Learning new lines at Universal City

universal-map.jpgIf the big Universal City development project goes through, Los Angeles will grow in size by by 44 acres. How's that, you may ask, since the studio is completely encircled by Los Angeles? Well, in a relic of history and politics, the land at Universal (which has never actually been a city, despite the name) is divided between Los Angeles and unincorporated county territory. The county claims 296 acres, L.A. 96 acres. In the delicate haggle over Universal's wishes to build 2,937 housing units and a new hotel, the company proposes to re-divvy the jurisdictional lines. From ZevWeb:

Some buildings on the Universal lot now are literally split between the two jurisdictions, as is the pedestrian shopping-and-dining mall CityWalk.

Thus, munching a hot dog at Jody Maroni’s Sausage Kingdom places you in city territory, but sipping a margarita at Camacho’s Cantina lands you in unincorporated L.A. County. Shoppers at Billabong and the Dodgers Clubhouse store are browsing through the city, but anyone taking in a movie at AMC Theatres has entered the county zone. The big Universal globe at the theme park entrance? That’s in the city, as is the Zen Zone’s Oxygen Bar (which, at least for visiting out-of-towners might seem to have a certain only-in-L.A. logic to it.)

The new plan proposes to redraw the lines so that all of CityWalk and the entire Universal Studios theme park would fall squarely into county territory while the new housing development would reside completely within the city limits.

Of course the sensible thing would be to annex it all to Los Angeles so sheriff's deputies wouldn't have to enforce the laws on a political island far from other areas the sheriff patrols.

Yaroslavsky blog: This year the media were interested in the burial of the county's unclaimed dead.

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