Verizon Wireless Towers on Colorado Terrace (new info added)
What you can do: Write an email to Ondrea Tye, email@example.com, Greg Shoop, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Michael LoGrande email@example.com at the Department of City Planning, referencing the case number, APCE-2014-2301-SPE-SPP. CC your email to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Meetings you can attend: Tuesday, Sept. 15, ERNC Land Use and Special Board Meetings, 7:00 PM at Eagle Rock City Hall, 2035 Colorado Blvd., and Tuesday, Sept. 29, Hearing Officer for the East Los Angeles Area Planning Commission Hearing, 10:00 AM, Los Angeles City Hall, 200 N. Spring Street, Room 1020.
This application is in the Colorado Boulevard Specific Plan area, which limits the height of buildings. Verizon (and the building owner) want to add wireless antennas and enclosures to the top of Colorado Terrace, which is permitted to be 60.5 feet tall , already higher than the maximum of 55 feet in the Specific Plan. The cell towers would make it even taller (about 75 feet), but that requires an Exception from the Colorado Boulevard Specific Plan, a process involving high fees and public input.
In the summer of 2014, Verizon intended to seek just such a Specific Plan Exception for height; but, according to Verizon, the Los Angeles Department of City Planning employees who are in charge of enforcing the Colorado Boulevard Specific Plan worked with them to get their cell towers another way, via a Conditional Use Permit, a less expensive option that would avoid the Specific Plan entirely. Verizon’s application claimed that (a) a weather vane on top of the building was taller than the proposed structures, so they weren’t really increasing the height of the building, and (2) the building was higher than its permitted height anyway, because the developer violated the 60.5 feet extension he was granted, and according to Verizon’s measurements, the cell towers would be lower than the existing (illegal) height.
However: When Verizon appeared before the Land Use and Planning Committee of the ERNC, this attempt at skirting the Specific Plan was questioned. And when the ERNC asked those same Planning Department employees to explain what was going on, the Conditional Use Permit case was immediately revoked, and a new Specific Plan Exception case subsequently filed.
This new Specific Plan Exception case should have generated a new application, which should have been sent to the ERNC and brought before the community for input. But it wasn’t.
Instead, this case is going straight to a hearing downtown, where the same Planning Department employees who attempted to help Verizon originally will be making a recommendation on Verizon’s case to the East Area Planning Commission.
As a result, the ERNC has had to schedule a Special Board Meeting to make sure that input from Eagle Rockers is attached to the case file. A representative from Verizon will present the updated project at our Land Use and Planning Committee meeting on Sept. 15, and the full board will vote on the issue later in the evening.
We have asked the Planning Department to postpone the Sept. 29 hearing, due to the lack of legally-required public notice. We have received no response.