Our Views on Lots 12 and 13
We support the majority of homeowners in the northern section of Beverly Hills, north and south of Santa Monica Boulevard, who are opposed to this project which will allow large office buildings which are not code compliant on the presently green strip of land between Santa Monica Boulevard and South Santa Monica Boulevard.
What Lots 12 and 13 looked like before the owner/developers illegally removed many trees:
There are a row of trees left, and here are views of Lots 12 and 13 look like now.
We are building the website which will include interesting published letters to editor. Here are some:
How come the architectural renderings of the proposed Beverly Hills Creative Offices never show gridlocked traffic on Santa Monica Boulevard or cars idling on Civic Center Drive as their drivers look for a metered parking spot?
I grew up in Newark, NJ, so I know how this goes.
“The fix is in,” and the project will be built.
Beverly Hills insiders will reap finan- cial benefits while the rest of us are left with ugly buildings and traffic jams.
Years later, the FBI may arrest a few people on corruption charges.
One reason residents oppose the crowding of eleven office buildings, depicted in fanciful inaccurate renderings, onto the thin strip of land along Santa Monica Boulevard, is the past underhanded, unlawful, reckless conduct by Lot 12 and 13 owners called the Beverly Hills Land Company.
This land strip has been proven to be contaminated with arsenic from years of prior railroad use, likely due to arsenic soaking of railroad ties and pesticide us- age.
After removal of the railroad, many trees and brush were left on the property. The lot owners knew of the strong resi- dent opposition to removal of trees, 296 residents having signed a petition to pre- vent it. The owners also knew that any tree removal would have to be preceded by proper notices to both the city council and residents, and would also have to be permitted and meet the state health and safety requirements of the Department of Toxic Substance Control.
Nevertheless, with a complete disregard for the residents, city, and applicable toxic substance safety laws, on a Thanksgiving weekend back in 2015, without proper notice to the city council or the residents, without a permit, and without following state DTSC precautions to protect public health, the lot owners hired 24 unqualified workers, who were not trained in hazardous substance handling, to remove about 100 trees in one day. No precautions were taken such as the soil being wetted down to prevent the spreading of toxic dust or the air being monitored to assure safe conditions. Not only did the owners inten- tionally disregard the interests and health of the residents, the owners also exposed the untrained workers to health and safety risks in violation of Cal/OSHA.
The conduct of the Beverly Hills Land Company and their swift, surreptitious, unsafe illegal eradication of about 100 trees and brush, came as a great unset- tling, unbelievable, and disturbing shock to nearby residents as well as the DTSC and the city council.
As set forth in an October 2016 report by Parent Smith Investigations, during the investigation into the owners’ wrongdo- ing, the individual owners who comprise the Beverly Hills Land Company would only allow their interviews to be taken in the presence of their attorneys and refused to allow their interviews to be recorded in any manner.
Sometimes, and as we have seen recently with the mixed use ordinance, conduct by our city officials is so incomprehensible that we are left wondering whether they are incompetent or just corrupt. And so it was with this situation in which city staff members who no longer work for the city engaged in conduct described as slop- py or deceptive and failed to assure prop- er notice to the city council and residents, failed to check the lot owners’ counsel’s misrepresentation that they were no longer required to comply with DTSC requirements, and staff even made false claims of their own. The investigators concluded, very politely, that members of the city staff were more focused on accommodating and pleasing the developer owner of the contaminated land than meeting their duties and responsibilities to the residents and the city council.
The DTSC representative recommended legal action against the owners, but one was not pursued because the DTSC did not have the resources for costly legal actions.
Now these owners want a big favor from the city: an extremely lucrative re- zoning of the low cost contaminated land from transportation use such as parking, to commercial office building use, with permission to over-build on the strip, in return for the donation of the less choice parcel of contaminated land.
Aside from other reasons to reject this project, many residents feel very strongly that these owners have shown us who they are. They have ignored the law and inter- ests of residents and the city; they have destroyed 100 trees and brush; they have sabotaged the health and safety of many others; and they do not deserve rezoning which would yield them millions of dollars in profit.
More Things Beverly Hills Does Not Need:
Another overpriced handbag.
Another row of “Valet Only” parking spaces.
Another empty office building.
The recent proposal for a “boxcar” like office building stretching from Doheny to Civic Center Drive in an effort to commercialize one of the last open green spaces in the City of Beverly Hills seems wildly inappropriate. Set aside the fact that there is no “need” for more office space, in fact, as COVID-19 has taught all of us, we can work at home and still be productive. Office space for every worker will go the way of the casual handshake. A relic of the past.
What is particularly appalling about this proposal is how it would “deface” the lower entry into the City of Beverly Hills. Above at Sunset Boulevard, traveling west , when you cross the city line you enter a green oasis. You know you have entered someplace special. A bit like Dorothy opening the door to the green of The Emerald City. That is the impression when entering from Sunset.
At Santa Monic Boulevard we have the same opportunity. Entering the city traveling west, when you cross Doheny, to the right you have the fountains and roses of Beverly Gardens Park to greet you. The current undeveloped green strip of railroad right of way offers a unique opportunity to mirror the bucolic, park-like setting on the south side. This is an opportunity to preserve and protect what is unique about Beverly Hills, a city that values luxury and the natural beauty of nature.
No matter which door Dorothy opens to enter the Emerald City, it needs to be green.
I am a resident of Beverly Hills and am deeply troubled at the prospect of the oversized planned development of Lots 12 and 13 that is being considered for the City of Beverly Hills.
The City of Beverly Hills has an obligation to serve its citizens and to maintain our quality of life and the beauty and functionality of our chosen city. The development of Lots 12 and 13 will greatly diminish both the quality and beauty of our living space and will dramatically increase the traffic along Santa Monica Boulevard, Carmelita, and Elevado in addition to the many cross streets in the Flats of Beverly Hills. The development will create an ugly and offensive wall along Santa Monica Boulevard, a wall that violates the privacy of my and my neighbors’ precious property and homes.
I strongly object to this development and ask that the city council reconsider their plans for our beautiful city. I trust that their goal of protecting our privacy, level of traffic and the beauty of our shared city will lead to concluding that this development must be halted immediately.
Leonard and Stella Kleinrock