For Immediate Release
THE BIG QUESTION: WHAT’S THE RUSH???
The Los Angeles City Council is scheduled to take up the Millennium project tomorrow, Wednesday, July 24th. The council meeting starts at 10 a.m.
Opponents are expecting to show up in droves to fight the giant development project – one million square feet, costing three-quarters of a billion dollars. Two high-rise buildings – 35 and 39 stories tall.
Monday the opponents obtained a huge amount of highly favorable media coverage with their disclosure that two state agencies have raised troubling questions about the project’s seismic safety.
- The California state geologist, Dr. John Parrish, warned the city council that it should consider delaying the project until the California Geologic Survey (CGS) completed a detailed study of the Hollywood Fault. Several prior scientific studies have shown that the fault runs right through the Millennium property. If confirmed by the CGS study, the developer could not build on the fault – or within 50 feet of it.
- Additionally, the opponents revealed that that a state licensing board had opened an investigation of the two geologists used by Millennium for its seismic studies. The investigation was prompted by the opponents who alleged that the Millennium geologists had falsified their reports to mislead the public and the city council about the proximity of the project to the Hollywood fault.
City Council President Herb Wesson has refused the opponents’ requests to cancel tomorrow’s council deliberations. The opponents have argued that the council cannot act intelligently, prudently or legally until the questions raised by the state geologist and the licensing board are resolved. But Wesson seems ready to “damn the torpedoes” and proceed with the hearing anyway.
All eyes will also be on Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, Hollywood’s new lawmaker, to see how he handles this first big test of his leadership. Will he stand with the 40 community groups city-wide that oppose the project or with the New York City developer and his band of high-paid lobbyists.
The developer and his agents have issued prepared statements trying to smooth over the controversy created by these startling disclosures but have refused to answer reporters’ questions. The developer-team’s decision to go into hiding stands in stark contrast to the opponents’ who held a lengthy news conference where they answered every question poked at them by the media in an extraordinary display of confidence in their cause and commitment to transparency.
The opponents’ will be led by attorney Robert P. Silverstein who has consistently fought City Hall abuses and secrecy.
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