The Jane Club is not currently operating out of its location on a residential block of S. Larchmont Blvd in Windsor Square, according Rob Fisher, Field Deputy for CD4 Council Member David Ryu.
Fisher told neighbors at the Larchmont Village Neighborhood Association’s semi-annual community meeting last night that he and other CD4 staff, including Chief of Staff Sara Dusseault and Senior Planning Deputy Emma Howard, met with the owners of the controversial new private club for moms, who said they were hoping the Larchmont location would serve as a pilot for other locations. Instead, they were met with resistance from residents claiming the operating of a private club in a residential neighborhood was a violation of local zoning.
“They thought people would welcome them,” said Fisher, “but they were not prepared for the opposition.”
Fisher was also asked if he had any further information about the announced sale of the Lipson Building, 124-148 N. Larchmont Blvd., for $23 million. Reportedly, the building has been purchased, but Fisher did not know the identity of the buyer. He said his office would like to meet with the buyer as soon as possible, however, to learn about their plans for the building and shared the community’s concern about possibly losing the businesses that are currently tenants in the building. The building was constructed in 1921 by Julius La Bonte, who originally developed Larchmont as a business district serving the nearby neighborhoods. The building was later owned by his only daughter, Charlotte La Bonte Lipson, who passed away last year.
Fisher recently joined Ryu’s staff, taking over for Catherine Landers, who is now serving as Deputy Director for Special Projects. A lawyer by training, Fisher has a background in land use, working on the Warner Center Specific Plan. He is a native of Santa Monica and works out of the Hollywood field office. Fisher invited residents to contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (213) 473-7004.
Following Fisher, LVNA President Charlie D’Atri invited other speakers to address the meeting, including Senior Lead Office Dave Cordova, who told residents that crime is down in his basic car area by 3.3%…but in the Wilshire Division, it’s up by 6.9%. Cordova explained LAPD’s strategy of monitoring crime patterns and deploying more police to those areas, saying, “we are always chasing crime.”
LVNA’s Neighborhood Watch Chair, Stu Melvin, said that 80 percent of the neighborhood is organized now, but more volunteers are needs to serve as block captains to help get information out to residents.
Karen Gilman, who is heading up the neighborhood’s efforts to research the implementation of a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) to preserve the historic architecture of the neighborhood, invited residents to get involved in upcoming meetings to learn more about the HPOZ and then answer a survey that will be sent to all 1,224 homeowners. Gilman outlined the extensive steps necessary to secure an HPOZ from the City’s Planning Department, including gathering a consensus among residents to support an HPOZ, conducting research, completing an extensive inventory of all historic structures, and working with the City’s Office of Historic Resources…all of which she estimated could take about two years.
LVNA Treasurer Sandy Fleck reported the association had $68,338 in income, gathered largely from film companies shooting in the neighborhood, and a $25,000 grant from Paramount Studios, which is earmarked for the HPOZ effort. LVNA dues are $25 a year, and can be paid online at http://lvna90004.blogspot.com/
Bruce Walker ask residents to save Saturday, July 28, for the annual neighborhood picnic and block party. Last year’s event, organized by Walker and Adam Rubenstien, was a huge success, said Walker. This year, they are looking for more volunteers to get involved.