Org seeks secession, cityhood for H’wood

Residents, business owners present proposal

A group advocating cityhood for Hollywood has presented officials with the boundaries of the proposed city and plans to begin seeking signatures soon to start the process of seceding from the city of Los Angeles.

“Hollywood is the most famous name in the world and becoming our own city would make the local government more responsive to our problems,” said Fares Wehbe, owner of a private school and president of the two-month-old Hollywood Vote organization, a 500-member coalition of business people and residents. “We think this can help Hollywood rival Paris and London.”

Wehbe told the Local Agency Formation Commission this week that the city of Hollywood would contain 225,000 residents and be bounded by Laurel Canyon Boulevard on the west; Mulholland Highway, Griffith Park and Forest Lawn Drive on the north; Sanborn Avenue on the east; and Beverly Boulevard and Clinton Streets on the south. The city would include Paramount Studios and the Egyptian, Pantages, El Capitan and Mann Chinese theaters on Hollywood Boulevard, where TrizecHahn Development is building a $385 million retail-entertainment center including a theater to house the Academy Awards ceremonies.

Wehbe said Hollywood Vote has raised $80,000 toward a petition drive in which registered voters will ask LAFCO to study the feasibility of Hollywood becoming its own city. “By strengthening Hollywood, we’ll strengthen Los Angeles,” he added. “We want this to be a win-win situation.”

Hollywood Vote will begin the drive next month and must gather signatures of 25 percent of the registered voters within the proposed city for LAFCO to make a feasibility study, which would be performed along with studies the agency is starting on secession of the San Fernando Valley and the San Pedro-Wilmington areas of Los Angeles. If the agency finds that secession will work economically, secession must be approved by a majority of voters in both the seceding area and in the entire city.

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