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Around the Halls: September 28 - 30

By Eric Richardson
Published: Monday, September 28, 2009, at 08:46AM
_IGP9728.JPG Ed Fuentes

Today is Monday, September 28, and Council is off today for Yom Kippur. When it returns, though, marijuana and filming are the highlights of a sparse calendar. A massive set of filming recommendations heads to Council on Wednesday, with 18 recommendations.

MONDAY: Public Safety and Budget & Finance committee meetings are canceled due to Yom Kippur.

TUESDAY: Council's in session, as is one committee.

At Council, item 33 is CF 09-2340, a Perry motion asking for approval to post street banners advertising Pershing Square's Downtown on Ice program.

Item 38, CF 09-1320, asks the City Attorney's office to prepare an ordinance for the early retirement program for City workers.

At Planning and Land Use Management, medical marijuana is again the headliner. The committee continues to debate new rules for where dispensaries could be located.

WEDNESDAY: Again a light slate, with Council and a single committee.

At Housing, Community and Economic Development, the City's budget gap will get just a tiny bit smaller once the Council approves CF 09-2103, a lease agreement where the CRA will pay $330 per month for 120 square feet at the City's Figueroa Plaza complex. The space had previously been provided by the Deapartment of Building & Safety without charge.

At Council, CF 08-1783 contains a number of recommendations designed to keep filming in Los Angeles. Included is free after-hours parking in City lots and new tax incentives for productions and building owners who allow filming for "reasonable" rates.

Also, the motion asks DWP to develop three Downtown "utility nodes" as a pilot project. This is a concept that has been floating around for years, and is designed to reduce generator use at frequently-filmed locations.

Downtowners might be a little worried about recommendation 13:

DIRECT and REQUEST the CAO, CLA and City Attorney, as appropriate, to prepare and present an ordinance whereby the Los Angeles Police Department can legally enforce properly permitted film shoots to include making it illegal to disrupt a properly permitted film shoot.

Past performance says that many shoots consider asking to see permits as disruption.

The full list of filming recommendations:

  1. DIRECT the Business Tax Advisory Committee (BTAC) to evaluate a business tax credit for building owners that allow the exteriors to be filmed for free.

  2. DIRECT the BTAC to evaluate a business tax credit for building owners that allow interior filming for a “reasonable rate.”

  3. INSTRUCT the Office of Finance to report to the Jobs and Business Development Committee in 30 days on the feasibility and fiscal impact of a sales tax refund for purchases made for filming within the City when at least 75 percent of the shooting is done in the City of Los Angeles.

  4. DIRECT the Department of General Services (GSD) and Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) to implement a free parking program, except for the cost of providing security, in all available City parking lots after business hours and during weekends; and further, DIRECT the GSD and LADOT to report in 30 days to the Jobs and Business Development Committee, with the assistance of the Chief Legislative Analyst (CLA), in regard to said free parking program.

  5. DIRECT the BTAC to evaluate a proposal to provide business tax incentives to private parking companies which provide parking to film shoots as a “reasonable rate.”

  6. REQUEST the Council President and Chair, Jobs and Business Development Committee, to send a letter to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) requesting that the LADWP create three power utility nodes as part of a pilot project in Downtown Los Angeles that film production companies can use in lieu of generators.

  7. REQUEST the LADWP to provide free parking/base camp use for up to one week under LADWP power lines; and further, REQUEST the LADWP to report back to the Jobs and Business Development Committee with a map of locations.

  8. DIRECT the Film Industry Parking Task Force to report back to the Jobs and Business Development Committee in regard to partnering with other government entities to find additional parking opportunities.

  9. REQUEST the Council President and the Chair, Jobs and Business Development Committee, to send a letter to all Councilmembers asking for them to designate one staff person per office that is the film contact.

  10. DIRECT the City Administrative Officer (CAO) and CLA to collect, distribute and place on the City website a list of each of the City Department contacts regarding filming.

  11. DIRECT the CAO and CLA to work with film industry location managers to create a “10 hardest to film in” location list; and further, DIRECT the CAO and CLA to report back to the Jobs and Business Development Committee in 30 days with solutions to identified problems.

  12. DIRECT the CAO and CLA to work with FilmLA to develop a process whereby FilmLA can manage vacant City property.

  13. DIRECT and REQUEST the CAO, CLA and City Attorney, as appropriate, to prepare and present an ordinance whereby the Los Angeles Police Department can legally enforce properly permitted film shoots to include making it illegal to disrupt a properly permitted film shoot.

  14. DIRECT the CAO, with assistance of the CLA and City Attorney, to review the draft contract for FilmLA and to look for opportunities to increase FilmLA’s role in marketing the film industry to City residents and to act as an ambassador between the City and the film industry.

  15. DIRECT the Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP) to report back to the Jobs and Business Development Committee within 30 days on its film policy and with said report to include cost and availability of its locations; the film coordinator for each location; and the discrepancies found between locations.

  16. DIRECT the RAP to report back to the Jobs and Business Development Committee within 30 days with recommendations on how to make it easier to film in RAP locations.

  17. DIRECT FilmLA, which is currently creating a comprehensive location website, to include on that website a list of City properties, City incentives, contact information, parking and base camp locations and costs and further DIRECT that said website should highlight locations outside of the Downtown area in areas where there is less filming.

  18. DIRECT the GSD to report back to the Jobs and Business Development Committee with a comprehensive list of vacant City properties that will update the list that was prepared in 1996.

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