On behalf of Mayor Eric Garcetti, I invite you to nominate or recommend a few passionate students to partake in the Mayor's Youth Council. We are looking for highly motivated 10th and 11th graders who are interested in civic engagement, community and youth issues, and the municipal government system.
Each of Los Angeles’ eight areas (East Valley, West Valley, South L.A., Downtown, Eastside, Harbor, Westside, and Central) will have its own Youth Council made up of around 25 local applicants, and they will participate in civic engagement and community service projects sourced from their local area. The students' area will be determined by the school they attend, rather than the area they live.
The goal of the Youth Council is for young Angelenos to learn about civic engagement, while expressing their own views on how to improve government and affect change in their communities. Monthly meetings will consist of discussions and workshops focused on their communities as well as Los Angeles at-large. There will be quarterly meetings during which the 8 Youth Councils will get together and meet in a large group. Youth Council members will have the opportunity to meet many figures working inside of, outside of, and with government. They will also work on creating a long-term project that will affect their community. This is a wonderful opportunity for the youth and city to work together and learn from one-another. If you know of any qualified candidates for the Mayor's Youth Council, please pass along the attached application. The application also includes the qualifications youth must meet to apply.
Although I have a list of high-schools in the Central Area, it is one I have made myself and there is no comprehensive list available by LAUSD. In an effort to get this application to as many youth as possible, please pass this application along to principals in high schools near your area, including private, public, and charter schools.
If you'd like me to make a presentation about this program or if you have any follow-up questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail or call me (direct line: 213-453-3157). You may pass on my contact information to the youth applicants as well. The application, recommendation, and unofficial transcript are due to me (via e-mail: email@example.com) by midnight on FEBRUARY 12TH. Please read the instructions carefully.
Thank you for your participation and assistance in getting this important program started.
Central Area Representative
Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
Sadly, we received word that Fred Anderson has passed away. Fred was our neighbor, former NU President and block captain. Funeral services will e held on Tuesday December 2 at 11 am at McCarty Memorial Church. The church is located at 4101 West Adams Boulevard. A repast will follow at Claude Pepper Senior Center.
Condolences may be sent to Joan Anderson at 1948 Crescent Heights, 90034.
Land Use Committee Meeting Thursday, November 20, 2014 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm PICO NC Office, 5651 W Pico Blvd.
Dear Council President Wesson,
Attached please find a copy of the PICO Neighborhood Council’s community impact statement supporting Councilmember Koretz’s motion to amend the Baseline Mansionization Ordinance (Council File 14-0656). The Studio City and Valley Village Neighborhood Councils have submitted community impact statements, and the Westwood NC CIS is in the pipeline. More neighborhood councils are expected to follow suit. Beverly Wilshire Homes Association and the Miracle Mile Residents’ Association also went on record in favor of the amendments in advance of the July 29 PLUM hearing.
With so many neighborhoods seeking relief from mansionization for such a long time (supporting CM Koretz’s Motion and requesting RFAs, HPOZs, moratoriums and ICOs ), the message is exceedingly clear: Citywide, Los Angeles residents oppose mansionization. Councilmember Koretz’s motion to amend the BMO offers a citywide answer to a citywide problem, and we are grateful that you have been encouraging and supportive.
As it seems the motion may be stalled, we implore you to use your leadership - and your powers of inspiration and persuasion - to:
· Expedite and shepherd this item through the Council review process (on July 29, PLUM chair Huizar asked Planning to report back in 30 days, and the item still hasn’t returned to PLUM).
· Encourage your fellow Council members to support the motion to amend the BMO, to protect the residential communities that are so critically important to the vitality and sustainability of this great city.
· Advocate for an urgency clause to be included with the adoption of the amendments, to provide desperately-needed relief from this destructive trend.
With appreciation to you and your staff for your leadership on this critical issue,
Join City Attorney Mike Feuer to meet your newly appointed Wilshire Division Neighborhood Prosecutor Mehrnoosh Zahiri on Monday, September 15 at 6:30 pm. The meeting will take place at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Brown Auditorium, 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036. Mehrnoosh Zahiri will represent the following areas as Neighborhood Prosecutor: United Neighborhood, Greater Wilshire, Olympic Park, and Mid City.
The Neighborhood Prosecutors Program of the City Attorney’s Office aims to identify, prioritize, and address criminal problems before they grow into more serious offenses that can lead to urban decay in our communities. City prosecutors understand that the ability to respond to neighborhood complaints and address criminal problems proactively is critical to improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods.
