‘Major issues’ surface at TV City development, opponents say

| September 28, 2023 | 0 Comments

A document setting forth “several egregious issues” for an expansion project at Television City at Fairfax Avenue and Beverly Boulevard was recently unearthed by people opposed to the project.

The 46-page TVC 2050 proposed Specific Plan “rewrites” height limits in the municipal code, includes a maximum of 10 liquor licenses and would prevent the public from appealing the project.

“They’re not following the rules,” Shelley Wagers and Danielle Peters, co-chairs of Neighbors for Responsible TVC Development, told us. The developer, Hackman Capital Partners, “has made a very big point of [building] a 21st century studio, when in fact the Specific Plan leaves the door very, very wide open to many other uses,” the co-chairs added.

DEVELOPER FOR THE project says it plans to continue a robust community outreach program. Above, a rendering of part of the Hackman Capital Partners’ TVC 2050 proposal.

Mega-large in scope, if approved, the TVC 2050 development would be nearly 1.875 million square feet of new space on the Television City property.

The City Planning Dept. and the developer maintain that the developer-suggested draft Specific Plan has been in the case file all along and available to the public.

Yet, it’s curious that even a prominent Los Angeles law firm could not find the proposed Specific Plan, Wagers and Peters said.

“There is absolutely no clarity as to what the actual project is,” the attorney at Latham & Watkins LLP wrote in a Sept. 13, 2022 letter to the Los Angeles City Planning Dept. The law firm represents The Grove.

The attorney’s letter was among more than 400 comment letters submitted last year when the city circulated the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for TVC 2050 for public review.

“The DEIR makes clear that the project is essentially the establishment of a Specific Plan, but the Specific Plan is not included in the DEIR,” the Latham & Watkins letter continued.

The letter’s author did receive the newly discovered materials on Aug. 28, 2023, after a second request was made to the Planning Dept. under the California Public Records Act.

Hackman Capital says:

Hackman Capital Partners responded in an email that “as part of the entitlement process, a draft specific plan was submitted to the Department of City Planning in 2021. Since that time, the draft specific plan has continued to be refined concurrently with the environmental review process to allow comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) to be reflected in the updated draft specific plan ordinance, including giving all members of the community the right to appeal. It should be noted that all versions of the draft specific plan are consistent with the application materials and plans, Initial Study and Draft EIR. All of the elements of the specific plan that could have physical impacts on the environment were fully disclosed in the DEIR. The refined specific plan will be published along with the Final EIR.

“There will be no night clubs at TVC, and alcohol permits are common studio amenities.

“Alcohol sales, service and consumption are routinely regulated in specific plans, as seen in Paramount Studios Specific Plan and NBC Universal Specific Plan. The TVC Specific Plan includes this use to address studio needs and support neighborhood serving retail uses.

“Again, the TVC team is fully committed to maintaining a robust community outreach program, listening to and responding to community feedback throughout this process and beyond. As the process moves forward, we are committed to continuing to refine the draft specific plan to address community concerns.”

Neighbors for Responsible TVC Development say:

EXISTING television city property at the southeast corner of Beverly and Fairfax is the subject of great controversy because of a developer’s “TVC 2050” up-zoning proposal.
Imagery ©2023 Google, Imagery ©2023 CNES / Airbus, Maxar Technologies, U.S. Geological
Survey, USDA/FPAC/GEO, Map data ©2023 Google

The opposition contends that the proposed Specific Plan has provisions that did not appear in the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), the official document that formed the basis for public review. A great concern is that the proposal deprives the public of its customary right to appeal planning decisions regarding the project.

The newly discovered proposal replaces key definitions of the Los Angeles Municipal Code with definitions that understate the height and mass of the proposed development.

It includes 10 liquor licenses to serve alcohol until 2 a.m. — far more licenses than those used by standard studio operations and longer hours than those granted to neighboring restaurants, bars, and hotels.

It includes such uses as indoor / outdoor nightclubs and concerts featuring amplified sound, lights, and special effects.

When the Final EIR is made available — no date has been set — a new public comment process is expected to begin, and the project will be reviewed by the City Planning Commission, City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee and the full City Council.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Real Estate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *