Ten years ago, the City of LA promised to reserve a publicly-owned vacant lot on South Vermont Avenue for much-needed community-serving projects like affordable housing. That promise was threatened by an attempt to build a luxury hotel at the site. Now the South Central LA community is one step closer to preventing the hotel from being built, and if we’re successful, we can help make that 10-year-old promise a reality.
This 34,000 sq. ft. vacant lot on Vermont Avenue is the former site of the Mary McLeod Bethune Library, named for Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, a Black educator and civil rights activist. To determine the fate of the land, community stakeholders were invited to review innovative community housing and mixed use projects. Then, to the community’s shock, plans for community-serving projects were scuttled and the City took steps to sell the land to private developers with plans to build a Marriott Hotel on the site.
The community fought back.
And on 12/6/22, by a vote of 3 to 2, Commissioners of the South LA Planning Commission voted to reject the conditional use permit for the hotel.
We want to say thank you to the residents who attended the public hearings and wrote letters over the summer. The Commission heard your voices of community concern and opposition.
We also salute the South LA Planning Commission for doing the right thing and putting healthy communities and residents first.
We say to our friends, neighbors and allies of South Central LA: we can celebrate today because we see the value of unity in our communities.
In 2023, we will begin planning our vision to ensure that this public land is used for the public good with ongoing community benefits and not to enrich self-serving private interests.
We will keep you informed so you can join in.
Never underestimate the power of the people!
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