Light refreshments will be served.
Complimentary Parking is available in the lot located at Wilshire Blvd. and Spaulding Ave. Additional parking is available in Pritzker Parking Garage, located on 6th St, just east of Fairfax Avenue.
What: Venice Boulevard Street Widening and Roadway Improvements
When: Monday, August 4, 2014 through Saturday, September 20, 2014
Hours: 24-Hour Work Shifts, Monday-Sunday
Where: South side of Venice Boulevard, between Culver Boulevard and National Boulevard
As part of the street widening and roadway improvements, work crews will conduct sidewalk/roadway reconstruction, installation of storm drains, catch basins, traffic signals and street lighting, and the realignment and restriping of traffic lanes. Additional street improvements on the north side of Venice Boulevard will follow, and a supplemental notice will be issued.
For an updated calendar of scheduled closures, please visit www.ExpoVenice.org
Los Angeles—The Faircrest Heights neighborhood in Los Angeles has a new per unit record thanks to a sale brokered by Charles Dunn Co. The full-service regional real estate firm recently facilitated the $7.9 million sale of a 17-unit property located at 1520-1522 South Hayworth Ave. The end result was a $462,000 per unit price, which was the highest per unit price ever paid in the neighborhood for an asset with eight or more units.
The property was sold by Los Angeles-based SHU Properties, an LLC owned by Oak Coast Properties. The buyer was a local private investor. Charles Dunn’s Albert Shilton and Blake Rogers represented the seller.
“After we sold the building to Oak Coast Properties in 2012, our client completely renovated the common areas and interiors of 15 units,” says Shilton. “Once renovated, the owner increased average in-place rents by 49 percent and stabilized the property, making it an attractive investment for the buyer.”
Built in 1990 and fully renovated in 2013, the non-rent controlled building sits on .31 acres. On-site amenities include a new fitness room, landscaped courtyard and a gated garage with 35 parking spaces.
“Faircrest Heights has consistently been ranked as one of the top up-and-coming neighborhoods in Los Angeles, and this statement could not be more evident than by this sale,” adds Rogers. “Not only was the rent growth incredible, but the building sold for a price per square foot that was 58 percent more than what it last sold for just 18 months ago.”
John Skull of DR Horton Home Builders will bring us an update on the Sawyer Homes Project. The DR Horton Company purchased the project to build 60 new homes from Lee Homes/LA Urban Homes. As you can see the project is underway.
Be sure to come and get answers to your questions and concerns.
Neighbors United meets 7 PM every 2nd Monday of every month, at Claude Pepper Senior Citizen Center (1762 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035). We hope to see you there!
Mayor Eric Garcetti is officially announcing the first 15 areas to be targeted by 'Great Streets,' his initiative to revitalize L.A. neighborhoods.
By Soumya Karlamangl
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti will announce the first 15 'Great Streets' on Tuesday
'Great Streets' initiative is intended to revitalize city neighborhoods by targeting a single intersection
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's office has identified the first 15 areas to be targeted in his initiative to revitalize dozens of neighborhood streets.
The goal of his "Great Streets" program, the mayor has said, is to make streets more pedestrian-friendly and attract businesses. The mayor's staff said Monday that $800,000 has been initially budgeted for the project.
LocalMayor Garcetti outlines plan to spruce up L.A. streets
Garcetti first announced the program in October, and said that it would target up to 40 neighborhoods and focus a variety of resources on improvements. He pointed to intersections such as Sunset Junction in Silver Lake and Glendale Boulevard in Atwater Village that underwent a revival during his 12 years as a city councilman representing those areas. He mentioned the project again in his first State of the City address in April as part of his agenda to improve the quality of life in L.A. Designated streets will be "the standard-bearers of a revitalized city, one main street at a time," he said.
Story link: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-la-councilman-mansionization-20140516-story.html
Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz wants the city to tighten its rules against "mansionization" amid an outpouring of complaints about big, boxy homes overshadowing their smaller neighbors.
As the economy recovers and housing values bounce back, "there's too many opportunities for developers to build these giant, blocky McMansions," Koretz said. "There's a profit motive to destroy neighborhoods."
The Baseline Mansionization Ordinance was crafted six years ago to curb the size of new and remodeled homes, depending on the size of the lot they sit on. But the ordinance has sometimes fallen short of its goals because of "counterproductive provisions," Koretz wrote in a motion introduced Friday.
