This may have been the shortest-lived executive order in the history of Los Angeles City Hall.
On his final day in office, Mayor Eric Garcetti quietly signed an executive order for a program to light up the Hollywood sign.
The possibility of lighting the sign has been controversial for decades, and Garcetti’s orders soon caused an uproar on the hillside near the sign.
Mayor Karen Bass rescinded the order Wednesday, 10 days after Garcetti issued it. According to the city charter, the executive order takes effect 15 days after he is issued.
“I hereby withdraw Executive Order No. 36. There is no substitute for it,” Bass wrote to the department head, according to a copy of the memo seen by The Times.
Bass spokesman Zach Seidl said Thursday night that Bass “cancelled the order due to concerns about the legality of the order.”
Garcetti’s directive, issued December 11, marks the 100th anniversary of the Hollywood Sign.
The Hollywood Sign Trust, the nonprofit that maintains the sign, said it “tested new technology” and said the test “concentrated lighting to better understand the impact of lighting on wildlife and the impact of ambient light on local residents.” We’ve demonstrated that it can help with mitigation,” Garcetti ordered. He said.
“As we approach the 100th anniversary of the Hollywood Sign in the coming months, it seems fitting to build on these successful efforts to illuminate our city’s most famous landmark.
Garcetti has ordered an 18-month pilot program to allow the lighting of the sign. This order provides that the City shall pay the fees associated with lighting, and that he shall not light a sign more than three days per lighting and six times a year. says.
Residents have long argued that illuminated signs pose traffic and safety problems.Visitors flock to the area at night to see illuminated signs, which can harm wildlife. It is from
“We have a 100-year-old residential neighborhood,” said Sarajan Schwartz, a neighbor and former Hollywoodland Homeowners Asun. “Our infrastructure barely meets the needs of the residents here, and there is no tourist or visitor infrastructure at all.”
Schwartz said neighborhood concerns center around public safety, especially fire hazards and narrow, winding streets that make illegally parked cars inaccessible.
Schwartz enthusiastically praised Bass’ decision, saying, “If you could open the door to our neighborhood, [after it was released], I wouldn’t have been surprised to hear people screaming happily. ”
On Tuesday night, the Hollywood United Neighborhood Council held a special meeting to discuss Garcetti’s directive. In an email to members, Hollywoodland Homeowners Assn. called it an “emergency” meeting.
Doug Carstens, an attorney representing Hollywood homeowners, sent a letter to Bass on Wednesday criticizing Garcetti’s “midnight instructions” and saying he found it “a violation of local and state laws.” According to a letter seen by The Times, he also said the lighting on the billboards would have a negative impact on wildlife and nearby residents.
“The recent tragic death of the Mountain Lion P-22 is a call to find more and better ways and means to protect and protect the wildlife of the Hollywood Hills, rather than exposing them to new stressors and threats. ,” Carstens writes.
travis longcoreAn urban ecologist at UCLA, who studies the environmental impact of artificial light, said this was a situation that probably needed to be analyzed for environmental impact before moving forward.
But he continues, “The general principle is that we want to reduce the amount of nighttime light in urban wildlife areas.
Jeff Zarinnam, chairman of the Hollywood Sign Trust, told The Times earlier this year that lighting the sign “will be a collaborative effort in partnership with the trust, elected officials, the public and the city, including the Hollywood Chamber.” said. Commercial. ”
Zarrinnam, who arrived on Thursday, said he did not know why the order was canceled.
“Currently, the city may not be lighting up memorial day signs. I’d be interested to know why she took it down.”
Garcetti declined to comment through a representative.
This story was originally published in the Los Angeles Times.