For context on the below public comment that Richard Schave made on 5/14/20, please see our newsletter post, Listen Live As The L.A. Times Project Appeal Hearing Illuminates City Government’s Corrupt Soul.
So, what happened today at the Planning Commission hearing for Times Mirror Square? Fireworks. And not celebratory fireworks, but the kind of explosion that happens when an errant spark falls on the barge and blows the whole enterprise straight to hell.
You can read our blow-by-blow commentary on Facebook, but in short, the Commissioners told Onni Group:
• That their projects suck;
• That the site deserves an architecturally distinguished building;
• That they were disgusted by the lack of affordable housing;
• That offering to donate $1 Million to Pershing Square was stupid;
• That it was their own fault the project wasn’t moving forward;
• That they had no intention of violating the Brown Act for them;
• That they didn’t care if the funding dried up and the project died.
Then they rejected the appeal and continued consideration of the EIR until July 9, when they expect Onni Group to return with a great design and affordable housing component.
It was glorious! We predict Times Mirror Square will soon be on the market again. And William Pereira’s 1973 addition might yet get the thoughtful vertical expansion it deserves.
Public Comment: My name is Richard Schave. I am principal author of the Historic Cultural Monument nomination for Times Mirror Square.
A City Planning staffer threatened me over this work. I have shared this information with the FBI.
I am asking the Commission to accept the appeal and deny the EIR.
I hope you have all read the plea released by the US DOJ yesterday, describing how a private citizen worked with Jose Huizar, serving as the Guiliani to Huizar’s Trump, creating an alternative city planning feedback loop, predicated on bribery, extortion, shell corporations, nepotism, and money laundering.
A principal point of public interface for this criminal enterprise is this Commission.
When I went to Huizar’s City Hall office before the PLUM hearing to speak with staff, I found the FBI had sealed the office. When I asked for a meeting with Huizar’s replacement Marqueece Harris-Dawson before PLUM, his staff told me there was no need to meet, since they intended to follow Huizar’s direction on Times Mirror Square.
PLUM rewrote the landmarking designation for the benefit of developer Onni Group. Yesterday’s RICO filings mention Onni’s $50,000 donation to Jose Huizar’s wife’s PAC.
The City of Los Angeles deserves better. Do the right thing, accept the appeal, deny the EIR.