CD5 Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky spoke to the Windsor Square Hancock Park Historical Society at its annual meeting and summer barbecue Saturday at the historic O’Melveny home in Windsor Square.
Speaking to efforts to address homelessness, the most challenging issue facing the city, Yaroslavsky said her office is working on a plan to build 30 interim beds in the district on a city owned parking lot. Currently, there are no interim beds in the district, making it very difficult to move people off the street.
Yaroslavsky said she has dedicated staff working on homeless outreach, getting to know the homeless neighbors in the district to address their needs. Her office also has a “clean team” working to supplement the city’s sanitation efforts. Yaroslavsky said the city is making progress on building more affordable housing and middle income housing.
“I think density should be placed along our commercial corridors, not in single family neighborhoods,” Yaroslavsky said. “Destroying single family neighborhoods is not how we are going to the density we need.”
Yaroslavsky said she wanted to see more housing options where it’s most needed.
“I think it’s important that we put the density near our job centers, near our transportation; people who live in that housing are actually going to use, so if you’re building luxury housing at a bus stop, it doesn’t make any sense,” said Yaroslavsky. “As new Metro Board member, I’m really excited about the opportunities to build middle income housing, low income housing and some market rate housing at our transit stops.”
She also spoke about city-wide efforts to hire additional police officers and other non police emergency crisis response staff to improve public safety. She said making streets safer was also a priority for her office. She is working to install bike lanes and better school crossings to reduce traffic violence against children. She also said she is looking forward to rebuilding the business community on Wilshire Blvd., and hoping major construction will be completed by the end of 2024 or early 2025.
Event hosts Brian Curran and Kevin MacLellan erected a tent to keep the sold-out crowd shady and comfortable in their stunning garden. Curran, who serves on the WSHPS’s Executive Committee, also presented the society’s annual Landmark Awards.
Awards were given to the 500 South Norton Avenue, 354 South Windsor Blvd. and The Lasky-DeMille Barn, the home of the Hollywood Heritage Museum. Both of the homes were featured on the society’s garden tour earlier this summer.
The Lasky-DeMille Barn, built in 1901, is the oldest extant movie studio in Hollywood. The very first Hollywood feature length film, “The Squaw Man” which was directed by the great Cecil B. DeMille, was shot in and around the barn in 1913.
Historian and author Rosemary Lord, currently president of the Woman’s Club of Hollywood, spoke about her efforts to revitalize the club. Historical society members Peter and Suz Landay have recently joined the effort. Lord is the author of “Hollywood Then and Now” and “Los Angeles Then and Now.”