At its monthly meeting on Wednesday, the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council took votes on two land use projects, awarded Neighborhood Purpose Grants to four community-based non-profit organizations, and heard updates on a number of other local topics and happenings.
As it does each month, the GWNC board heard reports from several local governmental representatives, including an introductory appearance by City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who – since new council district boundaries took effect in January – now represents most of the eastern half of the GWNC area. O’Farrell spoke at length about his commitment to constituent services, and his own history as a city (and neighborhood council) volunteer.
In other presentations, CD 5 field deputy Rob Fisher (who also served in this position for the GWNC area under former CD 4 Councilmember David Ryu), provided updates on the new urban oil drilling ban recently signed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, new motions by Councilmember Paul Koretz in favor of carbon-neutral building construction, regulating the repair of bicycles on city sidewalks, and a resumption of towing vehicles that have accumulated more than five parking tickets.
Also, LAPD Senior Lead Officers Joe Pelayo and Hebel Rodriguez reported residential burglaries are up this month in the area between Third Street and Beverly Blvd., near Wilton Pl, while robberies are up recently in parts of Wilshire Division, and burglaries, aggravated assaults, and violent crimes have decreased recently.
And finally, Metro’s Ned Racine reported that work will begin soon to restore Wilshire Blvd. near the new La Brea subway station. Racine said several blocks of the street will be closed on weekends for 12 weeks, starting in April, to remove the concrete street decking that has provided construction access to the spaces below, and to restore the normal street surface. The work is scheduled to begin on April 22. Also, Racine said, the street opening near Wilshire and Rimpau will close later this year.
Neighborhood Purpose Grants
On recommendations from its ad hoc Neighborhood Purpose Grant committee, the GWNC board voted to increase its budget for its current round of Neighborhood Purpose Grants from $3,000 to $3,500, and then voted to make the following grant awards:
- $1,350 to the Wilshire Crest PTA to help fund its school garden education program and garden maintenance.
- $1,100 to the Friends of Wilshire Library to pay for new framed historical photos to decorate the library.
- $525 to the Anderson Munger YMCA to help fund PE programs it provides at two local elementary schools.
- And $500 to LAUNCH LA to help with funding for the annual TarFest community arts festival.
The GWNC board took votes on two local land use applications this month. Following recommendations of its Land Use Committee, the board voted to support an application for a new 29-unit residential building (including three units reserved for Extremely Low Income tenants) to be built under the city’s Transit Oriented Communities program at 544-550 S. Wilton Pl….
…and to oppose an application for a Conditional Use Permit to allow the sale and dispensing of a full line of alcoholic beverages at a restaurant at 5750-5756 W. Melrose and 657 S. Lucerne Blvd. (The restaurant is currently closed, but most recently operated as FIN Asian Tapas.) The application was opposed, according to Land Use Committee protocols, because the applicants did not respond to the committee’s invitation to present details of the project.
Finally this month, the GWNC board re-confirmed its continued participation and coordinator of a local deployment site for the city’s annual homeless count, which was recently rescheduled from the end of January to February 22, as well as COVID-related safety protocols for the event. GWNC coordinator for the event Max Kirkham also reported that 10 more volunteers are still needed for the GWNC area on the night of February 22. People over the age of 18 who would like to help out (all counting will be done from the volunteers’ own cars), can sign up at http://www.greaterwilshire.org/count.
The next meeting of the GWNC board will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9, via Zoom.
About Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and is the co-owner/publisher of the Buzz.
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