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Shorter Giant Towers Approved For Lots Around Capitol Records

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Big news out of the City Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee meeting just now: the Millennium Hollywood developer has agreed to limit the height of the two towering towers--planned for lots around the Capitol Records building--to 39 and 35 stories. That's down from original maximum heights of 585 and 485 feet, but, says a rep for Millennium, it doesn't change the total square footage of the project, or the proposed number of residential units (492) or hotel rooms (200).* After the height change was announced someone from still-Councilmember Garcetti's office spoke in favor of the project (he'd come out against it during the mayoral campaign), and the committee approved the proposal. But not before community members in attendance had their say.

Lawyer and frequent development opponent Robert Silverstein led the charge against the project, alleging (among other things) that Millennium had falsified a map to hide the fact that the development site is on top of an active earthquake fault, a revelation he called "earth shaking" (we get it!) He produced an assortment of maps and studies to back up the claim, and also called the project "calamitous" and a "55-story tomb on top of an active earthquake fault." (But hey, now it's only a 39-story tomb!)

PLUM committee member Mitch Englander also chimed in, agreeing that there was a seismic threat at the site, but that it was the same threat posed to the entire city. Which was not very reassuring. Jerry Neuman, speaking on behalf of Millennium, said that it was "the most overstudied, overregulated project in the city," and that they had been required to do extensive testing to see if there was a fault on the site and found that there was none. Neuman's take was that there's disagreement in the documentation over the precise location of the fault, but that the site has been sufficiently studied and found to be safe.

Other objections were raised over the traffic implications, impact on emergency service response times, and the fact that Millennium has still not offered an actual plan for what they want to build (renderings are "conceptual")--a point noted by a few Hollywood residents and a rep for the the nearby W Hotel. One speaker, noting the project's similarities to the World Trade Center, worried that Hollywood "attracts tourists and the other t, terrorists," warning that "if you build it, they will come." Ok.

The project next heads to the full City Council, where it's scheduled for a vote on July 24. Which may just give the project's opponents enough time to hire whoever made the Beverly Hills High School/subway disaster video to produce a terrorist earthquake apocalypse fit for Hollywood (seriously, please do this, opponents).
*Updated 10:20pm: The public space component is still being hashed out.
· PLUM Committee agenda (pdf)
· Millennium Hollywood Archives [Curbed LA]