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CD1 Townhall on HP Transit Village, 7/31 Thurs.

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  • nelalist@yahoogroups
    Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council Newsletter - July 30, 2008 Reminder: Townhall Meeting with Councilman Ed Reyes Townhall Meeting Thursday, July 31,
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 30, 2008
      Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council Newsletter - July 30, 2008

      Reminder: Townhall Meeting with Councilman Ed Reyes

      Townhall Meeting

      Thursday, July 31, 2008 @ 6pm
      Highland Park Ebell Club
      131 S. Ave. 57 / Cross street Figueroa
      Los Angeles, CA 90042

      Transit Village Letter from HHPNC
      Land Use Committee

      July 29, 2008
      City of Los Angeles
      Hon. Ed Reyes, Councilmember, District 1
      Ms. Mercedes Márquez, General Manager, Housing Department
      Ms. Rita Robinson, General Manager, Transportation Department
      City Hall
      200 N. Spring Street
      Los Angeles, CA 90012

      Re: Council File Index 03-2744 and Exclusive Negotiation Agreement for
      Proposed Project Concept of "Highland Park Transit Village"

      OPPOSITION TO PROJECT AS CURRENTLY PROPOSED BY
      MCCORMACK BARON SALAZAR

      Dear Councilmember Reyes, Ms. Márquez, and Ms. Robinson:

      The Land Use Committee of the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council, elected to represent over 68,000 residents and stakeholders, has held 6 meetings and hosted or participated in many public presentations and discussions with McCormack Baron Salaza (MBS) in the last 4 months.

      Land Use Committee consists of 11 people. At our July 28th Special Meeting, the nine members present voted by a majority of 7, with 2 abstentions, formally to oppose the proposed project as it was presented by MBS and their architects (M2A) at the July 8, 2008 Meeting of the Highland Park HPOZ Board.

      As we currently understand, MBS proposes:

      - 101 housing units and associated parking spaces; total square footage for this use was not provided and therefore is unknown

      - Commercial uses, possible East LA College extension, live/work spaces, total square footage orally stated by MBS at 10,000 sq. ft.

      - 374 parking spaces, to accommodate the project needs, and 221 spaces of replacement parking. It is unclear if the total number is sufficient to replace lost parking, and provide all of the necessary project parking

      Since this concept is being proposed on City-owned land, and MBS has entered into an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement (ENA, executed on March 26, 2008), the Land Use Committee formally requests that the City work collectively with MBS
      and the community to build a quality development that is compatible with our neighborhood, provides critical housing with priority for residents of Highland Park, and protects the public parking spaces that the businesses have already paid for.

      The Land Use Committee understands that the City and MBS are currently in a formal Negotiation Period to be completed within 180 days, or by September 26, 2008 unless extended. We have read the ENA and understand the flexibility it provides to both parties with essential terms, development goals, and topics for negotiation. Therefore, we currently understand that the MBS proposal is not required by the City as an essential term of the project at this time.

      So, before the City executes a Joint Development Agreement and/or Ground Lease with MBS, the Land Use Committee wants to be very clear. In general we support:

      - New development, investment, and quality new affordable housing in the heart of Highland Park.

      - Quality infill development in our historic core in between existing residential and commercial buildings.

      - The City's effort, since 2003, to bid and award an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement to a quality developer for this project site In addition, there is consensus within the Land Use Committee, and with other community members, and stakeholders, that a project we could support would specifically include:

      - A maximum of two stories, compatible with both the low-scale residential neighborhood as well as the commercial structures along Figueroa.

      - Reduction of the project scale, reducing the number of housing units, changing the mix and size of housing units, or eliminating the commercial or live/work spaces. The 10,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, or the space being held for East LA College is not necessary.

      - MBS could reduce the density through the acquisition and appropriate design of additional adjacent properties.

      - More open space, a plaza, or open space linkage of a small pocket park.

      - Replacement parking of 221 spaces.

      - Architectural design appropriate to the historic core of Highland Park and using quality materials. It simply must look good.

      - The overall community plan and vision, developed through LANI in the 1990s, should be reviewed, integrated, and taken into account.

      - A "greener"� more sustainable design, meeting the City requirements for Green Building. Our community would like to be a pro-active leader in these design practices.

