While magical crystal balls may be a bit hazy as to what the next decade will bring, there are a few developments on the horizon in Beverly Hills which will almost certainly materialize in 2020.
Here’s a look:
The City Council Election
Whether the City Council remains exactly the same should Beverly Hills voters decide to elect incumbent Councilmembers Lili Bosse and Julian Gold for a third term, or the mix shifts, 2020 is set to bring forth an abundance of contracts, ordinances and special meetings for various projects that will shape the direction of the City for years to come.
To see what candidates they prefer in the upcoming election on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, residents will have the opportunity to attend two City Council Candidate Forums at City Hall. The first, put on by the Municipal League of Beverly Hills on Monday, Feb. 3, will take place on the same day that the Vote by Mail ballots are set to be mailed out by L.A. County. Just over a week later, on Feb. 11, the Southwest Beverly Hills Homeowners Association will hold its forum.
Both evenings, the time frames for which have yet to be set, will take place in the Council Chamber. The forums are intended to be “impartial,” with candidates having the opportunity to respond to questions about important civic issues.
Two-time Mayor Bosse, whose push to make Beverly Hills a “Healthy City” with the concept of “healthy people, healthy government, healthy business,” is known for her ability to connect deeply with residents. As part of her candidacy, Bosse has the created the BOSSE Plan: Budget accountability; Open government; Safety and security; Strategic planning; and Education.
Two-time Mayor Gold, who earlier this year stepped down as chair of Cedars- Sinai’s Department of Anesthesiology, is likewise known as a staunch advocate for health, having helped lead the way in passing a powerful ordinance against vaping/ smoking. Gold’s five-point plan centers on: Health, Safety, Strategic Planning, Open Communication and Fiscal Management.
Lori Greene Gordon, a member of the Planning Commission for the past four years, has a plan to “champion smart development while protecting our residential neighborhood” while simultaneously streamlining the planning process, reducing “excessive” council expenditures, providing new commercial opportunities, decreasing “outrageous” fees such as residential parking, and supporting the City’s quality of life.
Robin Rowe, who became the fifth and final candidate to file to run in the election, told the Courier he is a former Navy research scientist whose mission is “to make Beverly Hills the most innovative City, yet retain its charm and character.”
Rabbi Simchah Green, who was ordained as a rabbi at Yeshiva University, is running with the mission of bringing marijuana to the people as well as serving as a voice for seniors. He wants the City to pass legislation that will allow medical marijuana stores and institutions within City limits.
While multimodal transportation alternatives may not include Bird and Lime and other such similar types of electric scooters as the City moves forward on implementing a “Complete Streets” plan to reduce traffic in 2020, there are certain to be numerous other transportation technologies and shared mobility devices as part of the plan.
In an effort to make Beverly Hills a more mobility friendly City in tandem with construction on the City’s forthcoming subway stops Wilshire/La Cienega in 2023 and Wilshire/Rodeo in 2025 – the plan prioritizes infrastructure projects intended to make navigating the City easier across all modes: bicycling, walking, taking transit and driving.
A Town Hall earlier this month revealed that the City needed to better facilitate resident buy-in. Another Town Hall type of special meeting of the Traffic and Parking Commission (TPC) on the Complete Streets Plan is slated to take place in January, followed by a TPC meeting on the plan in February before it ultimately makes its way to City Council for a vote, likely in April.
Digital copies of the 170-page Complete Streets plan can be found online at beverlyhills.org/completestreets.
While North Cañon Drive may no longer be accessible to vehicular traffic at Wilshire Boulevard at least through 2021 as
construction work on the Metro Purple Line continues, motorists and pedestrians can at least enjoy an artistic 20-foot sound wall.
Commissioned by the City of Beverly Hills, the colorful mural by artist Tomokazu Matsuyama, “Thousand Regards/Shape of Color,” is intended to be photographed and shared by users of Instagram and other digital media platforms.
A City-sponsored “Ribbon Cutting” for the North Canon Mural is planned for Jan. 12, 2020 at 1 p.m. To RSVP to attend, email- email@example.com.
Following last week’s unanimous City Council approval for a 45-day interim ordinance to prohibit residential development projects that fail to comply with inclusionary housing requirements, City officials pledged to pass in a permanent Inclusionary Housing ordinance to replace it by mid-February.
Later this year, Beverly Hills will learn from the Southern California Association of Governments just how many new housing units the City will be required to create under California’s most recent Regional Housing Needs Assessment. Multiple sources have told the Courier that number is likely to be in the thousands.
As part of the temporary ordinance, developers of certain projects can pay an “in lieu” fee instead of providing the units on site. Further, depending on what gets passed in the final ordinance, developers will also have the option to provide the required affordable housing units at another site in Beverly Hills, as opposed to being forced to have the units be part of the project.
With Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura slated to open on Rodeo Drive early next year, haute cuisine is poised to rise to a whole new level of elite. The forthcoming Osteria marks the second such restaurant for Gucci. The first Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura opened in 2018 in Florence and just received its first Michelin Star for the 2020 Italian Michelin Guide.
Re-opening this year, likely in summer, will be Nate’n Al’s at 443 N. Canon Dr. Established in 1945 on Beverly, the beloved Nate’n Al Delicatessen will be adding both an “s” to its name (as Nate’n Al’s), as well as enhancing its menu to further consider the vegan and gluten free set. Irving and Shelli Azoff purchased the restaurant from the Mendelson family earlier this year.
Further bolstered by changes to the City’s In Lieu Parking Ordinance, which makes the cost of opening a restaurant in Beverly Hills less prohibitive, there are indications that additional restaurants will be coming. One source tells the Courier it is unlikely that the former Bouchon spot at Beverly Canon Gardens will remain vacant much longer.
Courier to Celebrate 55 Years
Don’t stop the presses for this piece of important news, but Beverly Hills’ longest running newspaper, the Beverly Hills Courier, is set to celebrate 55 years in 2020. Stay tuned throughout the year for announcements about the upcoming celebration and ways to engage with this beloved community newspaper.