Crime Tops GWNC’s January Meeting Agenda

Julie Stromberg, GWNC Board Member from Windsor Village, reports on the Transportation and Sustainability Committee’s activities at the January meeting of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council.

The Los Angeles Police Department is adding ten percent more police officers to every division across the city, Senior Lead Officer Dave Cordova told the Board of Directors of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council at its January meeting.

“Crime was up last year, there was a 10% increase,” said Cordova, who, along with Senior Lead Officer Hebel Rodriguez, had just come from an attempted burglary call in Brookside before arriving at the meeting. “People want to see cars out on the street, so officers have been re-assigned. As of January 22, there will be ten new officers in Wilshire Division.”

Olympic Division will be adding officers as well, said Cordova. He explained how LAPD officers meet every day to review the crime data looking for patterns, times of day, days of the week, etc. to see where they can deploy more resources.

Rodriguez and Cordova explained that crime rates were up in large part because of reduced sentencing that seems to be enabling more criminal activity than deterring it, because convicted criminals are often out of jail in a few days instead of few months. Both officers said they hoped the ten percent increase in patrol units across the city will help reduce criminal activity.

SLO Rodriguez said property crimes, primarily car theft and break-ins of cars, were the most prevalent crimes in his car area, which extends from Wilshire Blvd. to Venice, and Crenshaw to Redondo.  He said video cameras at the front doors and apps that alert residents are excellent tools, but most burglars gain entry through the rear of the home. Rodriguez suggested residents install a secondary camera in the rear of their home, so the burglar could be captured on video trespassing. If that happens,  residents should call 911 and explain to dispatcher that someone is about to break into their home.

The GWNC also approved a motion to sponsor a town hall on crime proposed by  GWNC Board Member Julie Stromberg, Neighborhood Watch Crime & Safety & Emergency Preparedness Chairs Frank & Tammy Rosato, and Miracle Mile Residential Association Safety Committee Co-Chair Kari Garcia.  The group is developing a presentation, with LAPD,  on how residents can organize their neighborhoods to help deter crime and protect themselves. The event is planned for either February 2018, at the Ebell of Los Angeles, or the March GWNC Board Meeting.

In other business, the board voted to support the recommendation of the Land Use Committee to oppose a project at 5122 W. Maplewood Ave. until the applicant returns with additional information requested by the LUC Committee. The motion carried unanimously, 16-0-0. The project would demolish 1 single family residence and 1 duplex to build a 5 story, 24 residential unit building with 31 on-site parking spaces. Developers propose to set aside two Extremely Low-Income units. (Case #DIR-2017- 4551-TOC, ENV-2017-4552-EAF.)

Conrad Starr, Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association president, asked the board to support his association’s request for a new R1-V3 RG option of the R-1 Variation Zone changes available to neighborhoods, for the single-famly streets in his neighborhood. The motion passed 16-0-0. The variation would permit variable massing patterns for new construction, but would require rear garages in keeping with the historic character of the neighborhood.

“Of the opinions received and considered by the SSNA board, about half supported adopting the R1R3-RG designation, and an almost equal number supported defaulting to the BMO (Baseline Mansionization Ordinance),” wrote Starr in a message he posted online and shared with the Buzz.

The decision to support the R1V3-RG option was a compromise to homeowners on Orange and Citrus Avenues, who were requesting different rules. More information on the proposed  R-1 zone variations can be found at https://planning.lacity.org/ordinances/docs/BrooksideSycamoreSQ_ConserZoneChg/DraftOrd_FAQ.pdf

Joe Hoffman, Windsor Village resident and chair of the Outreach committee, reported the committee is working on plans to conduct a town hall meeting on disaster preparedness. In addition, Hoffman asked for volunteers to help conduct the City’s annual homeless count on January 25, 2018 at 8 pm at the Hope Lutheran Church, Community Meeting Room, 6720 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038. There will be relaxed parking restrictions on the night of the count. Volunteers must be 18 years or older to participate in the count, though volunteers ages 16-18 can help at the deployment site. Volunteers may sign-up online at: http://www.theycountwillyou.org/greaterwilshire18

Next meeting of the Outreach Committee is February 3 at Bricks and Scones on Larchmont Blvd at 9 am.

Transportation committee chair Julie Stromberg, of Windsor Village, presented a motion requesting the board support the designation of intersection of Melrose and La Brea as Historic Pink’s Square. The motion passed unanimously, 16-0-0. The board also approved a second motion, supporting the installation of a continental crosswalk with zebra stripes to be painted pink. That motion passed 16-0-0.

A third motion to support a crosswalk at Beverly Blvd. and N. Orange Dr. (LADOT Request No. 71276) was also approved 16-0-0.

Stromberg, also chair of the Sustainability Committee,  reported that the GWNC committee voted to meet every two months from now on, instead of quarterly. The committee is working on plans for several events, including a Green Fair/Festival in March 2018, a tree planting with the Korean Youth Community Council this spring, and the second GWNC-sponsored Drought-Tolerant Garden Tour in Summer 2018.

Climate Resolve will make a presentation on local climate change impacts, and energy and water-related solutions for homeowners and businesses at the next Sustainability Committee meeting, on Tuesday, February 13, 2017, at Marlborough School, Collins Room – D200, 250 South Rossmore Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90004.

Stromberg also reported that GWNC will be awarding up to two Neighborhood Purpose Grants (NPGs), with a maximum award of $1,000 each, for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Applications are due on Friday, March 23, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. (PST). Applicant requirements detailed at http://www.greaterwilshire.org. The finalists will be voted on at the GWNC April 2018 Board meeting. Visit: http://www.greaterwilshire.org for applicant requirements, application, and to learn more, or email NPG@greaterwilshire.org.

The next meeting of the GWNC is  February 14, 2018 at 7 pm at the Ebell of Los Angeles. Everyone is welcome to attend.

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About Patricia Lombard

Patricia Lombard is the co-editor and publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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