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Beverly Hills Courier
Beverly Hills Courier

City of Beverly Hills | News

‘Don’t Let Outsiders Decide What’s Best for Our Beloved Home’ | Guest Editorial

As many of you know, a signature-gathering operation is underway in Beverly Hills that is meant to overturn one of the most important City Council votes in recent history that I believe ensures the heart and soul of our future: the approval of the world-class Cheval Blanc hotel at the northern end of Rodeo Drive. 

BY Lili Bosse December 15, 2022
‘Don’t Let Outsiders Decide What’s Best for Our Beloved Home’ | Guest Editorial
Reading Time: 3 minutes

As many of you know, a signature-gathering operation is underway in Beverly Hills that is meant to overturn one of the most important City Council votes in recent history that I believe ensures the heart and soul of our future: the approval of the world-class Cheval Blanc hotel at the northern end of Rodeo Drive. 

Despite an incredibly open and transparent public review process, the union representing L.A.-area hotel workers —Unite Here Local 11— has hired an army of paid canvassers to collect your signatures on a pair of petitions to trigger a referendum on Cheval Blanc. I have been told by many community members that these canvassers have been aggressive and rude with residents. Even upon being told there is no interest in signing, they often come back again and again which many have shared with me that they felt bullied, concerned by strangers knocking on their doors and incredibly concerned by the lack of respect for boundaries.

This petition is not resident driven. It is union driven who pay for each signature. They are not the ones who should be making decisions about the future of our city. 

As I see it, The union does not reflect the views or priorities of Beverly Hills, and they do not have our best interests at heart. Their tactics to unionize hotels here have not worked, which is why just 3 of the 16 hotels in Beverly Hills are currently unionized. The union denied to the Courier that their primary goal is to force Cheval Blanc to be unionized, but a union representative refused to give a straight answer when asked the same question directly at City Council. 

I am exceptionally proud to support Cheval Blanc, which will be a transformational investment for this community and among the proudest moments I have had in all my years in our city.

I passionately believe that signing these petitions would be a devastating mistake for Beverly Hills and for our future. Please consider a few important facts about Cheval Blanc that the canvassers aren’t sharing:

    The project went through an incredibly thorough review process, lasting nearly 2.5 years. The Planning Commission spent hours upon hours considering the project over several meetings, and approved the project unanimously. The City Council approved the project 4-1 after hours of consideration.

    LVMH showed great flexibility at every step to make sure the project meets the city’s needs — agreeing to modify the design and operation in response to comments from Planning Commissioners and neighbors. In fact I feel that LVMH was a role model of how to work with the community to respectfully and truly address each issue brought forward with fair and balanced solutions. 

    The project will create tremendous economic benefits for our city, including revenues of $788 million over 30 years to help fund schools, emergency responders, and other public services. LVMH has also agreed to a $26 million public benefit contribution, and another $2 million to support local art and culture.

    If the union’s real concern is creating more affordable housing in Beverly Hills, as they claim, they should welcome a project that will generate $788 million in unrestricted funding that can be used for housing or for any other purpose our city needs. 

As I said in Council chambers, Cheval Blanc is a once-in-a-lifetime project. I will forever be grateful that we are all part of creating a beautiful future, for us, for our children, and our grandchildren. It extends our wonderful partnership with LVMH, home to the greatest luxury brands in the world, and it embodies so many of the qualities that make Beverly Hills such a magical place to live. Cheval Blanc went through our city process the right way, and it earned our support. It would be unimaginable for us to lose it. We can not let that happen. 

For anyone who did sign a petition, you have the right to remove your name if you are having second thoughts. Our City Clerk can provide you with information about how to withdraw your signature. She can be reached at cityclerk@beverlyhills.org.

Lili Bosse

Mayor

City of Beverly Hills

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