Things are looking up!
We're getting vaccinated. Businesses are coming back. Zoom meetings are keeping us connected. Recovery plans are in the works.
Saturday, April 24, from 9 am - 1 pm. The city will be hosting a Virtual Symposium on Urban Forestry and Biodiversity. This virtual symposium will bring the West Hollywood community together with experts on the natural and built environment to discuss this topic through four lenses: urban flora (tree canopies, biodiverse green spaces), urban fauna (native wildlife), biomimicry (learning lessons from nature), and biophilic and regenerative inspired design (elevating new development). Please mark your calendar -- this is going to be a special event!
This last quarter I worked on a number of initiatives that were adopted by Council. Here are some highlights...
Preparing for Creative and Thoughtful Development of City Properties. This item directed staff to undertake a process to identify a list of diverse and creative development industry not-for-profits and other entities that are interested in partnering with the City in the future on development of City-owned properties, and to identify a list of advisors and/or consultants that could work with the City to analyze the development of those properties. Thank you, Councilmember Shyne, for co-sponsoring.
Protecting Integrity of Residential-Zoned Parcels and Replacement of Units. This item directed staff to initiate a Zone Text Amendment to prohibit the development of new or expanded non-residential projects on residentially zoned parcels unless the project replaces any demolished residential units with at least the same number of residential units or pays an in-lieu fee equal to the cost of construction of the same number of residential units of equal size, which would be allocated to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Additionally, if the application for a new non-residential project is submitted for a parcel where residential units had already been demolished, then, the number and size of residential units or the required in-lieu fee should be based on what could be built according to the Zoning Code. Thank you for co-sponsoring, Councilmember Shyne.
Residential Open Space Requirements for Multi-family Dwellings. This item directed staff to evaluate the current common and private open space requirements for residential multi-family dwellings to determine what changes can be made to encourage more open space and better utilization of open space. Thank you, Councilmember Shyne, for co-sponsoring.
Plummer Park Upgrades. This item directed staff to confirm the estimated costs for proposed upgrades at Plummer Park using former redevelopment bond proceeds and return to Council for further direction. Thank you for co-sponsoring, Councilmember D'Amico.
Establish Pilot Off-Leash Dog Play Area at Plummer Park. This item directed staff to take steps to establish a pilot off-leash dog area in Plummer Park, including performing necessary community outreach. The pilot will be in place as the City goes through the design and redevelopment process for Plummer Park over the next several years. Thank you for co-sponsoring, Councilmember Erickson.
National Wildlife Federation Mayor's Monarch Pledge. Council adopted this item to sign on to the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, committing to create habitat for the monarch butterfly and pollinators, and to educate residents about how they can make a difference at home and in their community. Thank you for co-sponsoring, Mayor Horvath.
Compliance in the Business Tax Certificate Program. This item directed staff to develop an initiative to encourage compliance in the City’s business tax certificate program, specifically targeting small businesses, independent contractors, freelancers, and home-based businesses who have not yet applied for a City Business Tax Certificate or exemption and may be unaware of the City’s requirements. Thank you, Councilmember Shyne, for co-sponsoring.
Update Living Wage Ordinance and Applicability. This item directed staff to evaluate updating the living wage to more appropriately meet the intent and purpose of the policy and directing the City Attorney to research establishing a requirement for the Living Wage Ordinance to apply to development projects requesting a Development Agreement or other public benefit agreement. Thank you for co-sponsoring, Councilmember D'Amico.
Human Trafficking Community Training. This item directed staff to organize community trainings on human trafficking to educate City Commissioners, Advisory Board members, and members of the community on issues related to human trafficking and equip them with the tools to support and advocate for victims. Thank you, Councilmember Shyne for asking me to co-sponsor.
Last but not least...
Although we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it is still important to:
- Wash your hands frequently,
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands,
- Self-isolate if you are sick,
- Practice physical distancing,
- Wear a clean face covering when in contact with others from outside your household,
- Get vaccinated!
For more information and county updates, visit LA County's Public Health website: http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.
To access information on resources for residents, tenants and businesses in the City of West Hollywood, visit the City's website here.