Asks City Council to Move Forward after Planning Committee Delays Project
Los Angeles— In response to the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee’s (PLUM) decision to delay a proposed sign district around the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) Residential project that has been in process for over eight years, Councilwoman Jan Perry submitted a motion to pull the item out of committee and bring it directly to the City Council for a vote.
“After eight years of hard work and patience, we are finally able to move forward with the Figueroa and Olympic Sign district. That is why I was so deeply disappointed that some members of the PLUM Committee decided to hold the project, delaying it until July 31,” said Councilwoman Perry who has been working with FIDM for well over eight years on the sign district.
“Over 18,000 sq. ft of legally permitted signs have been removed, and the community has benefited from almost $4 million in public benefits. At a time when we are trying to move forward with streamlining our city processes, it is troubling to see a project that has gone through so many hurdles, crossed every ‘t’, and dotted every ‘i’ is now being held up again. It sends the wrong message. It says that our city is not willing to support the growth of our downtown and its educational institutions,” added Perry.
The Figueroa and Olympic Sign District dates back to 2004 and was originally approved by the Planning Commission on December 11, 2008. It was then unanimously recommended for approval by the Planning and Land Use Management Committee February 10, 2009. For the last three years, however, the application has been pending due to the Citywide Signage Ban Ordinance. The City Attorney and City Planning have signed off on the project and it’s in no ready to move forward.
The Figueroa and Olympic Sign District was originally part of the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment District (LASED) Specific Plan, however, the district does not benefit from the signage rights granted under the specific plan but it is subject to all of the requirements and regulations under the Development Agreement and Disposition Agreement with the Community Redevelopment Agency. This has resulted in the Figueroa and Olympic Sign District providing significant public benefits including: a $467,768 Traffic Mitigation Fee, a $634,139 Public Art Fee and a $2.6 million affordable housing fee.
This proposed signage district has also participated in a signage take-down program and has removed 18,573 square feet of lawfully permitted signs. The new sign district proposes a total of 16,761 square feet of sign area which would result in a net reduction of offsite signage.
Councilwoman Perry represents the Ninth Council District, which encompasses the most culturally diverse and vibrant communities in Los Angeles, including Bunker Hill, Little Tokyo, and South Los Angeles