(In)elegant Density: Hollywood Farmers Market Fight Still Not About Parking
Parking has been the red herring brought up over and over during the still-simmering fight between the LA Film School and the Hollywood Farmers Market. We've said it before, and we'll say it again: This is NOT a minor scuffle about parking. This is an all-out land-use war, and the market's biggest enemy may not be the film school, but Department of Public Works regulations and city councilmembers like Eric Garcetti.
The LA Film School wants to expand its curriculum and event calendar to Sundays, which would require complete access to roads and sidewalks surrounding the facility. As Simone Wilson notes in The Informer's latest update, Garcetti has long been a proponent of "elegant density," i.e. squeezing as many developers onto one block as possible even if it means exempting outsize projects from certain regulations with a "density bonus."
When we checked in on the situation in late December, the Hollywood Farmers Market had been granted a 90-day extension that would allow the market to remain open on Sundays but no final deal had been reached. This was after Garcetti claimed triumphantly on "This Way LA" (Dec. 17) that a compromise had been reached then sent out a sheepish press release the following day -- with an empty space where the Film School's signature should have gone.
Since then, things haven't gotten any better, according to Wilson. Though Garcetti says he wants to live in a city where he can stroll from the market to the theater to a subway station to his home, he supported new street-closure regulations passed in September 2009, requiring 51 percent of businesses on each block to give their permission. Those same regulations are what's driving the Hollywood Farmers Market off the streets around Vine and Ivar.
Sure, Eric Garcetti's still grinning like the politician that he is, he must know his vision for urban overlap has wedged him between a high-rise and a hard place.
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