      The Land Use Committee wants to be very clear we DO NOT support at this time:

      - Any project that goes beyond two stories from ground level. There is an insufficient buffer between the one/two-story residential area, and the predominately one-story scale of the commercial corridor on Figueroa Street.

      - The total number of units and square footage of all uses combined. It is too large for the current space provided.

      - Any reduction of the existing 221 public parking spaces.

      We request the City work in a collective manner to keep the entire community informed about this precedent-setting project. This includes advisory review by HHPNC, other neighborhood organizations, the local stakeholders, business and residential, as well as the formal review by the Board of the Highland Park HPOZ.

      We request to see the information that MBS was supposed to submit within 90 days of ENA execution, including the financial plan/economic projection for the project, and cost disclosure.

      We agree the City has selected MBS for solid reasons and would very much like to support a quality development project in the heart of Highland Park, especially one that addresses the critical need of housing for our own residents. We know how important this project is to the future of greater Highland Park and look forward to working in a productive manner to create a project of quality and great benefit to all.

      Sincerely,
      David Baird, Chair
      Land Use Committee
      Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council

      cc: Mr. Dan Falcon, McCormack Baron Salazar (MBS)
      Mr. Louis Bernardy, MBS
      Mr. Antonio Bermúdez, MBS
      Ms. Rebecca Valdez, Planning Deputy, Council District 1
      Ms. Suzanne Jimenez, Field Deputy, Council District 1
      Board Members, Highland Park HPOZ
      Highland Park Heritage Trust


      [posted to nelalist by chris howard]
    • Tom Williams
      Thanks HP Townhall Land Uses and Transit Villages Recent discussions regarding this project have raised several issues:   1.  Full development under and over
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 30, 2008
        Thanks HP Townhall

        Land Uses and Transit Villages

        Recent discussions regarding this project have raised several issues:
         
        1.  Full development under and over existing parking areas forecloses future additional parking for increased commercial development along Figueroa, hopefully increased by the presence of the Transit Village.

        As with the project, Fig frontage should be assumed to be the same height as that of the tallest structure of the project which in turn has been established based on the tallest structure of the north side of Fig. - - about 3 floor (G+2).  This would require an estimated commercial footage increase of about 150,000 sq ft (1 floor x 150ft x 1000ft) which based on a conservative rate of 400sq ft commercial floor/car space requires 375 car spaces - double what is projected.

        Where can we put it???
         
        2. Marmion Way Development (39,000 sq ft - 650x60+ft)
         
        Ground level development should be pedestrian/market friendly as a park or promenade associated with the Transit Village and the Station.

        I would recommend extending underground parking under Marmion Way and getting a 78,000 sq ft increase in paking area and rebuilding a promenade over the basement parking - virtually identical to what is there now. Also with direct access from parking to station.

        3. Upgrade the HP Transit Station

        In other similar transit village (outside of the US) the villages often extend over the Marmion Way and the Rail....this would then overlook the single-floor residential homes on the northside....too much...but consider an elevated promenade over the station zone on the south side - giving shade and shelter to the ground promenade and farmer's market.

        4. Other Transit Village often integrate with the transit and the bus lines allowing better access between the feeder buses (256) and the transit. This integration is not reflected in the current designs.

        Enough

        This is the great adavntages of the NELA and "townhall" efforts by everyone...for our community

        Tom Williams (El Sereno, yes we want transit villages for Huntingto, Valley, and Eastern...)
        --- On Wed, 7/30/08, nelalist@yahoogroups <nelalist@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

        From: nelalist@yahoogroups <nelalist@yahoogroups.com>
        Subject: [nelalist] CD1 Townhall on HP Transit Village, 7/31 Thurs.
        To: "nelalist@yahoogroups" <nelalist@yahoogroups.com>
        Date: Wednesday, July 30, 2008, 3:17 PM

        Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council Newsletter - July 30, 2008
        Reminder: Townhall Meeting with Councilman Ed Reyes
        Townhall Meeting

        Thursday, July 31, 2008 @ 6pm
        Highland Park Ebell Club
        131 S. Ave. 57 / Cross street Figueroa
        Los Angeles, CA 90042

        Transit Village Letter from HHPNC
        Land Use Committee
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