Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

GWNC Votes to Support Recommended Amendments to Proposed ED1 Ordinance

At its monthly board meeting on Wednesday, March 13, the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council took up the question of whether or not to support an ordinance, now making its way through the city council, that would enshrine as law Mayor Karen Bass’ Executive Directive 1. The measure stremlines the permitting process and allows simple administrative approval of housing projects that contain 100% affordable units and meet certain other application criteria.

While many of our local homeowners’ groups have expressed support for the goal of ED1 – to expedite worthy 100% affordable housing projects – several organizations, including the Hancock Park Homeowners Association, the Windsor Square Association, and United Neighbors – a statewide coalition of homeowners groups – have urged the City Council to make several amendments to the proposed ordinance before it’s approved.  The proposed amendments, designed to help protect single family and historic neighborhoods, include:

  • Limiting the number of waivers and off-menu incentives developers could claim under the ordinance to a total of six
  • Requiring 15′ rear setbacks to allow for trees to grow and stormwater to be captured
  • Preventing post-development conversion of non-residential spaces to market rate units (a possibility that has come up recently in a project proposed for 507 N. Larchmont Blvd.)
  • Protecting R1 zones, HPOZs and identified historic districts in their entirety
  • Ensuring that substandard streets/high-fire zones do not qualify for qualifications
  • And requiring that all projects that do not meet the requirements of ED1, including the proposed amendments, go through discretionary approvals.

After only a brief discussion, and two stakeholder comments suggesting even more restrictive provisions, GWNC board members voted to support the ED1 ordinance – if amended as suggested above – by a measure of 13 votes in favor, two opposed, and three abstentions.

City and Government Updates

Another highlight of this month’s meeting was a visit by 51st District State Assembly Member Rick Chavez Zbur, the Assembly’s current Democratic caucus leader, who provided a brief update on his current activities.  Zbur said he’s been working on two bills relating to homelessness (one to help disabled tenants move to more accessible units, and another establishing rent subsidies for veterans and foster youth), issues related to climate change (especially off-shore wind power), and public safety (heading a special task force on retail theft). Zbur said he also created and helped pass a new measure mandating LGBTQ sensitivity training for teachers, and serves on the Assembly’s Jewish caucus, which is currently focusing on the recent rise in anti-Semitism. Finally, Zbur mentioned that the state is facing a large budget deficit next year, and said some hard choices will have to be made…with the first round of cuts probably aimed at programs that still have unspent funds.

Next, LAPD Olympic Division Senior Lead Officer Harry Cho reported that violent crimes in the division are up over this period last year, and there have been two homicides so far – one at Western and Olympic (involving someone who pepper-sprayed someone on a Metro bus), and one at Western and San Marino (a shooting).  Cho said a suspect has been arrested in the first incident, and an arrest is expected soon in the second. Also, catalytic converter thefts are still an issue, Cho said, and he advised owners of Toyota Priuses, Tacomas, and Tundras (the vehicles whose catalytic converters are most often stolen) to get anti-theft shields installed if possible. Finally, Cho said there will be a Coffee with a Cop event at the Ralphs Starbucks at 3rd and Vermont on Saturday, March 23 at 9 a.m.

Next, City Council District 5 Field Deputy Michelle Flores was not able to attend the meeting, but did submit a short list of announcements read at the gathering, including:

  • LADOT’s Speed Hump Program will re-launch on March 21 at 9 am, and applications can be filed here as soon as the program opens. To qualify, a street segment must be a residential street, have only one travel lane in each direction, and have a speed limit of 30 mph or less. Getting speed humps approved is a three-step process that includes multiple levels of review.  More information is available here.
  • CD5 is soliciting community feedback about parks improvements residents would like to see. A survey is open here until the end of this month.
  • Speed hump restoration on the 800 block of Norton will begin April 2, 2024.
  • The Planning Department is still considering CD5’s request to terminate a 6-story 70-unit 100% affordable housing project proposed for 800 S. Lorraine, in the Windsor Village HPOZ (see below) while it reviews the applicant’s most recent submittal. Flores said Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky continues to advocate to exempt HPOZs from the ED1 ordinance, along with projects in high fire severity zones and on non-standard streets.

CD 13 Field Deputy Karla Martinez reported that 136 trees have been trimmed in CD 13 so far this year, and that the Council office is looking for others that need attention (though not those not hitting power lines, which are DWP’s responsibility). She also echoed Flores’ speed hump announcement and, in addition, said the district is looking for locations that would benefit from posting “No Dumping” signs.  Stakeholders who would like to contact her about any of these issues can reach her at [email protected].

