West Hollywood’s City Council voted unanimously Monday night to create an Eastside Advisory Board to develop a community plan to address issues such as economic development, traffic and safety on that part of the city between Fairfax and La Brea avenues.
The new 15-member advisory board is being created at the recommendation of the soon-to-be dissolved nine-member Eastside Task Force, which said there are longterm needs on the Eastside which need to be addressed. The board will hold public forums, open houses and other events to get community input.
“The Eastside is right on the cusp of so much change,” said Rob Bergstein, a member of the Eastside Task Force. “It’s about making the Eastside a destination.”
While city staff members suggested the group focus a large part of its attention on land use, the council was opposed to that idea.
“We just got through completing our general plan [which guides development in the city],” said Councilmember John Heilman. “I don’t want to see this group just redo the general plan for the Eastside.”
Instead, the council decided it to wanted to see a multi-faceted group that sets its own goals, saying the Eastside residents know better than anyone else what the needs are in the area.
“Let the group decided on its scope,” said Mayor Abbe Land.
In 1996, the city formed the Eastside Project Area Committee (PAC) to provide input about redevelopment plans to the city’s then new redevelopment agency. While the PAC was viewed as successful, offering input on many areas beyond redevelopment, it was dissolved in 2012 when the state mandated that redevelopment agencies across California be dissolved.
The City Council then created an Eastside Task Force, intended as a short-term group to address lingering Eastside issues. After meeting seven times, the Task Force decided the long-term Advisory Board was needed.
While city staff was recommending calling it the Eastside Working Group since it would be charged with creating a community plan, Councilmember John Duran said it should be called the Eastside Advisory Board since council wants the group to set its own agenda.
Members of the Advisory Board will be appointed in the coming months. People interested in serving on the board should contact the city clerk’s office at (323) 848-6400.