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Hollywood Groups Back Petition to Stop Parking Garage Lease Plan

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The battle between the Hollywood Farmers Market and the LA Film School isn't the only neighborhood fight over parking. One controversial vote coming up is whether to turn over nine of the city's garages to a private operator. In anticipation of the vote, the Central Hollywood Neighborhood Council has launched an online petition, railing against the proposal and calling for the protection of three Hollywood garages. This follows a recent Op-Ed written by Leron Gubler, head of the Chamber of Commerce, in the Los Angeles Business Journal. (The Chamber also backs the petition.) Among other things, Gubler argues Hollywood would be disproportionally affected by the parking plan given that so many of the spaces are in that neighborhood.

In his OpEd, he writes: "The proposed lease is front-loaded. Whoever secures it will need to factor in the up-front payment to the city of $53 million, plus the cost to retire the debt of $44.75 million on the Cinerama Dome garage. How can any firm acquire this lease without considering hefty increases in parking rates to pay for its investment?" The chamber also takes issue with this part of the contract: "There is a noncompete requirement in the proposal that would not allow the city to construct new garages within a one-eighth mile of the concession garages."

It's not clear where exactly the city stands now on the issue, but City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said in a Times article last summer that "a private operator could run them more efficiently and more profitably. 'It's the right thing to do and is an effective use of an asset,' Santana said. 'We don't have the capital to invest in our garages.'" Via Kevin McShane
· Save the Hollywood & Highland, the Cineramadome and Cherokee Parking Lots [Online Petition]