Councilman John Ferraro, who began representing Hollywood this week, says redevelopment offers "an opportunity to do something good" in the community and that he does not anticipate making any major changes in the plans.
Ferraro replaced Michael Woo as part of a redistricting plan approved last week by the Los Angeles City Council. Woo moved to an adjoining Latino-dominated district.
"The redevelopment plan is on its way and I have no intention of interfering with the plan," Ferraro said in an interview Tuesday.
Ferraro said he has not decided whether he will replace the four members of the Hollywood Redevelopment Project Area Committee appointed by Woo and subject to Ferraro's approval as Hollywood's new councilman.
"I have not asked for their resignations and I do not know whether I will do so," Ferraro said. "I do not know them and may meet with them in the next few weeks to remedy that situation."
'Lot to Learn'
Ferraro added that he is "not a know-it-all" on Hollywood redevelopment. "I have a lot to learn about it," he said.
The $922-million Hollywood Redevelopment District, approved by the council in April, is the target of two lawsuits filed by groups representing residents, property owners and environmentalists.
The district also has been under attack by a small group within the 25-member Project Area Committee, the official community advisory body on Hollywood redevelopment.
Ferraro attended the committee's monthly meeting Monday and expressed concern about the infighting.
"I was impressed that the community participation level is high," he said. "But I would like to see less pettiness. There seemed to be an argument over every point, no matter how small."
Ferraro described himself as a general supporter of redevelopment, saying that it has "worked wonders" in downtown Los Angeles and elsewhere.
He said, however, that he had objected to the inhumane manner in which residents were evicted in the downtown project and the continued existence of a redevelopment district even after its goals have been achieved.
"I would like to see the Community Redevelopment Agency do its job and return the property to the tax rolls as quickly as possible," Ferraro said. "Once an area has been redeveloped, there is no reason to continue the district."
Under Hollywood redevelopment, property taxes are frozen at their 1986 levels. Any increases in taxes are used to acquire property for development, rehabilitate run-down properties, restore and preserve historic landmarks and improve city services, such as sewer and water installations.
Ferraro said the main redevelopment issue in Hollywood seems to be a fear of the agency's powers of eminent domain. "People have told me they are scared to death by eminent domain," he said.
Like Woo, however, Ferraro called eminent domain a necessary tool in putting together land parcels for redevelopment. "We have to be very careful how we use eminent domain," he said. "And if there are evictions, we have to make certain that the evictees are treated humanely."
The Hollywood redevelopment district includes 1,100 acres bounded by Santa Monica Boulevard and LaBrea, Franklin and Serrano avenues.