December GWNC Meeting Features Election Info and Land Use Updates

GWNC board member Julie Stromberg presents a plaque from the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment commemorating the Council’s 15th anniversary.

The December 12 meeting of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council featured a wide-ranging agenda of information about the upcoming Neighborhood Council elections, updates from several active committees, and a large number of votes on local land use issues.

First, in a number of smaller pieces of business:

  • GWNC Board Member Julie Stromberg reported on the recent commemoration by the Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) of GWNC’s 15th anniversary
  • LAPD Olympic Division Senior Lead Officer Hebel Rodriguez reported that area burglaries were down significantly in the most recent crime reporting period, and local policing activities seem to have pushed such activity to other neighborhoods.  Rodriguez also reported that a robber targeting distracted cell phone users at the Midtown Crossing shopping center was caught recently, after police used the tracker from one of the stolen phones to locate the suspect.
  • Bridget Bones, who works with a non-profit educational organization currently partnering with math teachers at John Burroughs Middle School, was confirmed as the Alternate representative to the GWNC’s Education seat.
  • Conrad Starr, the current Renter representative, volunteered for the position of Assistant Secretary.

Upcoming Elections

The next elections for the GWNC board will take place on March 31, 2019. Renee McDade, from the City Clerk’s Office, which is overseeing the citywide Neighborhood Council elections, reported that candidate filing for the elections opened yesterday (Sunday, December 16), and closes on January 15, 2019.  People who live, work or own property in the GWNC area are eligible to run for a seat in the elections, and can register as candidates at https://clerkappsele.lacity.org/nccr/#/login  McDade said the city will also be holding information sessions for candidates (and potential candidates) on both January 5th and 12th, from 10 a.m. to noon (location TBD).  More information about the citywide Neighborhood Council elections, and the election process, can be found at https://clerk.lacity.org/los-angeles-city-clerk-election-division. More information specific to the GWNC elections can also be found at http://greaterwilshire.org/2019-elections/

Sustainability Committee

GWNC Sustainability Committee chair Julie Stromberg introduced a motion, originally authored by the Sierra Club and StandLA, and forwarded to the board by the Sustainability Committee, to recommend that the Los Angeles City Council establish a 2,500 foot “health and safety” buffer between oil drilling sites and “sensitive uses” such as homes, schools, parks and others.  Board members discussed the proposal at length, with several members pointing out that there are no oil drilling sites withing the Greater Wilshire boundaries, and no specific research references were cited for a number of health claims in the motion.  Also, the motion did not specify a preferred course of action for what would happen to drilling sites that might be forced to close under such a new rule (would the sites simply be abandoned…or cleaned and remediated in some way, and – if so – on what kind of timeline?).  After the discussion, Stromberg withdrew the motion so the committee could do more research and possibly return with more information for a future discussion.

Discussion of another agendized Sustainability item, a recent report on urban forest management in Los Angeles, was also withdrawn, as the report had only just been released and the Sustainability Committee had not yet had time to study it.

Transportation Committee

GWNC board secretary Max Kirkham noted that there will be more city-sponsored small asphalt repairs scheduled soon for local streets and sidewalks. He invited board members and stakeholders to submit trouble spots for an ongoing list that GWNC will maintain to send to city officials when the next round of repairs is announced.

Land Use Committee

In land use issues, the Board voted to:

  • Support a letter written by the La Brea-Willoughby Coalition opposing City Council File #CF12-0460-4, which would change several administrative provisions of the city zoning code dealing with land use notifications, public input and adjudication processes within the City Planning Department.
  • Support a letter from the United Neighborhoods for Los Angeles advocacy group, opposing the Purple Line Transit Neighborhood Plan.
  • Oppose as presented an application for a permit to allow the sale of beer and wine for onsite consumption at an existing restaurant at 474 N. Western Ave. The action was taken, in accordance with committee policies, because the applicant did not respond to the committee’s invitations to present the details of the application at a Land Use Committee meeting.
  • Oppose a demolition application at 4749 W. Elmwood Ave. because the applicant did not respond to committee contacts and invitations.
  • Oppose as proposed an application to convert a rental duplex to two condominium units (already underway) at 5123 W. Clinton St., because the applicant did not reach out to the local neighborhood associations before construction began, and also because the applicant has not made any efforts to integrate the new design of the building into the neighborhood context, even after subsequent discussions with the neighbors.
  • Oppose as presented an application for the sale of beer and wine at the Mozza to Go restaurant at 6610 Melrose Ave., until the applicant does more outreach with the Hancock Park Homeowners Association and local neighbors in the adjacent Melrose neighborhood.

In non-voting items, LUC chair Caroline Labiner Moser reported that a letter of opposition would be sent to the city regarding a new 14-unit apartment project at 611 N. Manhattan Pl. The GWNC voted in November to oppose the project, but applicants were given another month to respond to the Land Use Committee’s invitations. They did not do so, so the opposition letter will now be sent.

Moser also clarified that a vote at the most recent Land Use Committee meeting (with 3 in favor and 6 abstentions) to not support an appeal of a proposed office use in a residential building at 545 S. Gramercy Dr., did not pass, so no recommendation on the matter was being made to the GWNC board. Alex Woo, an attorney representing the project, reported that a December 11 city hearing continued the case until January, which will give the Land Use Committee (though probably not the GWNC board) another month to consider the matter.  No board action was taken.

Upcoming GWNC Meetings

Land Use CommitteeTuesday, December 18, 6:30 p.m., Marlborough School, 250 S. Rossmore Ave. (PLEASE NOTE THE DATE CHANGE!)
Outreach CommitteeSaturday, January 5, 9 a.m., Bricks and Scones Cafe, 403 N. Larchmont Blvd.
Board – Wednesday, January 9, 7 p.m., Ebell of Los Angeles, 743 S. Lucerne Blvd.
Transportation Committee – Monday, January 28, 7 p.m., Marlborough School, 250 S. Rossmore Ave.
Sustainability Committee – Tuesday, February 12, 7:00 p.m. Marlborough School, 250 S. Rossmore Ave.

 

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About Elizabeth Fuller

Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - first in the Sycamore Square neighborhood, and since 2012 in West Adams Heights/Sugar Hill. She was long-time board member of the Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association, currently serves on the board of the West Adams Heights/Sugar Hill Neighborhood Association, spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and is the co-owner/publisher of the Buzz.

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