Under the existing rules, builders can get a bonus to build 20% or 30% larger than ordinarily allowed if they design their homes to be environmentally friendly, or if they design the home so that the facades or floors fit certain proportions. Some Los Angeles homeowners argue that such bonuses have become a mansionization loophole, allowing builders to keep building homes too large for their lots.
Architects and builders behind some criticized projects contend that larger homes are needed to meet the demands of modern families. Added restrictions on building size imposed by Beverly Grove and other L.A. neighborhoods worried about mansionization are too onerous, they argue.
"You're putting a ceiling on what people can do with their properties," Realtor Ron Maman told The Times earlier this year. Maman said he had relocated from Beverly Grove to Encino because he couldn't expand his home for his family under the tighter neighborhood rules.
In his proposal, Koretz took aim at the bonuses and other exemptions in the rules, arguing that they had continued to allow "out-of-scale" development. For instance, allowing "green" homes to be built larger ultimately encourages larger homes that use more energy, the councilman argued.
"I want to examine the possibility of eliminating all of these bonuses," Koretz said Friday.
His proposal will go to a council committee focused on planning. If the council ultimately approves his motion, city officials would draw up new rules for the council to approve.
Former city planner and longtime Beverly Grove resident Dick Platkin, who has criticized the existing city ordinance as too loose, said he and other residents were pleased to see Koretz take the step toward altering the mansionization rules but plan to watch closely as any new rules are drafted.
"Will the amendments ... be effective enough to really stop mansionization, or will it be more window dressing?" Platkin asked.
Listen to the segment below:
The Mayor’s Mobile Help Desk Where the City Comes to You!
The Mobile Help Desk is part of the Mayor’s efforts to make City Hall more accessible to Angelenos. Representatives from the Mayor’s Office will be available to receive suggestions and concerns while providing excellent customer service. The Mobile Help Desk will visit locations across Los Angeles twice a month in each Council District. DATE: Thursday, May 22, 2014 TIME: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm AREA: South Central COUNCIL DISTRICT: CD 10 COMMUNITY: Mid-City LOCATION: La Cienega Farmers’ Market 1801 S. La Cienega Blvd. (Corner of 18th Street) Los Angeles, CA 90035
For additional information contact: Yvonne Farrow, Event Lead MMHD, 213.978.2360
Article from LA Times about 'mansionization'. Faircrest Heights was mentioned numerous times.
Original article: http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-mansionization-20140505,0,2947923.story
Emily Alpert ReyesMay 4, 2014, 6:20 p.m.
Six years ago, Los Angeles politicians imposed new limits on the size of new and renovated houses, promising to rein in what they called "homes on steroids" dwarfing blocks of smaller buildings.
But as the housing market rebounds and construction picks up, many homeowners complain that "mansionization" has revved up — reigniting long-standing policy battles and sometimes bitter fence fights over the face and feel of L.A.'s neighborhoods.
Builders are snapping up smaller, older homes, razing them and replacing them with bigger dwellings. Increasingly, sleek, square structures are popping up along streets known for quaint bungalows.
Architects and designers behind such projects — and the buyers and homeowners they build for — argue that larger homes are needed to meet the demands of modern families.
But neighborhood groups have begun mobilizing, asserting that rules meant to control building sizes are still too porous. Critics argue that builders have exploited loopholes — bonuses that allow extra square footage — to erect homes too large for their lots. The recent surge of complaints prompted Michael LoGrande, director of the Department of City Planning, to tell lawmakers that more stringent controls might be needed.
In Hollywood, for example, members of a neighborhood group objected to a spec home exceeding 3,000 square feet, being built on a Stanley Avenue block lined with older, smaller homes — most of them under 2,000 square feet. Aggravated by the "out of place, enormous" residence, Amy Aquino of the Sunset Square Neighborhood Assn. said the group hired a land-use consultant to examine how it was allowed.
"Everything they were doing, hideous as it is, is all completely legal," Aquino said.
The builder behind the home, Amnon Edri, said that as long as his project meets requirements, it shouldn't be a problem.
"If the city code allows it, and you want a bigger house, you have the right to a bigger house," he said. "This is America. It's a free country."
Neighbors pushing for stricter rules fear that outsized, out-of-character buildings will drag down their home values. Edri and others maintain that bigger homes boost prices for their neighbors.
The tensions also reflect clashing expectations of Los Angeles living.
For decades there was "kind of a consensus about what a Southern California house should look like" — low, rambling and open to the landscape, cultural historian D.J. Waldie said. That philosophy, along with requirements imposed by builders, gave rise to uniform neighborhoods lined with homes of similar sizes and styles, Waldie said.
