Summer is behind us, but a number of the issues we discussed may not be!
8500 Sunset aka AKA. Council majority voted to uphold the Planning Commission decision, which upheld a Director's decision to not allow AKA to operate like an "extended stay" hotel. The City contends (and I would strongly agree) that the approval for the 8500 Sunset building was for that of a residential building providing permanent housing; i.e., primary place of residence. The project received residential bonuses at the time it was entitled and the units counted towards the City's RHNA (Regional Housing Needs Assessment) numbers and Housing Element. Unfortunately, this may be taken to the next level -- stay tuned.
Electric scooters. Council majority voted to prohibit shared, electric scooter services (think Bird, Lime, etc.) in Weho for the time being. Why? Public safety, lack of infrastructure, illegal use of the public right-of-way... While electric scooters might offer some benefits when it comes to "first and last mile" transportation options, as a walkable city, it's important for Weho to consider, first and foremost, the safety of our pedestrians. FYI, it is still legal to ride an electric scooter in the city (if following local and state laws); it's just not legal for the shared services to operate here.
Water. About a third of our city purchases water from Beverly Hills Water. For years, the City of Beverly Hills has been charging a 25% surcharge to customers outside their city (meaning Weho!). The surcharge amounts to about $400,000 total per year. The City of West Hollywood doesn't think Beverly Hills Water can justify the charge - and in the world of government, that's a no no. I've been attending Beverly Hills Public Works meetings with Weho Deputy City Manager, Oscar Delgado, to advocate for a fair and equitable rate for West Hollywood residents and businesses, and "the City" itself -- note, Weho Park is within the Beverly Hills Water customer area.
We cut the ribbon on a new city surface parking lot on Robertson Blvd.
photo credit Jon Viscott
We recognized Women's Equality Day.
photo credit Richard Settle
And we celebrated National Night Out.
photo credit Oleg Volovik
Also this last quarter, several of my items were adopted by Council:
- Assistance Programs for older adults facing housing affordability challenges... directs staff to evaluate the services currently available for older adults facing housing affordability challenges. The evaluation will include determining if there are any gaps in current services and recommendations to expand services where applicable.
- Community Garden Program... directs staff to take steps to revive the community garden program, including reviewing the existing Community Garden Program Operating Guidelines, and proactively searching for possible future community garden sites.
- Ethics reform... directs the Ethics Reform Task Force to evaluate the creation of a code of ethics for City consultants and contractors, and research policies in other jurisdictions on how they handle the issue of elected officials serving on nonprofit boards of directors.
For upcoming City meetings and events, check out the City Calendar.
For the latest City Council meeting agenda, visit the WeHoTV page on the City's website.
As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments or suggestions!