You know what they say - time flies when you're busy! The last quarter of 2018 certainly was busy, and productive!
What's been happening?
Seismic Retrofit: Council voted "no" to establishing a pass-thru program (where tenants would have to share in the retrofit costs), and instead, asked staff to look at ways that the City could make the permitting process easier/less expensive for property owners as they move forward on seismic retrofits.
Cannabis: The independent committee members who reviewed hundreds of applications for 36 new adult cannabis business licenses have finished their tallies, and the top eight scoring applicants in each license category are eligible to move forward in the process of securing a business license from the City. Here's a link to the applications of the top scoring applicants.
March 2019 Elections: On Tuesday, March 5, 2019, the City of West Hollywood will hold its General Municipal Election whereby its citizens will elect three members to the City Council and vote on two Ballot Measures. Measure B is a referendum of Resolution 18-5104 - The Arts Club, and Measure Y is an ordinance establishing a gross receipts tax on adult-use cannabis products.
The City celebrated Transgender Awareness Month, Disabilities Awareness Month, and Halloween Carnaval. We also held our annual Don't Drink & Drive press conference with the West Hollywood Sheriff's Station and distributed coasters with transit info to Weho restaurants, bars and clubs.
(Photo credit Weho/Jon Viscott) (Photo credit Weho/Jon Viscott) (Photo credit Weho/Jonathan Moore)
On World AIDS Day, we held a candlelight vigil, which started at Santa Monica Boulevard and Crescent Heights and ended at Council Chambers, to show our solidarity with people living with HIV and to remember all those who died from AIDS-related illness. At the city's annual Paul Andrew Starke Warrior Awards, we recognized a number of talented and caring individuals from organizations that provide healthcare services and support to people living with HIV/AIDS.
(Photo credit Weho/Jonathan Moore) (Photo credit Weho/Jonathan Moore)
Is there more?
There's more! This last quarter I worked on a number of initiatives that were adopted by Council. Here are some highlights:
Neighborhood-friendly Planning & Land Use Policies
Initiated an item to amend our Municipal Code to prohibit construction on days observed as holidays when the actual holiday falls on the weekend.
Brought forward an item to start the public process in order to amend the rear setback requirements from 5 ft. to 10 ft. in the Sunset Specific Plan for commercial developments that abut residential zones. Thank you Councilmember Horvath for co-sponsoring!
- Co-sponsored an item with Mayor Pro Tempore ("MPT") John D'Amico that directs staff to begin the process of ending the existing WeHo Pedals bike share program, and to research less expensive and better suited alternatives and associated infrastructure.
Directed staff to look at increasing green space requirements for new commercial and mixed-use projects. Thanks to Councilmember Horvath for co-sponsoring.
- In July 2018, the City’s Social Services Division presented the HIV Zero Initiative Year Two Midyear Evaluation Report to the City Council. According to the report, about 18 percent of 18-44 year-old men in West Hollywood still lack health insurance. In addition, the linkage to care among people who were recently diagnosed with HIV in West Hollywood decreased, and the number of people who have been retained in care also decreased. I initiated an item with MPT D'Amico directing staff to partner with Covered California and the City's social services agencies on targeted outreach to uninsured members of the LGBTQ+ community.
- In December of 2017, I had brought forward an item to adopt stricter operating requirements for animal groomers, to help make grooming a safer experience for our 4-legged friends. The ordinance was finally brought back for our review and Council unanimously approved! I've been sharing our "new and improved" regulations with other cities in hopes of more consistent and more stringent regulations across the region.
Resident & Visitor Appreciation
- Recently, I had brought forward an item with MPT D'Amico to increase the parking meter grace period to 10 minutes over the holidays. Council instead voted to increase the parking meter grace period to 5 minutes throughout the city all year round! Thanks to MPT D'Amico for co-sponsoring the original item.
Goodbye 2018; hello 2019 and Weho election season!
As your neighborhood advocate on City Council, I’ve tried my best to be the voice of reason, always keeping in mind, I am representing you. I'm running for re-election and I respectfully ask for your vote on March 5th!
We all love West Hollywood and hope to protect what makes our city special. While the next few years will be challenging – with escalating housing costs and homelessness, public safety concerns, and more traffic-generating development in the pipeline – I’m confident, as a community, we can be successful working together on these issues. As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments or suggestions!
For City News and Top Stories, check out the City's website. 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.
See you in 2019!