Studio City NIMBYS Fight NBC, Progress

As distracted as I was in my search for the ultimate Ricky Ricardo costume last week, I overlooked an e-mail from the Studio City Neighborhood Council regarding NBC’s proposed development over the Universal City Red Line subway station. It is a call by Communities United for Smart Growth to hold a town hall meeting about the project.

Once upon a time, there was a lovely green park with cottages at its edge. Birds sang, dogs romped, lovers swooned & children played.

The fable goes on to list the ways in which these things shall be destroyed. By towers, digital billboards, and construction dirt. It boasts that “local champions” Tom LaBonge and Zev Yaroslavksy warned us of the imminent danger to birds, dogs, lovers, and children, but that we did not listen.

So, Communities United for Smart Growth is holding a town hall meeting to re-write the fable. How can we ignore the needs of rompers and swooners?

SCNC Town Hall Meeting
East Valley High School
5525 Vineland
North Hollywood 91601
6-8pm Wednesday
November 12, 2008

8 Replies to “Studio City NIMBYS Fight NBC, Progress”

  1. That is not a surprise. That is how the orange line morphed from a subway or el to a bus, a big double tandum bus. NIMBY tends to be the norm.

  2. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Move this project to Downtown LA where there would be NO opposition.

  3. You’re probably right, Bert. I think these people fail to realize what a huge loss this would be to the Valley – in jobs and in pride.

    If I were NBC, I would start eyeballing the now-demolished Basque space on Hollywood & Vine, as well as the parking lot across the street from the new W. I’ll bet Hollywood would welcome NBC back with open arms.

  4. Hollywood would be good. But I think there would be huge opposition to it there too. They are using the proximity to the Red Line to build it larger and denser than otherwise, but the Valley location is preferred by the developers because it is closer to where the execs live (the Hills, the West Side). Those people would drive anyway. This is not really a transit-oriented project, and the opposition to it is perfectly aware of that.

  5. First, not all these people are NIMBYs – most are people who support smart growth, but oppose dumb growth.

    (Could we please try not to turn everything into some polarized ‘smart us/dumb them’ shouting match? This isn’t Faux News. We can do better.)

    And not even the loudest of the actual real-live NIMBYs want the project stopped.

    And it wouldn’t matter if they did – that’s not going to happen.

    NBC/Uni already has the development rights for the studio facilities – that was specified in the terms of the deal when Universal gave that parcel to the MTA to build the subway station, back in the ’90s.

    NBC has already sold the Burbank lot (which they’re temporarily leasing back while they build the new studios).

    They used the proceeeds of the sale of that choice Burbank commercial property to finance the build-out of the new Digital/HiDef facilities. (It’s cheaper and more efficient to build all-new facilities than to try to retrofit existing analog/SD facilities – especially while they’re still in use).

    So that part is going to happen. Count on it.

    What’s in question is just how big all the other stuff – the office/hotel/residential/retail components that the developer is financing – will be, and whether or not additional roadway/freeway/infrastructure improvements should be required to handle the increased traffic those additional elements will generate.

    This area of the Valley has long supported “smart development”

    Not all areas of the Valley are the same – this is entirely unconnected to the Orange Line NIMBYism.

    Most of these people are concerned citizens who very much want this development to happen (I know, I’m one of ’em), but they don’t want it done %i(badly) – they want to make our corner of the city bigger and better.

  6. Oh, and @Bert Green – there’s no business case for NBC to move downtown. Aside from bootstrapping the build-out of the new state-of-the-art studios, the other major goal of this project is to tightly integrate NBC and Universal, both to cut down on the amount of time-consuming travel between Burbank and UniCity by shared personnel, and to make the physical linkage of the shared digital infrastructure easier.

    Moving downtown would require far *more* time-consuming travel and more interconnection difficulties than even just staying in Burbank.

    They want to be able to walk (or golf-cart) across the street, not take a 20-minute subway trip or drive the 101 to downtown.

    They want to make things easier, not harder.

    So, sorry, but downtown is Right Out for this one. :-)

  7. I am sure you are right about the reasons NBC wants to build at Universal. I don’t disagree with that. My point is simply that it makes sense to build such density in places that can handle it, not try and force it down the throats of low density areas that can’t handle it. In addition, there would be no opposition to a more central location.

    Personally I support the project, even with the additional components. I am a proponent of density. If they can get it built, good for them.

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