I admit it. I’m a fan of Los Angeles council president, Eric Garcetti. It’s easy to blame politicians for doing nothing and I’m as guilty of this as anyone. So when I see a guy who actually initiates change that affects communities in a hyper-positive way, I want to jump up and down and cheer. See recently, the city planning people guided by Mayor Villaraigosa and planning director Gail Goldberg, put together a 14 point manifesto called, “do real planning” that outlined 14 positive things Los Angeles could do to make this city more livable, from a building/growth point of view.
The cool thing about Councilman Garcetti, is that he was way ahead of the game, having initiated most of the suggestions in his district 13 (Hollywood, Silverlake, Echo Park ) before these guidelines were published. With all the crazy growth in Hollywood, it’s heartening to see that thoughtful and livable urban growth is being done.
The points of the city’s planning guidelines are great, they include “Landscape in Abundance” i.e. using lots more trees and landscaping in urban design, “Produce Green Buildings”, incentives for green building using the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Design) standards and “Identify Smart Parking” requirements. That last one is a doozy. When it comes to parking in Hollywood, it’s harder and harder to find space, and public parking is virtually non-existent.
That’s one of the things I’d love to see: public parking garages instead of the private gouge-you-for-all-we-can lots where on some nights they want $50 to park your car. Nothing will kill a scene faster than ridiculous out of control parking robbery rates. I know, I know, the idea is not to drive, but people do. And they will, so while mass transit, walking (yay, I’m all for it) and the Hollytrolley are part of the solution, it would be great to see requirements for builders that included providing reasonably priced public parking.