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Move LA Pride to Melrose Avenue? Residential group says no

Thousands of people attended the 2015 L.A. Pride Festival in West Hollywood. A neighborhood association is opposing a plan to move part of the pride festival to Melrose Avenue, saying it would be a parking burden for residents and impact access to their homes. Photo: Joshua Barash/City of West Hollywood

WEST HOLLYWOOD — A neighborhood association is opposing a plan to move part of the L.A. Pride Festival in West Hollywood to a portion of Melrose Avenue, saying it would be a parking burden for residents and impact access to their homes.

The West Hollywood City Council is scheduled to discuss the issue at Tuesday’s 6:30 p.m. meeting.

The 47th annual L.A. Pride festival is on the agenda as part of a council update related to planning and programming the 2107 pride festival, which will take place June 10 and 11. Part of the item recommends the city affirm its commitment to allowing city property and facilities be used for the festival through 2019 and obtain a similar letter of commitment from Christopher Street West, the nonprofit group that produces the annual pride festival and parade.

MOVING TO MELROSE AVENUE?

Christopher Street West wants to shift part of the mammoth pride festival — the largest in Southern California and one of the biggest in the nation — to Melrose Avenue because event space will not be available at West Hollywood Park, which will be undergoing major construction as part of its master plan.

The proposed plan would require Melrose Avenue be closed from Huntley Drive to Robertson Boulevard so the festival can still have three entertainment stages, according to the council staff report.

Also, the closure of San Vicente Boulevard would extend south of Melrose Avenue to Rosewood Avenue, the staff report says.

The city manager’s office, which wrote the staff report, recommends that the city approve the proposed plan.

RESIDENTS GROUP OPPOSES PLAN

The West Hollywood West Residents Association “is opposed to this, or any other festival, being positioned in such close proximity to our residential neighborhood,” according to its Facebook page.

“The yearly suspension of our permit parking for three days and nights during this event is already a parking burden placed on our neighborhood,” the group says in the Facebook post. “The addition of a Melrose Ave closure for this festival will bring us further negative impacts such as noise, cut-through traffic and greatly impact resident’s ability to access their homes on both sides of West Hollywood West.”

Also, Christopher Street West proposes that due to “the current political climate,” the annual pride parade be replaced with a march and rally.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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