City planning and transportation officials Thursday are slated to provide the Los Angeles Planning Commission with information on the financing and implementation of a 20-year blueprint for overhauling Ventura Boulevard.
The focus of the meeting will be on the history of the controversial Ventura Boulevard Specific Plan, which aims to control unruly growth, ease traffic and enhance neighborhoods along the historic 17-mile strip, said Deputy Planning Director Melanie Fallon.
In October, the Planning Commission ordered planning and transportation experts to answer a number of questions about the ambitious $222-million plan, including concerns about whether it imposes fees that are too high.
"We're not going to have the answers yet, but we're going to put a lot of issues out on the table," Fallon said. "We're going to describe the history of what we've done with the plan and why."
Six years in the making, the document was--and is--the subject of at times acrimonious debate among city officials, business people and homeowners.
Discussion Thursday is expected to include the main funding mechanism for the plan, under which owners of commercial property are assessed fees based on the number of car trips their properties are expected to generate on the boulevard during peak traffic hours.
The so-called "trip fees," which range from $2,000 to $800,000 per property, have come under attack in recent months from property owners and others who said it places financial burdens on newcomers and discourages new development. The fee system has also been criticized for generating only a fraction of the $12.9 million it was projected to have produced by now.
Jeff Brain, chairman of a citizens panel--appointed by the mayor and City Council--that oversees implementation of the plan, said one purpose of the meeting is to educate new commissioners on its history.
"Through these staff reports we hope to put everyone on equal footing so we can move forward on some of the issues raised about the funding of the plan and some of its goals," he said.
The meeting, which will include a public comment period, is set for 2 p.m. at the Sherman Oaks Woman's Club, 4808 Kester Ave.