Wed, Sep

Development In LA is Out of Control … Streets, Quality of Life Pay the Price


JUST THE FACTS-The City of LA’s Apartment and Condo housing stock is being developed at a rapid pace and causing a tremendous drain of resources in our diverse and aging communities.  

From the San Fernando Valley to Downtown to the West Side, the development is out of control.  

Streets are jammed most hours of the day and the quality of life continues to deteriorate day after day.  There is no relief from the current building frenzy and no end in sight with the current political administration at  LA ‘s City Hall.  

Money hungry developers like Shaul Kuba a principal and founder of CIM Group only care how they can enter communities from the West Coast to the East Coast and purchase land and develop with little if any regard or concern for the community.  

Shaul Kuba and CIM Group purchased land in Reseda with the CRA a few years back and promised the community he would develop a quality project in an area in need to serious renovation.  

Mr. Kuba walked away from the project leaving it open to vandalism, graffiti and the congregation of the  homeless.  This in turn caused a more negative impact on the Reseda community and the surrounding neighborhoods.  

With the recent assistance of Councilman Bob Blumenfield, the buildings were demolished and the land sits vacant surrounded by chain link fences.  Now Shaul Kuba and the CIM Group want to have the city purchase the land he owns and walk off with a big profit.   

With this in mind, I was not surprised when I read that the court has ordered Shaul Kuba and the CIM Group to vacate the tenants residing at the 22-story Sunset and Gordon high-rise housing development.  The CIM Group is in violation of the temporary occupancy permit that has expired.  

As you can imagine, the CIM Group had appealed the matter and the tenants of the building have an uncertain future.  Will they be able to live in the building or have to relocate to a building in compliance with city life-safety codes.  Time will tell who wins this battle.  The city or the developer.  Any bets on this one?   

As the nightmare of  Shaul Kuba and CIM Group continues, history has demonstrated that the Group has a checkered past.  The CIM Group currently owns the Hollywood Highland Dolby … formerly Kodak … Theatre and received a $30 million dollar loan from LA City to bring Cirque du Soleil to Los Angeles.  

The project failed in 2012 shortly after it began and the question of the $30 million dollar loan repayment to Los Angeles remains.  Will the City Controller check into this matter rather than continuing to go after the DWP Safety and Training fund?  There is real money owed to the city by the CIM Group.  

My final review of Shaul Kuba and the CIM Group will conclude with the current Hollywood Millennium project that is being litigated.  We will see where this project ends up in due time.


THE BLAME GAME-Many critics want to blame the police for the social problems in our diverse communities.  Police officers are held accountable and blamed for many of the social ills facing America.  From California to New York and from Missouri to Maryland the police are constantly under attack for causing this problem or that problem.  

Having served 33 years on the streets of Los Angeles from the Westside to South Los Angeles to the San Fernando Valley, I have a personal and first hand knowledge that speaks to the source of the problem.  It is all about parents and discipline and rules and respect and education and responsible behavior.  It is not about the police officers that are called to come to the rescue of people in distress.  

It is about simply complying with the directions of the police officer and cooperating with their directions.  Parents are the ones responsible for raising their children.  Not the schoolteachers, counselors or police officers.  

Parents …  that means TWO people … have an obligation to educate their children to respect and follow the rules.  Single mothers raising two, three or five children and working full time don’t have the opportunity or patience or finances to raise multiple children in our society.  

While this is a general analysis of the social problem in America, the deployment of less lethal weapons for police officers coupled with video cameras won’t have an impact on those that violate the law and terrorize our communities. 

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I am a member of the Board of Directors of the local YMCA and serve on a number of other social organizations.  It is important that we all get involved in our communities to improve the relationships and education and opportunities for our youth and others that want to learn and improve their lives and strengthen our neighborhoods.      

I appreciate your comments and desire to help improve our Los Angeles community.  I urge you to get involved and push our elected officials to stop wasting money and pave our streets, clean the trash from our neighborhoods and address the over development.  You have a voice and need to use it and get involved.  Tomorrow may be too late.  Do it now!


(Dennis P. Zine represented the 3rd Council District from 2001-2013. He was an officer with the LAPD for 28 years. He continues to serve as an LAPD reserve officer. Dennis is a CityWatch contributor. He can be reached at: [email protected]






Vol 13 Issue 38

Pub: May 8, 2015