But in a growing city with scant undeveloped land and changing tastes, some Angelenos see things differently. They look at older neighborhoods and think, "'this is where the good life is lived,'" Waldie said. "'But I don't want to live in a 1,300-square-foot house.'"
The Baseline Mansionization Ordinance was approved in 2008 as the city was slipping into the housing slump. It was meant to stop homes from expanding, as Councilman Tom LaBonge put it, "like the Pillsbury Doughboy."
Under the new rules, a 5,000-square-foot lot in a typical residential zone generally could not have a home of more than 2,500 square feet of "residential floor area," including extra buildings — or a total of 50% of the lot size. Before the change, a home of up to 7,000 square feet, not including garages, could be built on the same size lot, according to the planning department.
But the law includes special exceptions. Builders can get a bonus to build 20% or 30% larger than ordinarily allowed if they design their homes to be environmentally friendly, or if they adhere to certain scaling requirements of home facades and upper floors. The home Edri is building on Stanley Avenue, for example, was allowed hundreds of feet of additional floor area because part of the facade was recessed, according to its building permit.
Critics point out that some construction that can bulk up the appearance of residences isn't counted against the size limits. Up to 400 square feet of "covered parking area" can be excluded from city calculations, for example.
Such exceptions and other bonuses "effectively gutted the ordinance that was supposed to stop mansionization," said former city planner Dick Platkin, a longtime Beverly Grove resident. He called for the elimination of "little architectural gimmicks that still allow a large, boxy house to be built."
In his Westside neighborhood and in Studio City in the Valley, where frustration has simmered over such buildings, homeowners successfully campaigned to impose tighter restrictions on home size. Some argue that similar restrictions should be adopted citywide.
That alarms some builders, architects and homeowners. "What happened in Beverly Grove was basically a death sentence to development and real estate in the area," said Eran Gispan, a designer with N.E. Designs Inc. Similar restrictions citywide would "kill the market completely," he said.
Architect Daniel Bibawi said that since the tighter Beverly Grove building limits were approved last year, his firm hasn't had any projects in the area. The families that hire him typically want at least five bedrooms to accommodate two children, a master bedroom, a guest room and an office, he said.
"It's become a real bear to deal with, from the design point of view," he said. "People hire you to build what they want. But then you have to tell them — they can't have what they want."
In the Mid-City neighborhood of Faircrest Heights, homeowners are going door to door with petitions against "super-sized homes." Kathleen Clark and Beth Marlis point to a neighboring Pickford Street house, now undergoing a renovation that roughly doubles its size, which they say blocks their sunset views. The two trucked in grown trees to try to preserve the privacy of their yard.
"They said, 'It's going to be green, it's going to make your house worth more ... it's going to make your neighborhood better,'" Marlis said. "Far from it."
Under the basic provisions of the anti-mansionization ordinance, the Pickford Street home would be limited to a residential floor area of 1,450 square feet. Owner Jerome Hunter said he was able to increase the approved area to 1,885 square feet by incorporating green construction techniques and technologies, including LED lights and an efficient air conditioner.
"It's not like I'm building a mansion," Hunter said. If the rules were any tighter, "It wouldn't be worth living here. I'd rent it out.
"And you think the property values would be better if there was a renter?" he said. "I'm increasing the value of their property. I don't understand the problem."
Mansionization critics contend that under stricter rules, builders could still craft larger homes without blocking light and boxing in neighbors. "None of us are opposed to expansion and development — when it's respectful of the neighborhood," said Traci Considine, part of the Neighbors United group in Faircrest Heights.
Farther north, Bob Eisele, vice president of the La Brea Hancock Homeowners Assn., said real estate agents are making cash offers and targeting "the rundown homes and the homes of the elderly." If "huge, ugly boxes" keep popping up, he argued, "these homes won't be salable for anything but tear-downs."
But Realtor Ron Maman, who moved from Beverly Grove to Encino because he couldn't expand his home for his family, countered that tighter restrictions would hurt home values.
"You're putting a ceiling on what people can do with their properties," he said.
Some city leaders believe changes are due: Councilman Paul Koretz said the rules adopted six years ago are too weak. He's considering proposing stricter citywide rules or pursuing tighter building controls as part of a pilot project in his Westside district.
The anti-mansionization rules were "groundbreaking" when first imposed, said Alan Bell, the city's deputy director of planning. But as construction rebounds, the swelling number of neighborhoods seeking tighter rules for their areas "suggests that the ordinance could definitely use some fine-tuning," he said.