Click play, then follow along with our live commentary on this hearing here.
Taix French Restaurant is a beloved Echo Park landmark that has become the poster child for how billionaire developers continue to corrupt Los Angeles City Hall–even while multiple councilmen and civil servants are facing RICO charges or have confessed to taking bribes.
Unindicted CD13 councilman Mitch O’Farrell has done some crazy stuff to L.A.’s historic preservation ordinance for the benefit of Trump mega donor Clyde Holland’s Taix demolition scheme, declaring a few insignificant bits of salvage to be “a protected landmark.” O’Farrell’s actions set a disturbing precedent, make a mockery of one of the nation’s oldest and strongest preservation laws, and have infuriated his constituents–some of whom have sued the city!
Taix owner Mike Taix, who lives in Utah, provides obfuscation to what should be a simple matter, with his claim that it is his failing business that needs to be “saved” by demolishing the building. But there is no Legacy Business program in Los Angeles, and retention of business use is not mentioned anywhere in the historic preservation ordinance that Mitch O’Farrell has weaponized in the service of demolition.
Here is video of the first in a series of public hearings, in which developer Holland Partner Group seeks to justify its request to avoid an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) as required under CEQA, upzone the parcel, eliminate parking, provide no infrastructure upgrades to the already crowded roads and otherwise profit far in excess of what is legally allowed or good for the community.
Their highly paid team of attorneys, architects, lobbyists and obviously hired callers occupy the dark side of the playing board, along with the forces within City Hall that grease the wheels every time a councilman signals special interest in a development.
But the light side of the board is far more crowded and convincing, packed with passionate Angelenos who love Taix, care about the Echo Park community and have had enough of the gaslighting claims that these lousy projects–many of which are filled with empty, overpriced units or illegally rented by the night–are doing anything to address the housing crisis or make this city anything but worse. They are worth listening to!
To learn more about why the Taix project is such a big deal, and how you can get involved in saving it, see these links:
• Let’s Talk Taix: The Most Interesting Historic Preservation Battle in a Generation
• Silver Lake Heritage Trust’s Writ Of Mandate