Divided Council moves forward with San Vicente Streetscape project

ADVERTISEMENT

Mayor John M. Erickson and Councilmember John Heilman attempted to course-correct the trajectory of the San Vicente Streetscape project at City Council’s meeting Monday night, raising concerns that city planners had let the wildly ambitious designs careen out of control.

“I mean, one truck down San Vicente, I think we’re gonna say goodbye to this based on the height mechanisms,” Erickson said, referring to the overhanging structures — the “Sky Sanctuaries” — that would be supporting tons of earth and foliage over the boulevard.

He chided city planners for devoting so much attention to this project when so many other languished.

“My concerns are how much staff time did we spend on this when we have many development projects, many housing projects, and a lot of other items that bring in a lot of revenue to the city that we hear about regularly from people saying, ‘We can’t get an email, we can’t get a response, there are corrections, it takes months,’” Erickson said.  “We heard the same thing regarding our cannabis organizations that are waiting a long time.”

Heilman wondered what had become of the original directive: to create a flexible meeting space on the boulevard between the Pacific Design Center and the library.

ADVERTISEMENT

“How did that morph into something that involves permanent structures and movable structures?” Heilman asked. “This seems to be dramatically different than what the original agenda item asked for — and the follow-up: under what authority did you grow this item to be this big?”

Ric Abramson of the city’s Urban Design and Architecture Studio noted the interest in outside “funding agencies.”

“We learned that there’s a major storm drain, a ten-foot diameter pipe under San Vicente that has not been serviced,” Abramson said. “And so, there was tremendous interest in, through this project, creating a portal or connection underground.”

“If the course is going to be changed, it should be changed based on Council direction and not based on what external funders would find desirable,” Heilman replied. “The structure here seems completely unrelated to doing storm drain work. So, I don’t understand that justification.”

Heilman called the renderings beautiful and futuristic but worried about overlapping with future Metro construction.

“I’m also mindful of a different project we undertook on Sunset, which was a streetscape improvement,” Heilman said. “For those of you who don’t remember, it’s gone because it was so ridiculous. And I feel like some aspects of that are replicated here. This seems like the vision of an academic who looked at this and said, ‘Wouldn’t this be wonderful if we did all of this?’ suggesting the construction of a ‘sky sanctuary’ over the boulevard. However, there are many in the public who view this as a very expensive project that isn’t necessarily desirable as a public gathering place.”

Councilmember Lauren Meister took a more favorable stance, advocating for the project and citing its alignment with multiple city goals like climate resilience, biodiversity enhancement and mobility improvements. 

‘I think that this project is something that would put us on the map as the Creative City,” Meister said. “I think we’ve sort of lost that a bit.”

Meister was willing to proceed without waiting for definitive answers from Metro, suggesting that the project could potentially influence Metro to choose a route that benefits the city’s commercial corridors rather than residential areas.

Vice Mayor Chelsea Byers also expressed enthusiasm for the project, praising city planners for transcending initial expectations and forming regional partnerships. 

She joined Meister and Councilmember Sepi Shyne in voting for a motion to hire a technical consultant at an estimated cost of $130,000 and to increase the budget for the current design and consulting team by an estimated $95,000. This funding is to complete a required technical study within six months to meet the July 2024 grant application deadline for the Los Angeles County Safe Clean Water Infrastructure Grant Program. The motion included instructions for staff to coordinate with Metro to prevent any future conflicts or issues. The motion also called for an allocation of $225,000 from general fund reserves to finance these actions.

Erickson and Heilman voted against the measure.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
ADVERTISEMENT

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

25 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rose
Rose
11 days ago

Geeze .. check out gas station on Robertson & Olympic which looks very similar to first “artist rendering” of this insane, ugly, traffic causing ….. And again …. Trying to “fit in with PDC” or “surpass” PDC????

The gas station I mentioned is an ugly EYESORE at best.

I see absolutely no benefit for this project that would benefit of WeHo.

woman
woman
18 days ago

I”m concerned that it will become another multi-million dollar homeless shelter. As a woman, I would never walk in such a structure because I don’t want to be raped or assaulted.

voter
voter
19 days ago

The Three Stooges are once again banding together to hurt our once-proud city.

On another point, who is the evil hairdresser dying the hair of Erickson and Horvath in such ridiculous colors? They look as foolish as they actually are.

John Smith
John Smith
19 days ago

Time to cut our taxes. Debating projects that no one needs or wants.

Jimmy palmieri
Jimmy palmieri
19 days ago

If the course is going to be changed, it should be changed based on Council direction and not based on what external funders would find desirable,” Heilman replied.

Heilman is right. This is the second time in 2 months that staff ran amuck and he called them out.
WHO RUNS THE SHOW???.
..and fyi…I’m moot on this subject. What is irritating is that staff seemingly operates devoid of Council.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
19 days ago
Reply to  Jimmy palmieri

Boom! While I disagree with Lauren Meister on this particularly issue, she is often the only person holding the bureaucracy to account, as she did when she publicly called out the horrific behind-the-scenes sham that led to the hiring of a senior staff member. Council has a role to play in oversight and that basic function is rarely exercised. I blame in large part the changing dynamics fueled by John Erickson as a former staff member turned council member. How many residents are exercising their own obligations of holding the entire bureaucracy responsible to us as citizens/voters/residents? There was once… Read more »

30 year resident
30 year resident
19 days ago

turned on ch10 just as this ugly nonsense was being discussed. “put us on the map as a Creative City” was mentioned, but no, giant concrete underpass is all we’d see. this was a joke, and the city council should have ended it right then. the only proper thing for that location is a 737 balanced on its nose, like proper art.

Outraged
Outraged
19 days ago

Why do we tolerate incompetent idiots like Septic Shyne and Nazi Byers? Where is the recall? How about using $225,000 toward city priorities that the people really care about and that actually do some good instead of these pet projects that just line the pockets of people who really have little to do with the quality of life in the city? Why can’t we rise up and do something about the wasteful spending, at the same time legitimate city concerns are not only ignored, but rudely dismissed? Why can’t we rise up and demand that we have city council members… Read more »

Outraged
Outraged
19 days ago

So, $225,000 for a ridiculous fantasy project. And that’s when we have derelict store fronts and out of control commercial rents from greedy landlords who create a slum out of our previously robust city? How many services toward reducing the homeless problem with $225,000 by? This is a disgusting miss appropriation of funds, completely tone deaf to the will of the citizens of this city. Vote these incompetent idiots out and elect people who will actually solve the problems that city constituents need resolved.

kab1200
kab1200
19 days ago
Reply to  Outraged

It’s more like 18 million, they just added to the pot with the $225,000.

Had Enough
Had Enough
20 days ago

Lipstick on a pig.

Carleton cro9nin
20 days ago

Next, can hardly wait for human sacrifice on San Vicente. What else is there left to infuriate us?

Tom
Tom
20 days ago

Erickson is the voice of reason and Meister advocating fluff? Let me go drop a bowling ball and check if the law of gravity has been repealed as well..

kab1200
kab1200
19 days ago
Reply to  Tom

I felt the same way!

:dpb
:dpb
20 days ago

So that’s what we’re now calling consultants, vendors and manufacturers that inflate prices on their never completed projects for the City of Wedt Hollywood: “forming regional partnerships”. Thank you Councilperson Byers. I’m sure you and your developer partner are forming quite a few regional partnerships at this point.

kab1200
kab1200
19 days ago
Reply to  :dpb

Yep

25
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x