City removes planters placed to prevent homeless encampment on Hollywood sidewalk

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Planters designed to deter homeless encampments along Highland Boulevard in Hollywood were removed Monday by city crews.

The actions follow an initial postponement of the removal along the sidewalk. Local business owners initially placed the planters in May following what they say had been over two years of obstruction by the encampment.

Business owners said that the encampment deterred patrons with trash and feces, and contributed to the area’s crime problem. They say that the planters have been successful in keeping homeless encampments off the sidewalk.

Locals say that before taking the issue into their own hands, they had sent multiple requests to LA city officials and the mayor’s office to no avail.

On Friday, however, the city posted notices on the planters, classifying them as obstructions as business owners had not gone through the city permit process prior to setting them up.

“We understand the frustration that local businesses feel about this issue, and we encourage residents to follow the legal process and work with the city to obtain the proper permits to install community beautification projects in the public right of way,” a spokesperson for Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martínez said

Leading up to Monday’s scheduled removal of the planters, some business owners were even ready to obstruct city workers attempting to remove the planters. Andrew Monheim who owns the business Monheim Microphones, said that there were plans to chain the planters down.

“It’s a continuation of neglect, so we’re just trying to get a better solution,” Monheim said. “If you’re gonna remove the planters, put something into place or some sort of beautification of strategy as opposed to bodies on the ground.”

Hollywood is not the only LA neighborhood that has seen planters used as a strategy by locals to deter homeless encampments as the city’s homeless population has grown even larger in recent years. 

Downtown LA businesses have also incorporated the strategy while other business owners have resorted to setting up fences, such as in Koreatown and South LA.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.