I have been a resident of West Hollywood for 25 years and I am currently a candidate for West Hollywood City Council. But I am writing this article not as a candidate, but as a resident of our city for a quarter of a century.
If there is only one good thing that comes from this city election on March 7, other than my joining our City Council, I wish for it to be that our council LISTEN to our residents. There is, right now, a great disconnect between the council and the residents of the city they serve. And so I ask the council to pause and LISTEN to our neighbors.
Most commonly, over the last decade or so we see this great disconnect with regard to the discussion centered around overdevelopment.
I will give you the most recent example of just such disconnect. Last week I had the opportunity to meet with the architects, developers and city planner involved in a new project proposed on Corey Avenue. Currently there is a lovely, single-family home on this parcel where the developer is proposing to raze the property and build a six-unit building with underground parking and a large metal fire escape on the exterior of the property. The only residents who attended this community meeting were a senior couple who reside in their home on that street.
Now this is EXACTLY the type of development to which the vast majority of our residents are opposed. By the time this proposed project comes before the council for approval, it will be too late to address any major concerns. Our neighbors will come and rail against the council and beg them not to approve the project but the council will, indeed, approve it regardless. And they will say that the council must approve it legally because the zoning ordinances and the minimum density requirements mandate that they do so. And they will be right in their response. Where the council gets it wrong is where they do not listen to the residents, pause for self-reflection and address the problem.
To me the answer is SIMPLE. We must address the roots of the problem. We need to change the city’s zoning ordinances and change the minimum density requirements so that we do not find ourselves in this exact same position week after week as we have for the last decade.
All the council needs to do is LISTEN to the residents and be our voice in deciding these issues. The council members need to speak for us, and not the developers, as they are all elected to do. If I am elected to be your City Council member that is exactly what I will do. I will listen to my neighbors and be our voice on the council.
Thank you for listening!
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