Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Target Eyesore in Hollywood: Blame the La Mirada Avenue Neighborhood Association

On the corner of Sunset and St. Andrews, directly across from a bustling Home Depot sits the unfinished Hollywood Target. It's an eyesore. It's a fiasco. And the blame for the construction stoppage falls squarely on one group: The La Mirada Neighborhood Association. This highly litigious organization filed the suit, along with a few other neighborhood groups, that resulted in the cessation of work on the Target retail complex as of August 2014. Their issue is that the building was designed to reach a height of 74 feet, in an area where heights are limited to 35 feet. This is one of many suits brought by these self-proclaimed saviors of Hollywood, who are opposed to growth.

Their supporters talk a lot about the rule of law. They say it's not the size of the structure that's the problem — it's that the city council circumvented existing zoning laws to give special permission to Target. To this, I have two things to say:  YES they did. And THANK YOU, City Council. Sometimes, to make progress, you have to push the limits of a law — sometimes even violate it — to get the change you want. I shudder to think where the civil rights movement would be today without the courageous law-breakers who put their lives on the line toward the goal of changing the law.

The name and tag line of one of La Mirada's sister associations fighting for the same cause is "Save Hollywood." What, the ugly, seedy, wonky, run-down Hollywood of my youth? Back then the old 'hood was low-slung and sprawling with no reason to walk the star-paved boulevard other than the sidewalk itself. Look at it now! We are a pedestrian hub anchored by three glorious metro stops! Help me understand what it is about the old Hollywood you are trying to recapture. Was it the prostitutes or the drug dealers? The graffiti? What.

Sure, La Mirada would like you to blame the city council for the work stoppage. They would like you to blame the mayor. And if by "blame" you mean "give credit where credit is due," then in fact, I do blame the mayor. I blame him for backing projects that are taller and not perpetuating the sprawl L.A. is known for. I blame him for bringing retail shops to the sidewalks instead of pushed back behind an expanse of paved parking lot, creating a more pedestrian-friendly streetscape. I blame him for promoting density and making Hollywood more bike-able. I blame him for improving my neighborhood in numerous ways. Shame on you, Mayor Garcetti! I blame you!

But I'm not going to waste my time pointing fingers. I'm going to spend my energy on fighting to get this development finished. I've written to the mayor's office to ask what I can do to help. A petition? A protest? I’ll jump in with both feet. The La Mirada Neighborhood Association may like to think that they are the voice of the neighborhood, but they do not — DO NOT — speak for me. 


Blogger eatbees said...

I"ve been trying to find contact information for the La Mirada Neighborhood Association so I can give them a piece of my mind (which is how I came here) but I've found NADA, nothing, zilch. I wonder if they even exist.

I moved two blocks away from the unfinished Target a few months ago and I pass it every day, on foot or by car. I've been telling my roommate that it looks like a spanking new commercial center is about to open near us and revitalize our area. It's only just today that I discovered that construction is stalled, and the reason. Thanks, La Mirada! Yeah, 74 feet is way too high for this neighborhood. Thanks for preserving our unique strip mall character! I bet you really live here, right? Come out and show your face so I can tell you what I think.

February 25, 2016 at 12:33 AM  

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