Photo by John Schreiber.
Hollywood viewed from Griffith Park. Photo by John Schreiber.

An active earthquake fault lies beneath the site of the proposed Millennium Hollywood skyscraper project, a state geologist said Thursday, confirming arguments of project opponents who claim the development would be a safety risk.

A map released by the California Geological Survey shows the fault runs through the project area. The Millennium project, on Vine Street between Yucca Street and Hollywood Boulevard, includes 35- and 39-story towers that would dwarf all other buildings in the Hollywood area, including the 13-story Capitol Records building next to it.

“On the Millennium (project) site, there is the trace of an active fault — which has moved within the last 11,000 years — that goes through the southern part of the Millennium project parcels,” State Geologist John Parrish said.

The State Mining & Geology Board defines a high-risk active fault to be one that has ruptured within the past 11,000 years, Parrish said.

“We’re looking at this particular trace to be a high-risk active fault,” he said.

It will be up to the developer to submit any additional geological findings they might have, and for the city to decide what to do with the information, Parrish said.

Philip Aarons, partner of the developer, Millennium Partners, responded to the report, saying there is information “confirming there is no active fault on our site.”

He added that “it is particularly gratifying that (state geologists) acknowledged the area we trenched contains no active fault.”

Millennium Partners is finalizing its geotechnical reports and other data showing there is no fault on their site, and will soon be submitting these documents to the city.

Aarons said they will keep working with the city “to safely construct our project as they will have the final say on whether our site is seismically safe for building.”

“Millennium Hollywood is steadfast in its commitment to building a safe project that conforms to the highest earthquake resiliency standards,” he said.

Parrish said the developer indeed “did not trench the area where we picked up the fault — they got very close to it.”

Aarons said the company believes that “further analysis” of the data they plan to give to the city “will prove the entire site has no active faults.”

Officials from the Building and Safety Department are responsible for issuing construction permits.

Mayoral spokesman Jeff Millman said the developer has not yet applied for permits, adding that “no permit will be issued if the project is unsafe.”

The City Council approved the project last year, and Mayor Eric Garcetti signed off on it. The project has been on hold while the geological studies were conducted.

John Schwada, media adviser to Millennium project opponents, urged City Hall supporters of the proposed development to heed the results of the survey.

“I hope that City Hall will come to its senses and not let a project begin that could have tragic circumstances,” Schwada told City News Service. “We don’t think this project should be built.”

Attorney Robert Silverstein, who represents groups suing the city and the developer, said the project “will never get off the ground.”

“The law, science, mother nature and common sense dictate that Mayor Garcetti, Councilman O’Farrell and the entire City Council should rescind their approvals of this project in light of the final map released today,” he said. “The public is watching.”

George Abrahams, an opponent of the project, called the news a “tremendous victory for the community.”

“We have argued that the Millennium project sits on the Hollywood Fault and that it would be tragic to jeopardize the lives of thousands of occupants by allowing this project to be built,” he said. “Now the California Geological Survey, the State’s foremost seismic authority, has proved us right.”

City News Service

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