Metro representative Ned Racine said escalators are now being delivered for all the new Purple Line Extension stations in our area, and the line is still on track to open in the spring of 2025.

GWNC Liaisons

Jack Humphreville, who serves as GWNC’s liaison to both LADWP and the city’s budget process, reported that LADWP has released its LA 100 renwable energy study, which he said shows that it’s going to cost “a heck of a lot of money,” to reach LA’s goal of 100% renewable energy by 2035.  He said he’s concerned about the effects of the costs on our power rates, and also about similar high costs of the city’s goals for wastewater recycling.

Humphreville, echoing Zbur’s comments about next year’s state budget, said he expects next year’s city budget to be “a horror show,” with shortfalls of at least $300-$400 million. He said we may see tax increases on an upcoming election ballot to help with the deficit, and the city may also have to tap into its reserve fund.


Jesseca Harvey, chair of the GWNC’s Ad Hoc Neighborhood Purpose Grant Committee, reminded attendees that applications for this year’s Neighborhood Purpose Grants are now open, and will close on March 22.  She said the committee will meet at the end of March to consider the applications received, and will bring its funding recommendations to the GWNC’s April board meeting.

In Land Use issues, the board for a second time considered the 100% affordable project proposed for 800 S. Lorraine Blvd. (also mentioned above).  At last month’s GWNC board meeting, the board voted to oppose the project, based on its height, setbacks, building line, articulation, dedications, lack of trees and landscaping, lack of plan for trash, recycling and waste pickup, lack of bicycle parking, location on a particulary narrow street, and non-compliance with the neighborhood zoning’s Q conditions and HPOZ guidelines. Because the GWNC Land Use Committee had not had a chance to see the developer’s presentation before that meeting, however, the applicant returned to the LUC for further discussion later in February. The result at that meeting was the same, however – with a number of residents speaking out to vehemently oppose the project based on the long list of previously-articulated concerns.  So this month the board once again voted to oppose the project by a margin of 13 in favor, two opposed, three abstentions, and one recusal (board member Julie Kim lives/owns property directly across street from the development site).

Also on the agenda last week was a discussion of a draft bill (SB 834) to close what advocate Barbara Gallen, representing the Friends of Historic Miracle Mile, referred to as a loophole in the state-level AB 2097 law, which allows developers to eliminate parking in new developments in transit rich areas, but still allows tenants in those buildings to obtain parking permits in adjacent neighborhoods. The Land Use Committee recommended at its February meeting that the GWNC board support SB 834, but GWNC president Conrad Starr reminded attendees at this meeting that the GWNC cannot take positions on state legislation unless there is an LA City Council Council File for the issue, and so far there is none for this one. So no vote was taken at this meeting, but Gallen invited individuals interested in finding out more about the issue, or who would like to receive talking points for writing their own letters to state legislators, to contact her at [email protected].

Based on a recommendation from the GWNC’s Sustainability Committee, the board voted to hold an Earth Day event at Memorial Park on April 27.  The event will include information tables, food trucks, and other activities. Committee chair Polly Estabrook said the goal is to secure collaboration from both of our local city council districts and other nearby neighborhood councils.

Meanwhile, the GWNC Outreach Committee will hold a Country Club Heights neighborhood beautification day on March 23, and a Metro Transit Day event on May 25.

At a request from the GWNC Quality of Life Committee, the board voted to write a letter to Mayor Karen Bass and City Attorney Heidi Feldstein Soto, asking why Bass’ latest appointment to the Metro board of directors was a second city councilmember, when city code requires that mayoral appointments to the board be one councilmember and two “public members.”

And finally among committee reports, Transportation Committee chair Cindy Chvatal announced that the committee’s next meeting, on March 21, will include a presentation on the proposed Metro K Line (formerly Crenshaw Line) northern extension.

New Business

In its final vote of the night last week, the GWNC board considered a proposal for a new Los Angeles Living Wage Ordinance and the Los Angeles Hotel Worker Minimum Wage Ordinance (Council File 14-1371-S13).  The ordinance would raise minimum wages for airport and hotel workers not currently covered by union contracts to $25/hr. now and $30/hr. by 2028, and provide quality health care and other worker protections. After a brief presentation by Ashley Gonzales from the Tourism Workers Rising coalition, board members voted by a margin of 7 in favor, two opposed, and 9 abstentions to support the measure.

The next GWNC board meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the Ebell of Los Angeles.

The next meeting of the GWNC Land Use Committee will be held on Tuesday, March 26, via Zoom.


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Elizabeth Fuller
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 has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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