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Re “Beverly Hills lays out language for Cheval Blanc measures,” March 17 issue
I want to express my ardent support for the Cheval Blanc hotel project, which is certain to become a world-class addition to our city and will unquestionably enhance an important gateway to our city’s main shopping district, the Golden Triangle. As a past chair of the city’s Planning Commission and after having served six years on the commission (and for 3.5 years on the Public Works Commission before that), I have concluded that the Cheval Blanc hotel project is a development we should absolutely embrace and welcome to our city.
I have been a resident of Beverly Hills for more than 50 years. During that time, I have seen my share of proposed projects come and go, and over these past five decades, I have watched our city grow from the once moderate “village” of the 1970s into the beauty and grandeur we now enjoy as a world-class destination. For those like me who have had the great fortune of residing in Beverly Hills for many years, the Cheval Blanc hotel project is yet another in the long line of hotel project proposals that any rational city would go begging for. I have seen so many projects over the years I felt were either good or bad, or that I felt indifferent about, and of those, some were either constructed or [have] gone away quietly, and once in a while, they have gone away following a great deal of strong public sentiment and polarization.
We should not have to remind ourselves that past development projects like the Montage (now the Maybourne), MGM’s (once William Morris’) office building and the Waldorf Astoria hotel were bitterly fought battles before they were built. Yet, today these incredible development projects exist seamlessly and harmoniously as icons within our world-class city and contribute to our collective welfare and safety through the fees and tax dollars they generate and thus, enhance our collective wellbeing by offering the wonderful restaurants and amenities for all to enjoy.
Not surprisingly, like the projects that have come before, the same false narratives are being voiced by naysayers of the Cheval Blanc hotel project, including retreaded claims about adverse impacts on traffic, parking, noise, privacy, city resources, height and density. It is far too easy to throw false narratives at the wall hoping they will stick, and when it comes to the Cheval Blanc hotel project, all I can say is “here we go again” with the same old, same old unsubstantiated, bite sized arguments against why Beverly Hills does not need another world-class hotel, particularly one that stands to generate millions of dollars each year and contribute to our community is so many other tangible and intangible ways.
The only thing we have to fear is the twisted rhetoric of the naysayers. Don’t let yourself be influenced by the broken record of the opposition: too tall, too much traffic, loss of privacy and on and on – nonsense. These are all hollow and baseless arguments in my opinion.
I urge my fellow members of the Beverly Hills voting community to vote yes on Measures B and C.
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