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  • LA Issue: ‘McMansions’ Put on Hold

    Dakota Smith

    Date: Mar 27, 2015 

    Concerned that new “McMansion” homes are changing the character of Los Angeles neighborhoods, the Los Angeles City Council moved Wednesday to temporarily restrict development in 20 areas. 

    The City Council unanimously passed the Neighborhood Conservation Interim Control Ordinance, which put a two-year ban on the size of new, single-family dwellings in some neighborhoods. 

    The ordinance temporarily limits the size of single-family dwellings in 15 neighborhoods: Valley Village, South Hollywood, La Brea Hancock Neighborhood, The Oaks of Los Feliz, Miracle Mile, Larchmont Heights, Lower Council District Five, Beverlywood, Inner Council District Five, Fairfax Area, Bel Air, Faircrest Heights Neighborhood, Kentwood, Mar Vista/East Venice and Old Granada Hills. 

    The law also puts a temporary moratorium on the issuance of building and demolition permits in five proposed Historic Preservation Overlay Zones: Sunset Square, Carthay Square, Holmby-Westwood, Oxford Square and El Sereno-Berkshire Craftsman District.  

    The new rules came amid a “proliferation of out-of-scale developments that threaten the cohesion and character” of neighborhoods, a city report states. (Read the rest.)   

    -cw 

    CityWatch

    Vol 13 Issue 26

    Pub: Mar 27, 2015



Awww. Betty Whites biggest regret

Tyrese opens up about Paul Walker death

Moving. Words that is … from Kerry Washington

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

Remaking Yugoslavia … er, Los Angeles

PERSPECTIVE - The Los Angeles City Redistricting Commission [here]  has turned back the calendar.

Instead of recognizing natural boundaries and common community interests in redrawing council district borders, the members seem intent on creating a modern-day version of Yugoslavia.
I attended the latest round of redistricting hearings last night at Walter Reed Middle School in Studio City. Around 300 people turned out, some carrying signs or wearing t-shirts bearing messages suggesting support of community solidarity.

The hearing was delayed due to the late arrival of a few commission members. 160 speaker cards were submitted; I stayed through over half of the comments.  By the time I left, only five speakers had commented in favor of the draft plan.

My primary concern was the division of my neighborhood of Valley Village between CD2 and CD4.  A small slice of its western edge was arbitrarily and inexplicably thrown into the sprawling mass of CD4.  Our board members and stakeholders emphasized the need to keep our compact community together, especially when the boundaries include well-defined physical barriers such as the 170 and 101 freeways and the Tujunga Wash.  The whole of Valley Village is also covered under its own specific plan.

My own remarks took the issue further.  I expressed a preference that the whole of Valley Village remain in CD2 and not be assigned to CD4 in the final map.

●●●●●
(NOTE: The Commission will meet Wednesday at 4 p.m. in Council Chambers to vote on adjustments to the ‘Draft’ Redistricting Map. (Agenda) Here are the lists of proposed adjustments.
One might wonder why that should make a difference, assuming we were undivided.

The proposed footprint of CD4 is an ugly rash across what is as close to being the geographic center of the city as any district.  As I told the commissioners, the boundaries make as much sense as the ones that created Yugoslavia after World War 1. The European powers somehow thought you could unite long-time cultural rivals into a cohesive nation-state that spanned the region from the Austrian border almost to Turkey.  It took a dictator to hold the country together after the Second World War.

CD4 as defined by the Commission is not the Balkans, but the demographics and interests are as varied as you will find anywhere in the city. The district has a leg that extends well into the northwest Valley and the overall boundaries stretch through the Cahuenga Pass all the way to Silver Lake. It also has a gerrymandered  “appendage” (as one person euphemistically described it) that dangles into Hollywood, an obvious accommodation to one or two city council members.

Although we are all Angelenos, residents of the city have always closely associated themselves with their local or regional  communities of interest.  That’s not going to change, and that’s a good thing.  

Local pride is healthy and adds benign quirkiness to the social strata in our sprawling metro area.

Diluted communities deliver muted messages to City Hall.  Public safety and environmental concerns in particular vary widely from one part of the city to another.  It is important that our elected officials receive clear, unified advice from the residents and focus on those concerns. It’s tough enough for city council members to devote time to broad issues such as the budget.  Trying to balance too many competing and unique needs within their own districts will only mean less quality time to address grassroots issues.

So now the Commission has to amend the maps.

Unfortunately, the current draft has a poison pill - CD4.

The district’s  massive landscape is adjacent to eight others.  Any change to CD4 will impact almost all of the eight, creating a ripple effect throughout the city.  The redistricting process may have to go back to square one.

This whole controversy could have been avoided if the elected officials had put aside selfish interests in selecting commission members, or had emphasized to them the importance of respecting neighborhood council boundaries.

It was another example of City Hall failing to accept neighborhood councils as integral components in the life of Los Angeles.

(Paul Hatfield is a CPA and serves as Treasurer for the Neighborhood Council Valley Village.  He blogs at Village to Village, contributes to CityWatch and can be reached at:  phinnoho@aol.com)
–cw

Tags: Paul Hatfield, Los Angeles Redistricting, redistricting, Council District Two, Council District Fur, CD4, CD2, redistricting map







CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 13
Pub: Feb 14, 2012

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