Leaders of two Hollywood organizations involved in redevelopment have lambasted a proposed City Council redistricting plan, saying that it would slow the $922-million redevelopment of their community.
As drawn up by Councilman Richard Alatorre, the redistricting plan would eliminate Councilman Michael Woo's representation of Hollywood and split the community among districts represented by Joel Wachs and John Ferraro.
The dividing line would be Franklin Avenue, placing the redevelopment area in Ferraro's district and the residential Hollywood Hills in Wachs' district.
Marshall Caskey, chairman of the Hollywood Redevelopment Project Area Committee, said that such a political configuration would intensify frayed feelings between supporters of redevelopment and the so-called hill people who oppose development of large, dense projects in Hollywood.
"I have not always agreed with the hill people," Caskey said. "But I would rather talk to them across the room than across two council districts.
"If we allow Hollywood to be Balkanized, then the consensus that we have built up for redevelopment could be destroyed, bringing us back to square one again in our longtime effort to revitalize Hollywood."
Caskey said that eliminating Woo from the community also would hinder redevelopment because the councilman "has been instrumental" in building a redevelopment consensus.
Caskey said that the community already has had to adjust to one new council representative during the three years of planning and implementation. "We started out with Peggy Stevenson, who was replaced by Michael Woo. It doesn't make much sense for us to have to adjust to another councilman."
Brian Moore, president of the Federation of Hillside and Canyon Assns., described the redistricting plan as "very bad" for Hollywood. Moore said that 11 of the 48 associations in his group are directly involved in Hollywood redevelopment.
"We have always been one town and we want to remain one community," Moore said. "We also want to maintain Woo as our representative because we have now gotten to know him and his staff. We don't want to break someone else in."
Bill Welsh, president of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, said that his executive committee will meet Wednesday to consider what position it will take on the redistricting plan. The chamber board of directors will consider the issue at its next meeting on Friday.
"Obviously," Welsh said, "we are concerned about the split of the community into two council districts and the impact that will have on redevelopment."
Councilman Alatorre designed the redistricting plan in response to a lawsuit filed last year against the city by the U. S. Justice Department. The suit charged that the city violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act by drawing city political boundaries that dilute the voting strength of Latinos, who make up 27.5% of the city population.