As West Hollywood winds up 2015 the city can count more than a dozen awards that it has received that recognize its initiatives in areas such as planning, public transportation, public parking solutions, public information campaigns and the arts.
“I’m thrilled that the hard work, dedication, and creativity of our city employees has been recognized on local and national levels this year,” said West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey Horvath. “It is an honor to be of service to my community as mayor of West Hollywood, and I want to congratulate everyone whose efforts contributed to these awards.”
The city’s Community Development Department won several awards in 2015. The California Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA CA), which encourages quality in planning and increases the public’s awareness of the planning profession by recognizing outstanding achievement in the planning field, presented the City of West Hollywood with two awards at its annual conference in October:
• The APA CA 2015 Award of Excellence for a Planning Agency to the City of West Hollywood’s Community Development Department;
• The APA CA 2015 Opportunity and Empowerment Award of Excellence for the Courtyard at La Brea.
The APA CA, in praising the City of West Hollywood’s Community Development Department states that it “…embodies all of the criteria of an excellent planning agency. It has produced quality work throughout its 30-year history including long range and current planning programs, policies, and regulations. It takes community outreach and engagement seriously and regularly engages in both conventional and unconventional efforts. The department is also a leader in innovative planning policies, having spearheaded early inclusionary housing, urban design, and green building practices well before they became the norm.”
Independently, the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Planning Association presented West Hollywood with the following honors:
• Award of Excellence for Distinguished Leadership, Planning Agency;
• Award of Merit for Planning Best Practices for the West Hollywood West Neighborhood Overlay and Design Guidelines;
• Award of Excellence for Opportunity and Empowerment for The Courtyard at La Brea, and
• Award of Excellence for Urban Design for the Design District Streetscape Master Plan.
Although it was completed in 2004, the West Hollywood Gateway project was recognized once more by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which, in celebrating 40 years of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) partnerships and successes, presented a Recognition of Excellence award to the city for having transformed a blighted and contaminated five-acre site at the city’s boundary into a pedestrian-friendly, environmentally sensitive destination, which brought retail, dining and other businesses to the community.
The design for the city’s not-yet-constructed Aquatic and Recreation Center at West Hollywood Park, which will be a LEED-certified structure, was recognized by the Long Beach/South Bay Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), which presented a Citation Award to the project’s architect, LPA Inc.
The city’s efforts at providing accessible public transportation were rewarded by the California Association for Coordinated Transportation (CalACT), which recognized the City of West Hollywood for its vision and leadership in public transit with the CalACT 2015 Leadership Award.
CalACT is the largest state transit association in the United States. CalACT is a statewide nonprofit organization that has represented the interests of small, rural, and specialized transportation providers since 1984. Its membership is comprised of individuals and agencies from diverse facets of transportation, including operators of small and large systems, planning and government agencies, social service agencies, suppliers and consultants.
Further acknowledgement and support of the city’s transportation initiatives was received when the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) board awarded funding for two projects to the city: The Melrose Avenue Complete Street Project, which will enhance the pedestrian experience on Melrose Avenue between La Cienega and and San Vicente Boulevards; and for Cityline vehicle replacement, which will allow the city to replace its five existing gasoline-powered vehicles with propane-fueled vehicles.
The Westside Urban Forum presented a Citation Design Award to the city for its Parking Credits Program, an innovative solution to dealing with businesses’ requirements to have a certain allotment of parking spaces available for customers.
The Westside Urban Forum is the premier networking organization dedicated to the land-use dialogue impacting Los Angeles’ Westside. The Westside Prize recognizes projects, programs, policies and academic studies that demonstrate excellence in city-making and community building.
For its outstanding participation in the annual National Night Out crime, drug, and violence prevention program, the city was selected as a National Award Winner by the National Association of Town Watch.
The National Association of Town Watch is the nation’s premiere nonprofit crime-prevention organization, dedicated to the development and promotion of crime prevention in communities across the nation. NATW’s National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live.
The city’s website, www.weho.org, was honored by the National Association of Government Web Professionals (NAGW) with its Members’ Choice Award for City/County Small Population Group (up to 50,000 residents) for outstanding website design and development.
NAGW is a national organization of local and state government web professionals working together to share knowledge, best practices, innovative ideas, and other resources. Members’ Choice Awards are voted upon by NAGW members as the strongest entry in each category.
West Hollywood’s Communications Division was recognized for its creative video campaign, “Alice in WeHoLand,” which has received more than 1.3-million views on YouTube to raise awareness about pedestrian safety, by the Public Relations Society of America, Los Angeles Chapter (PRSA-LA) with its PRism Award for Excellence in the category of Public Education.
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the world’s largest and foremost organization of public relations professionals.
Additionally, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) granted a $10,000 award to the City of West Hollywood to support its One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival in 2016.
The NEA is an independent federal agency that funds, promotes, and strengthens the creative capacity of our communities by providing all Americans with diverse opportunities for arts participation.