Between the Women's March and the LA Pride Resist March, I've certainly gotten to experience some amazing times as a Councilmember for our great "little" city.
There's nothing more exhilarating than seeing people activated, energized, working together for a common cause -- and making their voices heard. To me, that's what the City of West Hollywood is all about!
And much, much more...
In April, I participated in the Westside Urban Forum Mayor's Panel, where I joined mayors from Culver City, Malibu and Santa Monica to talk about issues such as affordable housing, homelessness, transportation and other challenges facing our cities. I also flew up to Sacramento for 2017 Legislative Action Day and spoke with our state representatives about healthcare, housing and animal welfare.
May was also action-packed... the City hosted the West Hollywood Women's Leadership Conference and the Russian Arts & Cultural Festival. We celebrated historic preservation at the Hooray for (West) Hollywood Annual Historic Preservation event, and we commemorated Senior Month with a reception highlighting our Aging In Place Strategic Plan and welcoming some folks from AARP. Council "Reorganization" also occurred in May, and I handed over the mayor's gavel (and mayoral duties!) to my colleague John Heilman.
In June, not only did the City host LA Pride and celebrate the artistic contributions of the LGBTQ community with its One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival, WeHo was also the final stop for the #ResistMarch. My colleagues and I had an opportunity to address the crowd, which you can view here. A tremendous day! My special thanks to the LA County Sheriffs Department and the City's public safety and special events staff for keeping us organized and safe.
What else is on my plate?
One of my goals as your Councilmember is to develop policy and update zoning codes to encourage smart growth and ensure neighborhood-friendly development.
I recently initiated, and Council adopted, an item directing staff to evaluate ways of minimizing the impacts of building height in commercial zones and review current methods used for measuring building height to determine if the City’s methodology is the most appropriate option for providing well-scaled developments. The specific objective of this initiative is to reduce impacts of commercial and mixed-use projects on adjacent properties.
Another issue I brought forward pertained to the number of new hotel developments in the pipeline. This item called for a moratorium on new hotel projects in order to allow time to conduct updated research on the lodging market so that Council could consider ways to promote a healthy, diversified hotel market within the City of West Hollywood. While my colleagues did not support a moratorium, they did agree that new hotel project applications should require a current market analysis so that Planning Commissioners and the City Council can make better-informed decisions.
Two other land use issues I raised previously were sent back to staff for further analysis and review. One is regarding the need for a Mixed Use Bonus since the advent of state affordable housing law (which, similar to our Mixed Use Ordinance, grants height and density bonuses). The second addresses City processes with regard to intensification of rooftop uses. Stay tuned!
It looks like we may be in for a hot summer. When temperatures are high, the City will typically activate The Cooling Center in Plummer Park. Visit the City's Cooling Center website page for more information. Remember too, that on a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked vehicle can soar to 120 degrees in just minutes — even with windows cracked open. Please don't leave a child or pet in a parked car!
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 on Monday, July 10, 2017. This will be a special study session on Recreational Marijuana.
Stay cool and have a great 4th of July holiday!