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Beverly Hills Garden & Open Space Initiative Supporters Deliver More Than 7,000 Signatures To City Hall

City Clerk Byron Pope with former mayor Linda Briskman, a leading advocate for the initiative

Posted: Tuesday, May 3, 2016 – 11:43 AM

Supporters of the Beverly Hills Garden & Open Space Initiative have galloped past the first big step in making the initiative become reality.

Late Monday, signatures from more than 7,000 Beverly Hills residents in support of putting the initiative to a vote on the November ballot were delivered by volunteers to City Clerk Byron Pope. That number far exceeds the 3,166 valid signatures that the initiative’s spokesperson Marie Garvey said are being targeted to place it on the November ballot.

The more than 7,000 signatures, collected by more than 100 community volunteers – which included residents, business and civic leaders – were collected in just over 30 days, a fraction of the 180 days allocated by State law for signature gathering.

The Beverly Hills Garden & Open Space Initiative eliminates an eight-story building approved for Wilshire Boulevard across from El Rodeo School and combines it with an approved 18-story building on Santa Monica Boulevard, creating a 26-story building.

The elimination of the eight-story building would clear the way for a 1.7 acre public garden along Wilshire Boulevard, with plans calling for the inclusion of walking paths, a rose garden and fountains irrigated with recycled graywater from the new residential building.

“The residents have spoken: we want the opportunity to choose which of the two plans will be built,” said former Beverly Hills Mayor Linda Briskman, a leading advocate of the Beverly Hills Garden & Open Space Initiative. “We have an opportunity to adjust the 2008 plan that was already approved to make it far better. We can have an 8-story building at the Wilshire gateway to Beverly Hills, or we can have a beautiful garden. This is our opportunity to really get it right.”

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