New board members Vincent Cox, representing Area 7-Larchmont Village, and Colin Turner, representing Area 4-Fremont Place, were sworn in at the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council’s monthly meeting last night. Both Cox and Turner will serve as alternates in their respective neighborhoods. There are still two vacancies for alternate board members for the Education and Religion representatives. Eligible candidates may submit their names to the board for approval.
In other business, the GWNC voted unanimously to oppose the application for the sub-division of a single-family parcel into two single-family parcels in an R-1 zone at 953 S. Citrus Avenue, and to oppose a request for a permit to demolish the existing single-family home on the lot. The Land Use Committee (LUC) reported it had also reviewed – but did not take a position on – revisions to the city’s Second Dwelling Unit Ordinance, which were proposed to remedy conflicts with a California State standard enacted in AB 1866.
The GWNC LUC reported that it also discussed but took no action at its most recent meeting on the City’s efforts to establish Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones, which were recently approved by the City Planning Commission. If enacted, the owner of vacant property could apply for and potentially receive a tax benefit if their property meets the eligibility criteria and can be used for urban farming. The proposal is a result of 2014’s California Assembly Bill 551, which allows landowners in metropolitan areas to receive tax incentives for putting land into agricultural use. First, cities and counties must create urban agriculture incentive zones. And last year, the county of Los Angeles approved an ordinance that would allow local cities in the county to create such zones.
The GWNC also voted last night to urge the City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti to implement the following recommendations of the LA 2020 Commission as part of the 2017-2018 fiscal year, and to request the Budget and Finance Committee assign a Council file for each of the recommendations and agendize each of these items.
- Create an independent “Office of Transparency and Accountability” to analyze and report on the City’s budget, evaluate new legislation, examine existing issues and service standards, and increase accountability;
- Adopt at “Truth in Budgeting” ordinance that requires the City develop a three year budget and a three year baseline budget with the goal to understand the longer term consequences of its policies and legislation. (Council file 14-1184-S2);
- Be honest about the cost of future promises by adopting a discount rate and pension earnings assumptions similar to those used by Warren Buffett; and
- Establish a “Commission for Retirement Security” to review the City’s retirement obligations in order to promote an accurate understanding of the facts.
According to GWNC Outreach Committee chair Joe Hoffman, the GWNC will be staffing an information booth at the upcoming Larchmont Family Fair on Sunday, October 30, from noon – 5:30 pm. GWNC representatives will be handing out information cards telling residents how to access local city services. They will also be joined by the local Red Cross, offering emergency preparedness information. The next meeting of the Outreach committee is October 29, 2016 at 9 am, at Bricks and Scones at 403 N Larchmont Blvd.
In community news, Metro Community Relations Manager Michael Cortez announced the Purple Line Extension decking that had required street closures on Wilshire Blvd has been completed six week ahead of schedule. Cortez also announced that he’s been promoted and introduced Ned Racine, Senior Construction Relations Officer, who will be taking over Cortez’ old responsibilities. Racine can be reached at 323-900-2190 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, the Westside Jewish Community Center announced that it will be hosting a 5K Run/Walk to support its community health and wellness program on Sunday, December 11, along San Vicente Blvd between La Brea and Olympic. Runners, walkers and kids are welcome.
The next meeting of the GWNC is Wednesday, November 9, 2106 at 7 pm at the Ebell of Los Angeles.