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Proposed Ordinance for Zoning Change

September 10, 1989

I was surprised to read your coverage of the hearing concerning the zone change on the block east of La Cienega Boulevard, between Beverly Boulevard and 3rd Street, otherwise known as the Beverly Connection (Times, Sept. 3).

My proposed ordinance strictly limits development on this property to what exists there today, and only what exists there today--291,000 square feet. Your coverage suggests that the zone change, if approved, would bestow more development rights to the property owner than he currently has. This is simply not the case.

Your article also suggested that there was broad opposition to my proposal. In fact, proponents of the new ordinance outnumbered the opponents at the public hearing, a fact The Times failed to mention.

The reason for this is simple: The city, at my behest, placed extraordinary conditions limiting development on that property. The Dart Square (Beverly Connection) property has been a two-story commercial building since the late 1940s. Some years ago, when Dart Industries sold the property, the new owners sought to build 1.1 million square feet of high-rise commercial, retail and hotel space on that eight-acre site.

After years of toughing it out with the new owners, I succeeded in winning city approval for conditions which: (a) keep the building low-rise (two stories); (b) provide adequate parking (1,500 parking spaces), and (c) keep the building in scale with what has been there for the last 40 years. In addition, streets have been widened and new traffic signals installed to facilitate the traffic in the area.

Traffic and overdevelopment is a problem that is affecting the entire city, not just our neighborhood. That's why I and Councilman Marvin Braude authored Proposition U, which cut commercial development by half in this and most other parts of Los Angeles.

Interestingly, the Beverly Connection is approximately half the size it could be under Proposition U and one-quarter the size it could have been just 2 1/2 years ago before Proposition U was approved by the voters.

That's why, with very few exceptions, area residents have embraced my proposal. They, like I, want these hard-won concessions written into law, and that's the only thing the zone change will do.


City Councilman

5th District, Los Angeles

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