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Huge Cap Records Towers May Be On an Active Fault. Or Not.

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Handel Architects

The enormous Millennium Hollywood project is doomed! Or at least that's what today's front page article in the LA Times would have everyone believe. At issue is whether the recently approved project--which would bring two mixed-use towers (35 and 39 stories) on either side of the Capitol Records building--sits directly on top of the Hollywood fault. If it does, the project could have to be scrapped or changed significantly, since state law prohibits building within 50 feet of a known active fault. And today, the paper announces that the "state geologist has declared that the Hollywood earthquake fault is active and may run directly underneath." Sounds bad, right? But here's what a rep from the state Department of Conservation (which includes the California Geological Survey) told us last month: "In 2010, CGS published its Fault Activity Map for California, which shows the Hollywood Fault as Active and includes the area of the Millennium Hollywood Project." So this isn't exactly news.

The CGS has been working to narrow down that boundary area to determine if it needs further testing before the project can go ahead and is due to finish its report in early 2014. But before the City Council approved the project in July, the city geologist told councilmembers that he had been operating on the assumption that CGS would determine that the site required further testing, which he had already ordered. And there are plenty of active fault lines near the site--check out the Times article if you want to freak yourself out. Millennium, the developer, says that their maps show no faults under the site, but it now seems that one of those maps is outdated and the other is "not intended to be viewed at such a granular level." Which is why the scramble's on now to figure out whether the project (which, again, the city already approved!) can actually be built. This first became an issue when opponents of the project, led by NIMBY lawyer Robert Silverstein, raised concerns at the project's Planning and Land Use Management Committee hearing in June.
· Skyscraper site in Hollywood may sit on active fault, state says [LAT]
· LA Just Approved Two Huge Towers By Capitol Records Building [Curbed LA]