In another more-than-four-hour meeting last night, the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council passed several Land Use motions, appointed four committee chairs, and appointed alternate representatives to four board seats…but once again wound up postponing a significant chunk of its agenda for a future meeting.
On the plus side, the addition of a professional parliamentarian, James Stewart, to the meeting did seem to help the overall tenor of the proceedings. The board voted at a Special Meeting on June 2 to engage Stewart’s services for three months, and he was officially introduced, and began his duties, at last night’s meeting. Stewart, who made it clear that is role is advisory only, was able to help move things along when questions arose about provisions of the board’s bylaws, how board rules interact with specific committee protocols, how motion amendments and withdrawals should be handled, and how motions should or shouldn’t be phrased…all of which have led to lengthy debates at other GWNC meetings recently.
But despite the smoothing out of many of the parliamentary kinks, this meeting, like others recently, still clocked in at more than four hours, and left the lengthy agenda uncompleted. And also once again, as with most recent meetings, most of the discussions were still procedural and administrative instead of dealing with specific community issues.
Among the neighborhood issues that were discussed and voted on last night, the board voted to support the Land Use Committee’s recommendation to support an application for a new 4-story, 22-unit apartment building, to be built under the city’s Transit Oriented Communities guidelines at 505-509 N. St. Andrews Place.
The board also voted to accept the Land Use Committee’s recommendation to oppose a planned renovation and expansion of an existing apartment building at 410 N. Rossmore. The project would transform the building from 4 stories and 78 single and one-bedroom units, to a 10-story building housing 225 residents in a mixture of studio, one-bedroom, and co-living units (with 4-5 individually-rented bedrooms are arranged around a common kitchen and living room). The project has been reviewed several times by the Land Use Committee, and tenant and community complaints about the scope of the project, the relocation of existing tenants, and skepticism about the co-living concept resulted in the recommendation to formally oppose the project.
Finally among Land Use matters, the board voted to support a proposal to hold and promote a Town Hall informational session about the city’s Transit Oriented Communities program, to help the community better understand how it affects local development and neighborhoods. The Town Hall meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 23, at 6:30 p.m., via Zoom.
Committee and Board Alternate Appointments
In other administrative matters, the Board last night appointed three new alternate board members (who sit in when the main board member for a specific seat is absent). They include Josh McCloskey (La Brea-Hancock), Bob Reeves (Ridgewood-Wilton/St. Andrews Square), and Benny Rosenberg (Religion). Among the three, the Religion seat appointment was the only one with more than one candidate. But after a short introduction and discussion, Rosenberg, a past GWNC board member who also sits on the board of Yavneh Academy, prevailed in vote between him and the other candidate, Suzana Kim, an Associate Pastor at the Wilshire United Methodist Church. The final tally was 8 votes for Rosenberg, 4 for Kim, and 2 abstentions.
Committee chairs appointed last night included Cathy Roberts (Environment and Sustainability Committee), Cindy Chvatal (Transportation), Gary Gilbert (Resilience), and Colette Amin (Outreach). Among these, the appointment of Amin, a former board member, and current stakeholder, with a long tenure on the Outreach Committee, who has most recently been serving as its chair, resulted in the longest discussion. During the debate, some board members suggested that it would be more appropriate for the Outreach chair to be a current board member, while others heartily endorsed Amin and her lengthy experience on the committee. In the end, the tally was 8 votes in favor of confirming Amin as Outreach chair, and 10 abstentions, awarding her the seat.
By the time the business above had been completed, it was close to 10:45 p.m., so board president Conrad Starr declared that the remainder of the agenda (including ratification of the members of the board’s various committees, and the monthly reports and recommended motions from most of those committees), would be held over to a future meeting.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the GWNC board is scheduled for Wednesday, July 14, at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. (Note that GWNC meetings will likely remain online through the at least most of the summer, with in-person and/or hybrid meetings probably resuming sometime in the late summer or fall.)