It's another edition of Neighborhood Council Dispatch, wherein Curbed and its correspondents sit for hours at neighborhood council board meetings to bring back the first word of what changes are afoot in the area. Your reports from the field always encouraged to the tipline.
The Hollywood United Neighborhood Council held a meeting last night to calmly discuss the proposed preferential parking district (PPD) for Canyon Drive. The verbal sparring started almost immediately when one gent with a backwards "Birds" cap (he might have been the owner) decried the lack of fairness by the Neighborhood Council board in making the issue solely about residents and not about businesses, too. Representatives from Councilman LaBonge's office (CD4) and from the Department of Transportation showed up to answer questions and listen to residents bitch for nearly two hours - the meeting was originally scheduled to last one hour. By the end of the first hour, and despite pleas to not make it a class warfare issue, most people in the audience booed and hissed at homeowners on Canyon Drive who showed up to plead their case. The hissing and cat calls reached a crescendo when one homeowner, who supported the PPD, took the mic to complain that he had nowhere to park his four cars and couldn't fit them in his driveway.
--The homeowners argued that the PPD wasn't designed to block renters from parking on the street, but was their last resort to stop the paparazzi from camping out on the street and then driving like mad men whenever Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie exited their home.
--The homeowners also cited prostitution, littering, loitering and random gun fire blowing out people's car windows as other reasons for the PPD.
--Renters noted the general lack of parking in the area, which would only be worsened by a PPD.
--Renters also noted that parking isn't a way to fight crime and the homeowners should call the police when they have a problem.
--30 to 40 people spoke at the meeting, with most homeowner comments ending in a verbal fight with someone in the audience.
--Several people in the audience stated the paparazzi issue was just a smokescreen - a problem created by the rich homeowners - to keep working class renters from parking on the street.
--The Council Office was asked to look into other parking alternatives before taking away parking from the neighborhood. Suggestions included building a parking structure in the empty lot on the opposite side of Franklin Avenue from the Mayfair Market, undoing old parking restrictions, knocking down a crappy old craftsman house, using empty parking lots at the Hollywood Presbyterian Church and the Courthouse, and one guy suggested bulldozing the Scientology Celebrity Center.
--No resolution was reached, however the planned vote on the PPD scheduled for this Wednesday before the City Council has been scrubbed. Back to the drawing board, kids!