Aside from pointing out “the breakneck speed at which the EIR and the Project approvals are being processed by the City, and the sudden and very recent shift from the Project as described in the Draft EIR to Alternative 8”, the appeal emphasizes several important truths:
- “The Project will add thousands of additional daily trips to the short segment of Argyle Avenue from Hollywood Boulevard to the 101 Freeway, which is already heavily congested during much of the day.”
- “The Draft EIR for the Project was issued on April 16, 2020 for a 45-day public comment period ending on June 1, 2020. The City refused to extend the public comment period despite numerous requests for an extension from various interested parties. The City then held a public hearing on the VTTM and related applications for the Project on August 26, 2020, even though the Final EIR had yet to be released to the public (and despite the fact that the hearing notice specifically stated that testimony would be taken on the Final EIR during the public hearing). The Final EIR was subsequently released on September 3, 2020 (8 days after the public hearing). The Final EIR included significant new information, including a substantial amount of new information regarding Project Alternative 8 (including plans and a new traffic assessment). The Advisory Agency then approved the VTTM and certified the EIR just 11 days later on September 14, 2020 – which was the earliest possible date on which the Advisory Agency could lawfully take such action.”
- “After public notice was given of the availability of the Draft EIR for public comment and prior to certification of the Final EIR by the Advisory Agency, new information was added to the EIR that changed the EIR in a way that deprived the public of a meaningful opportunity to comment upon a substantial adverse environmental effect of the Project (i.e., Alternative 8) or a feasible way to mitigate or avoid such an effect. The new information includes, among other things, a new traffic assessment for Alternative 8 which indicates that Alternative 8 will generate even more traffic than the Project as proposed in the Draft EIR, and new development plans for Alternative 8 that include additional and reconfigured loading areas that would be accessed via the public alley. Consequently, the EIR must be recirculated for public comment pursuant to CEQA Guideline section 15088.5.”
- The traffic assessment of the Project is incomplete and does not comply with the current LADOT Transportation Assessment Guidelines (TAG) for non-CEQA components inasmuch as it fails to include an evaluation of Project Access, Safety and Circulation (e.g., Volume/Capacity and/or queuing analysis) for Alternative 8.”
The City Planning Commission is scheduled to discuss the project appeals including ours on Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.
Check out our News & Vital Docs page for details on participating and listening to the meeting.
Stay tuned for more and as always, your support in this fight is needed! We are all in this together.