Is Council member Mitch O’Farrell NIMBY enough to retain his seat?

Council member Mitch O'Farrell
Council member Mitch O'Farrell

Council member Mitch O’Farrell’s development record has come under fire as the battle for his District 13 seat intensifies, the Los Angeles Times reported.

His opponents include NIMBY activist Doug Haines, tenant activist Sylvie Shain, former neighborhood council President Bill Zide, former Bernie Sanders campaign volunteer Jessica Salans and business manager David De La Torre.

Haines, who was involved in the lawsuit that halted the construction of the Hollywood Target store in 2014 as well as the successful challenge of the Hollywood community plan update, has been the most outspoken figure of the bunch. He hit out at O’Farrell over his opposition of the “suburban” planning rules to which Hollywood is still subject.

“For those of you who are sick of development that’s inappropriate for your community, you have to act up and vote for somebody else,” he said at a recent Silver Lake debate.

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O’Farrell’s rivals also called him out on his policy record, including on small-lot homes. Zide accused him of doing “too little too late” in seeking to alter the law that played a role in removing existing homes.

A neighborhood council chair, Zide helped elect O’Farrell four years ago but has since become disillusioned with the lawmaker, especially over his support of the Millennium Hollywood tower development, he told the Times.

But O’Farrell has also deterred development in certain cases. He was praised, for instance, for reducing the height limit of buildings next to the Los Angeles River in Elysian Valley.

With $400,000 in his campaign war chest, the incumbent council member has raise more money than any of the other candidates. [LAT] — Cathaleen Chen