Bass rescinds Garcetti order to light the Hollywood sign

It was possibly the shortest-lived executive directive in the history of Los Angeles City Hall.

Mayor Eric Garcetti quietly signed an executive directive — a regal-sounding act that amounts to an executive order to city officials — on his last day in office for a program to light up the Hollywood sign.

The prospect of lighting the shield has been disputed for decades, and Garcetti’s order immediately caused an uproar in the hilly area near the shield.

Mayor Karen Bass rescinded the order Wednesday, 10 days after Garcetti issued it. Executive policies become effective 15 days after publication in accordance with the City Bylaws.

“I hereby revoke Executive Order No. 36. There is no substitute,” Bass wrote to department heads, according to a copy of the memo reviewed by The Times.

Bass spokesman Zach Seidl said Thursday night that Bass “repealed the order because of concerns about the legality of the order.”

Garcetti’s Dec. 11 directive referenced the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Hollywood sign, originally erected as a temporary advertisement for the development of a new subdivision.

The Hollywood Sign Trust, the nonprofit that maintains the sign, “has been testing new technologies,” and the tests “have shown how new technologies can focus lights and help reduce lights’ effects on wildlife and ambient light on local residents.” decrease,” Garcetti’s order said.

“As the Hollywood Sign’s centenary approaches in the coming months, it seems appropriate to build on this successful effort to illuminate our city’s most iconic landmark,” the order reads.

Garcetti ordered an 18-month pilot program to enable the sign to be illuminated. The ordinance provides for fees for lighting to be paid to the city and states that the sign may not be lit more than six times a year, for no more than three days per lighting.

Local residents have long claimed that lighting the sign causes traffic and safety problems as visitors flock to the area at night to see the illuminated sign, along with potential damage to wildlife.

“We have a neighborhood that’s 100 years old,” said Sarajane Schwartz, a neighborhood resident and former Hollywoodland Homeowners Association. President. “Our infrastructure barely takes care of the needs of the residents here and there is absolutely no tourism or visitor infrastructure.”

Schwartz said neighborhood concerns centered on public safety, particularly fire hazards and narrow, winding streets that are easily made inaccessible by improperly parked cars.

Schwartz enthusiastically praised Bass’ decision, saying, “If you would open a door in our neighborhood [after it was released]I wouldn’t have been surprised if you heard people scream and scream with joy.”

On Tuesday night, the Hollywood United Neighborhood Council held a meeting to discuss Garcetti’s directive. In an email to members, Hollywoodland Homeowners Assn. referred to it as an “emergency” meeting.

Attorney Doug Carstens, representing a Hollywood homeowner, sent a letter to Bass on Wednesday criticizing Garcetti’s “midnight policy,” which he called a “violation of local and state laws.” He also said lighting the sign would be detrimental to wildlife and neighbors, the letter, reviewed by the Times, said.

“The recent tragic death of mountain lion P-22 highlights the need to find more and better ways and means to protect and conserve wildlife in the Hollywood Hills rather than subjecting them to additional stressors and threats,” Carstens wrote.

Travis Longcorean urban ecologist at UCLA who studies the environmental impact of artificial lighting said this is a situation where the environmental impact should probably be analyzed before proceeding.

But, he continued, “the general principle is that we want to reduce the amount of light at night in the city’s wildlife sanctuaries.”

Jeff Zarrinnam, chairman of the Hollywood Sign Trust, told The Times earlier this year that lighting the sign “would be a collaborative effort in partnership with the Trust, the City, which includes elected officials, the general public and the Hollywood Chamber Of the trade.”

Arriving on Thursday, Zarrinnam said he didn’t know why the order had been revoked.

“Now the city may not have a lighted sign for the anniversary,” Zarrinnam said. “I’d like to know why she retracted it.”

Garcetti declined to comment through a representative.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-12-23/mayor-bass-overturns-garcettis-directive-to-light-hollywood-sign Bass rescinds Garcetti order to light the Hollywood sign

Alley Einstein

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