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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
Los Angeles County, CA March 8, 2005 Election
Measure BeverlyHills---A
Beverly Hills Gardens Specific Plan
City of Beverly Hills

4,482 / 53.5% Yes votes ...... 3898 / 46.5% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Information shown below: Official Information | Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall Resolution No. 11688, a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Beverly Hills amending the Beverly Hills General Plan by changing the land use map designation for that real property located at 203-221 Canon Drive/202-240 Beverly Drive (the "Beverly Hills Gardens Specific Plan Area") from low-density commercial to Specific Plan and adopting the Beverly Hills Gardens Specific Plan, be adopted?

Official Sources of Information
Impartial Analysis from Laurence Wiener, City Attorney
Measure A is a referendum on Beverly Hills City Council Resolution No. 11688. Resolution No. 11688 adopts the Beverly Hills Gardens Specific Plan and amends the General Plan land use map to designate the Beverly Hills Gardens Specific Plan Area. State law requires that this resolution be submitted to the voters because a valid referendum petition has been filed.

A Specific Plan is a land use regulation governing all or part of a City. The Beverly Hills Gardens Specific Plan covers seven parcels on Beverly Drive and seven parcels on Canon Drive in the first block north of Wilshire Boulevard. The addresses of these parcels are 202-240 North Beverly Drive and 203-221 North Canon Drive. The six northerly parcels in the Specific Plan area are owned by the City of Beverly Hills Parking Authority and the eight southerly parcels are privately owned.

The Beverly Hills Gardens Specific Plan would replace the existing development regulations for the Specific Plan area, which generally allow three stories of commercial development in the Specific Plan area. Instead, the Specific Plan would provide for the following development:

(1) The six publicly owned parcels will include a 33,000 square foot public gardens operated by the City and a three story municipally owned building. The building will be approximately 37 feet wide and cover the entrances to the underground parking garage. The second and third floors of the building will be devoted to commercial uses and the first floor of the building will be devoted to garage driveways and pedestrian-oriented uses facing the gardens.

(2) The eight privately owned parcels will include a 214 room luxury hotel and 25 condominiums. The hotel will contain banquet rooms totaling approximately 8,700 square feet, a spa, and ground-floor retail, restaurant and lounge uses. The hotel building will be eight stories in height (seven stories plus a mezzanine). The condominiums will be located on the upper three floors of the hotel building. The rooftop will include a swimming pool, grill, and conservatory.

(3) Under all fourteen parcels would be a four level underground' parking garage with approximately 1,172 parking spaces. The garage will be owned by the City's Parking Authority and will provide public parking. The portion of the garage located beneath the eight privately owned parcels will be deeded to the Parking Authority. Businesses located within the Specific Plan boundaries, including the hotel, will lease parking in the garage from the Parking Authority.

The Specific Plan provides that the private property owner will pay for development ~f the private property and pay for the construction of all parking spaces typically required by the Beverly Hills Municipal Code for the uses developed on the private property. The City's Parking Authority will pay for development of the public property, and for construction of the remaining spaces in the parking garage.

A "yes" vote approves the Beverly Hills Gardens Specific Plan. A "no" vote opposes the Beverly Hills Gardens Specific Plan.

Contact FOR Measure BeverlyHills---A:
Beverly Hills United
214 South Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Contact AGAINST Measure BeverlyHills---A:
Beverly Hills Residential-Business Alliance For A Livable Community
PO Box 3428
Beverly Hills CA 90212-3428

  Official Information

City of Beverly Hills Election Website
Suggest a link related to Measure BeverlyHills---A
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Arguments For Measure BeverlyHills---A Arguments Against Measure BeverlyHills---A
After 18 public meetings and more than 100 days of public comment over 34 months, our Architectural and Planning Commissions and City Council all unanimously voted to approve the Montage Hotel, Public Parking and Gardens.

This 214-room luxury hotel will be built on private land with over $200,000,000 of private funds. It will provide more than $5,000,000 a year in new revenue for Beverly Hills according to two independent studies. This money supports important City services such as Police and Fire protection and will help continue our City's support for our schools. Sacramento politicians can't take these funds away.

According to the independent Environmental Impact Report, there is no significant impact on traffic after minor mitigation measures. In fact, the Montage project would generate the least amount of traffic compared to potential uses for the site like a medical office building. The 640 underground public parking spaces will actually help ease traffic.

The Public Gardens connecting Beverly and Canon will revitalize a neglected area. The Public Gardens will provide much needed open-space to the Business Triangle and vacant storefronts and an asphalt parking lot will be replaced.

Located entirely in the Triangle, the Montage will blend with the environment. At eight stories, it's significantly lower than surrounding office buildings. It's much lower than the nearby Beverly Wilshire Hotel and complies with the City's General Plan.

In 1984, special interests opposed building the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, costing our City more than $50,000,000 in tax revenue that now goes to Los Angeles.

Beverly Hills is the right place for the luxury Montage Hotel, Public Parking, and Gardens. With no city money being used to build the Montage Hotel, it's the kind of opportunity that makes se n se for Beverly Hills. Make it a reality.

Vote YES on Measure A.

