By Heather Duffy Boylston & Rebecca Hutchinson, Larchmont Village BID Co-Executive Directors
Happy New Year! The Larchmont Village Business Improvement District, which runs on Larchmont Boulevard between Beverly Boulevard and 1st Street, has been working since 1998 to maintain our village and its unique charm and sense of community. Here are highlights of the BID’s 2017 work:
Holidays. The illuminated snowflakes, garland, gift boxes and the rotating snowflake lights on Rite Aid’s exterior continue to make our village festive for the holidays. To encourage merchants to decorate their storefronts, the BID organized the 5th annual merchant holiday storefront decoration contest. Once again, we worked with the Larchmont Boulevard Association to promote Small Business Saturday.
PR/Marketing. We have kept the local media outlets up-to-date on all news within the BID. Some of the media outlets that have included Larchmont businesses this year are: The Larchmont Chronicle, The Larchmont Buzz, The Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times, Eater, LA Magazine and Food & Wine. The BID is also putting out our own news on our new website. The site features a full directory of all businesses within the BID and any special events and offerings. We are publishing articles of our own and those written by local residents. Please let us know if you are interested in contributing. Visit us at www.larchmontvillagebid.com
Communication with Merchants and Property Owners. The BID is in regular communication with the 80+ businesses and 25 property owners on Larchmont. We welcome new businesses and make sure they are fully informed about our village, and stay abreast of legislation and political issues affecting the BID and our stakeholders.
BID Consortium. The BID Consortium is a group representing the 40 BIDs throughout LA that meets monthly to discuss issues, opportunities and legislation affecting BIDs. Big topics last year: street vending, tree and sidewalk maintenance, homelessness, and economic development. We created a subcommittee within the Consortium that advocated strongly for BIDs’ unique needs as the City created its historic Safe Sidewalks LA policy. (Learn more at http://sidewalks.lacity.org/)
CD-4. We are in regular with contact with City Councilmember David Ryu and his deputy for our area, Catherine Landers. We worked with them this year to have EV chargers installed in one of our two City parking lots.
Trees and Sidewalks. Councilmember Ryu gave the BID a grant last year, which was used to commission an independent specialist in arboriculture and urban forestry to survey our BID and propose a sustainable master plan. The issues that will drive all decisions moving forward are: sidewalk safety, maintaining the canopy of trees and alleviating massive plumbing costs and business disruptions to merchants and property owners due to the aggressive tree roots that are caused by the aging and aggressive ficus trees.
The bulk of the BID’s budget goes to street-level upkeep and maintenance:
Sidewalk Washing and Tree Trimming. The BID budgets each year for sidewalk cleaning by a group called CleanStreets, litter pick-up, cleaning landscape wells and planters, and trimming the trees. Street and gutter cleaning responsibilities are held by the City.
Big Belly Solar Trash/Recycling. We maintain and empty the Big Belly solar trash and recycle containers.