In a letter to the community on Saturday, December 17, the SayNoHPOZ group opposing the proposed Miracle Mile HPOZ announced that it has sent a letter to the Los Angeles City Attorney, protesting the voting process at a December 8 City Planning Commission hearing on the preservation measure. At the CPC hearing, an initial vote on the HPOZ ended in a 4-4 tie. After further discussion, however, a second vote was taken, which resulted in a 5-3 vote in favor of the HPOZ, which now sends the measure to the City Council PLUM Committee for consideration.
However, SayNoHPOZ is contending that the second CPC vote on December 8, which was requested by CPC President David Ambroz, violated the CPC’s bylaws. The bylaws, the group contends, say a re-vote can only be requested by someone on the winning side of an initial vote. According to the SayNoHPOZ letter, the initial 4-4 vote meant that the HPOZ did NOT win endorsement, and because Ambroz voted in favor of the measure in the first vote, he was not on the winning side of that vote and, thus, not allowed to request a second vote. The letter states:
According to the City Planning Commission’s Bylaws Rule 22, “The Commission may reconsider and amend its action on items listed on the agenda if that reconsideration takes place immediately following the original action, or at the next regular meeting. Any item reconsidered and continued to the next regular meeting for purposed of amending or altering and action shall be considered at the meeting. A motion to reconsider shall be made by a member who had previously voted on the prevailing side.”
The second vote was called by the Commission President Mr. Ambroz, who voted ‘FOR’ the HPOZ. However, the 4-4 vote meant that the initial motion FAILED, thus the ‘PREVAILING’ side was the side that voted ‘NO’. Because the initial motion failed, President Ambroz had not voted on the PREVAILING side, and therefore did not have authority to call for a second vote, he was not on the prevailing side.
As a result, the letter continues, “It is our position that the second December 8th vote is illegitimate and must be vacated in favor of the original 4-4 vote which resulted in the HPOZ motion failing.”
Jim O’Sullivan, president of the Miracle Mile Residential Association, which supports the proposed HPOZ, told the Buzz that he does not agree with SayNoHPOZ’s assessment. “When we left [the CPC hearing] the vote was 5 to 3 in favor of approving the HPOZ and that is what will go to [the City] Council,” Sullivan said.
According to SayNoHPOZ’s letter, the City Attorney’s office has not yet responded. As of this writing, neither SayNoHPOZ nor City Council Member David Ryu’s office had responded to the Buzz’s requests for further comment.
In addition to the letter to the City Attorney’s office, SayNoHPOZ also recently opposed the first draft of a Preservation Plan for the proposed HPOZ. That protest resulted in a rewrite of the document, a second draft of which was released just before the CPC hearing. Among the revisions in the second draft are adjustments to the HPOZ boundaries, removal of some previous restrictions (such as paint colors), and more specific language regarding items such as fences, windows, additions and more. (A mark-up version of the Plan, highlighting the specific changes, is available here.)