LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A state licensing board has opened an investigation of alleged professional misconduct by two engineers involved in a mixed-use skyscraper project in the heart of Hollywood, according to documents released Monday.
The Enforcement Unit of the California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists confirmed the investigation in a letter (PDF) addressed to Robert P. Silverstein, an environmental attorney representing more than 40 community groups opposed to the Millennium Hollywood Project.
The letter comes in response to a complaint filed by opponents of the Millennium Hollywood Project that engineers distorted their technical reports in order to hide the project’s close proximity to a local earthquake fault.
The Los Angeles City Council is scheduled this week to vote on the $665 million project, which would be constructed at the landmark Capitol Records building along Vine and Yucca.
Officials with the state California Geological Survey alerted City Council President Herb Wesson on Saturday that it has begun a detailed study that could result in a finding that the Millennium project falls within an Earthquake Fault Zone.
Such a finding would trigger the restrictions of state law which make it illegal for new habitable projects to be built within 50 feet of an active fault.
“These are devastating developments for the project,” said Silverstein. “These are red flags that should warn Los Angeles City Councilmembers that it would be incredibly irresponsible and possibly criminally negligent for them to approve the Millennium project as it is now planned.”
The Millennium project – which has previously come under fire for its planned location along an active earthquake fault – would feature a pair of 35-story and a 39-story towers housing 461 residential units, 254 hotel rooms, more than a quarter million square feet of office space and 80,000 square feet of retail space.
The Los Angeles City Council’s Planning Commission unanimously approved the development deal back in March.
Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office issued a statement Monday that read, “Mayor Garcetti did not support this project at 55 stories and made that clear to the developer. Since then, the project has been reduced in height, more open space has been included, and other concerns have been addressed.”
The Mayor’s office pledged to “continue to monitor public, city department and other input.”