Thank You

Mark Egerman, Mayor
Virginia Maas, Former President, Beverly Hills School Board
Soraya Melamed, 25 Year Beverly Hills Resident
Joan Seidel, Former Beverly Hills City Treasurer
Greta Furst, Member, League of Women Voters

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Don't be misled by the backers of the Montage Hotel.

They promise new revenue, but offer only "projections." They don't guarantee even a penny. They claim Sacramento can't take Montage revenue. That's simply untrue.

They admit the Montage will add over 66,000 cars every month to our already gridlocked streets. How can that traffic have "no significant impact"?

They want taxpayers to provide $30 million in cash and $25 million in land - money that could be used for police, fire, and schools.

The public garden will actually end up being principally used as an outdoor dining area for the hotel. The "public" part is our taxpayer money to create and maintain it. To help fund the project, the Council plans to eliminate free parking in City lots.

The 9-story Montage is triple the size allowed by code. Why change the rules for Montage's billionaire owners? This precedent will create a domino effect of code-violating projects - worsening traffic and straining police and fire services.

The Montage is the result of a tainted process. As the Los Angeles Times reported, "the council's actions on the project have earned it scoldings from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office and a Los Angeles Superior Court judge."

Our taxpayer money and six City-owned parcels make the Montage possible. We pay; they profit.

Thousands of Beverly Hills homeowners and residents, the League of Women Voters, and major local businesses all OPPOSE Measure A.

Protect Beverly Hills. Vote NO on the Montage. Vote NO on Measure A.

Dorothy Kaufman, President, League of Women Voters of Beverly Hills
Victor Bardack, Member, Beverly Hills North Homeowners Association
Louis Lipofsky, Member, Beverly Hills North Homeowners Association
George E. Lunn, Jr.
Thomas A. White, Chairman, Municipal League of Beverly Hills

Measure A is a bad deal for Beverly Hills residents.

Measure A won't generate new revenue for schools or public safety, and doesn't even guarantee repayment of our costs. But Measure A will dramatically increase traffic and mire our streets in construction-related gridlock for as much as five years.

Measure A:

  • Requires Beverly Hills taxpayers to provide more than $50 million in taxpayer money and land for a privately- owned hotel.
  • Significantly increases traffic and congestion. The City's own study estimates 66,000 more car trips per month on our congested streets. Independent analyses indicate it will be far worse.
  • Allows a high-rise hotel nearly three times the current height limit. It will dwarf everything on Beverly Drive, setting a terrible precedent for more high-rises.
  • Will require as much as five years of construction and over 20,000 truckloads of debris to be trucked through our i city.
  • Doesn't guarantee any revenues for schools or public safety. If the Montage fails, we will be stuck holding the bag for tens of millions of dollars - jeopardizing city funding for education as well as police and fire.
  • Hotels are risky; Beverly Hills hotels have high vacancy rates. A new hotel will simply divert guests from other city hotels, and won't provide the promised "bed tax" revenue.

We take the risk. The Montage owners get the profits.

We don't oppose development, and would not oppose a new hotel - if it were built in compliance with zoning laws and without public subsidies.

We do oppose massive taxpayer funding for a huge, privately-owned hotel that will increase traffic congestion and threaten our city's fiscal stability.

Vote NO on Measure A.

It's a bad deal for Beverly Hills.

Dorothy Kaufman, President, League of Women Voters of Beverly Hills
Victor Bardack, Member, Beverly Hills North Homeowners Association
Arthur Stone, Member, Beverly Hills South Homeowners Association
Thomas A. White, Chairman, Municipal League of Beverly Hills
John Longenecker, Member, Concern for Tenants Rights of Beverly Hills

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
No City land or City money is being used to build the Montage Hotel.

In fact, The Montage is paying Beverly Hills a 5% higher tax on room revenues than any other hotel pays the City.

The Montage Hotel, Public Parking and Gardens will bring more than $5,000,000 annually in new revenue to Beverly Hills. Our Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce would only support a project that helps our City and economy. The Chamber says: YES ON Measure A.

Our Beverly Hills City Council, Planning Commission and Architectural Commission all held public hearings and received community input. They all said: YES to the Montage Hotel, Public Parking and Gardens.

Independent traffic and environmental reports verified that this project makes sense for Beverly Hills. It's the right size. It brings millions of dollars to Beverly Hills to support fire and police services and helps support our schools. It increases public parking from 150 to 640 spaces.

Who opposes Measure A? The campaign chairman against Measure A distorts facts about traffic and zoning laws. He even told a local newspaper "he does not believe Beverly Hills residents deserve to know where the money is coming from." Following public outrage, the Peninsula Hotel's owner belatedly disclosed a $500,000 contribution to stop the project. Simply, they are afraid of competition. Ethics Commission complaints have been filed to force full compliance with the law.

Beverly Hills' luxury hotels bring visitors whose spending helps provide Beverly Hills residents the best fire and police protection, schools, library and other City services.


Jimmy Delshad, City Council Member
Kathy Reims, Vice Chair Person, Planning Commission
Tom Korey, 25 yr. Renter, Maple Counseling Center President, Chamber of Commerce Past President
Honorable Maxwell H. Salter, Former Mayor
Wolfgang Puck

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Created: March 29, 2005 12:43 PST
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