to homelessness. This item directed staff 1) to work with the Sheriff's Department to analyze interactions with homeless persons in 2017 to determine if additional steps can be taken to address top public safety issues; 2) to evaluate whether we need to install signs along major corridors to ensure there is compliance with the City's prohibitions on loitering and lying on sidewalk; 3) to support legislation that would expand the definition of gravely disabled to allow earlier intervention to address mental and physical health issues faced by some homeless community members; 4) to work with supportive housing providers to determine if innovative housing solutions such as motel conversions are possible in West Hollywood or in partnership with other jurisdictions; 5) to work with the City of Los Angeles to determine if funding from Measure HHH can be utilized by a Council of Governments (“COG”) to partner on affordable housing projects; 6) to explore options for replacing the existing recycling center in the Pavilions parking lot; and, 7) to meet with County Library officials to discuss posting signs about facility rules and to develop a protocol for enforcement. Thanks to Mayor Heilman for co-sponsoring this item.
- An item directing staff to research programs in other jurisdictions aimed at incentivizing the construction of accessory dwelling units ("ADUs") for affordable housing and to develop a program for West Hollywood. Thank you, Councilmember D'Amico, for co-sponsoring this item.
- Sponsoring a half-day symposium/workshop, "Creative City Making: Futures Thinking," focusing on urban infrastructure, infill architectural design, innovative housing types and creative public place-making. Speakers will be forward-thinking professionals in the fields of urban design, architecture, landscape urbanism and sustainable design. Thanks to Councilmember Horvath for co-sponsoring this item.
- A resolution Councilmember D'Amico and I brought forward to oppose, unless amended, SB 827 (Wiener). This bill as proposed would authorize developments with housing to receive a “transit-rich” housing bonus without consideration of existing city zoning or any meaningful local input.
Council also adopted a new ordinance regarding Hosted Short Term Rentals. And, we approved an item I co-sponsored with Councilmember Horvath directing staff to develop a plan for improvements to Hart Park.
For Minutes on past City Council meetings, visit the City web page Document Central.
Our next regularly scheduled City Council meeting is Monday, April 2nd, at 6:30 pm. As usual, you will find us in Council Chambers located in West Hollywood Park off San Vicente Boulevard. Please note, due to park construction, the only way to access the City's parking structure is from San Vicente.
Some Agenda items you might find of interest...
Item 2N - my initiative directing staff to draft an ordinance to set requirements for parkway design in order to promote sustainability, public safety, and neighborhood beautification.
Item 4A - an update on preparations underway for mandatory seismic retrofitting including exploration of a cost pass-through allowing landlords to share costs with tenants.
Item 4B - an item to develop an updated Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Ordinance based on the draft framework provided by staff.
Item 4C - an item to execute a four month extension of the City's existing lobbyist services contract with Helyne Meshar & Associates, while simultaneously directing staff and the City's Lobbyist to prepare a comprehensive next generation lobbying and advocacy services plan that incorporates, county, regional, state, and federal work.
Item 4D - the City Council will consider approving the proposed enhancements to the traffic signal operation on Santa Monica Blvd at Robertson Blvd to improve safety for all modes of traffic with an emphasis on pedestrian safety.
Item 4E - the City Council will consider reconvening the Ethics Reform Task Force to review any necessary ethics reform as it applies to elected officials, appointed officials, City Hall staff, and those who do business with the City, including lobbyists and consultants.
To see the Agenda for tomorrow's City Council meeting, click here!
As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments or suggestions!
Don't forget to check the City Calendar for upcoming City meetings and events.