During an election season fraught with allegations that canvassers are misrepresenting the issues on the ballot, the West Hollywood West Residents Association has called out campaigners for the Arts Club project for claiming that one of their backers is an association member.
“The West Hollywood West Residents Association strenuously objects to our implied support for a ‘Yes on B’ campaign mailer that you may have received recently,” the neighborhood association has posted on Facebook. “The mailer prominently lists Donald Deluccio as a supporter of this measure and credits him as being affiliated with the West Hollywood West Residents Association.
“Mr. Deluccio is neither on the board of WHWRA nor does he live in the West Hollywood West neighborhood. Furthermore, the West Hollywood West Residents Association is a 501c non-profit neighborhood advocacy organization and we do not, and cannot, endorse political candidates or campaigns.
“The unauthorized use of our organization’s name for the benefit of a political and commercial interest is unconscionable, unethical and invites questions about other claims of support.”
Deluccio responded to an inquiry from WEHOville, saying he hadn’t expected to have been identified that way. “Although I was very active in West Hollywood West for years, I assumed that I would have been identified as former Planning Commission Chair. No matter of identification titles, I am a stronger supporter of Measure B and think it will help in the continued revitalization of the Sunset Strip.”
Steve Afriat, a spokesperson for the “Yes on Measure B” campaign, questioned the WHWRA’s complaint about the mailer.
“On behalf of the ‘Yes on Measure B’ campaign, we are perplexed by the response to this mailing,” he said. “Mr. Deluccio is, in fact, a former president of the West Hollywood West Residents Association and that is how he was listed. The brochure clearly says that titles are for identification purposes only.
“Perhaps those who are upset about this simply don’t agree with our position, but they should not use righteous indignation and a 501 C-3 entity to weigh in on this ballot measure. It’s also disappointing that they would diminish Mr. Deluccio’s leadership and many years of service to this community. As this brochure rightfully points out, Measure B has broad community support.”
Measure B will reaffirm the City Council’s vote last year to approve changes in zoning and the Sunset Strip Specific Plan to allow construction of a 120,000-square-foot building on the lot on Sunset at Hilldale Avenue where the Hustler sex accessories store now sits. In addition to the members-only Arts Club, It will include a restaurant, a lounge, a supper club, guest rooms for club members and a rooftop pool area as well as retail space and a public art gallery and performance rehearsal space. Ten of the guest rooms will be rented out as hotel rooms. The building is designed by architect Andy Cohen of Gensler.
The Arts Club has agreed to provide $13.5 million in benefits to the city. That includes the art gallery and rehearsal space and a staff to maintain it, which it values at $10.1 million, a contribution to city arts programs of $1.25 million over 10 years and an additional $1 million contribution to the city.
Unite Here Local 11, the restaurant and hotel workers union, organized a petition drive to put the Council’s approval of the Arts Club on the March 5 ballot in the hopes that residents would vote to reject it. The union has argued that the project is a major repudiation of the Sunset Specific Plan. Steve Martin, a former City Council member who is opposed to the project, has argued that the property could have been better used for housing and that the city