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Hollywood gazes into the future and sees skyscrapers

City Council is weighing new zoning guidelines that would allow bigger, taller buildings. Some residents fear more congestion and say the plan is based on faulty census data.

December 19, 2011|By Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times

City officials based their new plan on Southern California Assn. of Governments population forecasts showing Hollywood with 244,602 people in 2030 — about 23% more than the 2010 census count of 198,234.

Several residents have threatened to sue over the city's population growth estimates — and other aspects of the plan — if it is passed.

Michael Woo, a former city councilman representing Hollywood who is now on the Planning Commission, voted to approve the plan earlier this month. He said planners did a good job of addressing residents' concerns during about 150 community meetings.

He wishes the city had included architectural guidelines in the plan to avoid buildings that look like some other Hollywood developments, which he called "serviceable at best."

Still, he added, city leaders are right to think big.

"This is really what government is supposed to be doing," he said. "We're supposed to be guessing and dreaming about the future. Who knows, in 2030, whether we'll have been right."

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