Alternate board members Richard Park, Area 3 Country Club Heights, Justin Tien, Area 12 Western-Wilton and Mario Carpinelli, Business Alternate took the oath of office Wednesday night at the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council (GWNC) monthly meeting. Barbara Kumetz was nominated for Area 4 and Daniel Brook was nominated for Area 5. Both will be voted on at the next meeting of the board in July. There are still vacancies on the board for Alternate Board members in Area 8 Melrose, Area 12 Western-Wilton, Area 14 Windsor Square, Area 15 Windsor Village, Education and Religion seats.
Julie Stromberg Chair of the Sustainability Committee and committee member Kathy Rogers announced the committee’s first garden tour Sunday, June 26, featuring drought-tolerant gardens. The committee is currently reviewing nominations for gardens in various neighborhoods including Windsor village, Fremont Place. At the next committee meeting, Tuesday, Tuesday June 24, Michael Meador, CEO of California Greenworks, Inc. will present “Resilient Landscape Design for Residential Parkways,” an educational program that is part of the committee’s pilot program to educate residents about appropriate design of the parkway that is sustainable and enhances the Los Angeles urban forest.
Joe Hoffman chair of the Outreach committee invited board members and neighbors to join the committee. He reported on the discussion at the committee’s last meeting to increase awareness of the GWNC and its mission by having board members speak to local homeowner’s association meetings, have volunteers at the Sunday Farmer’s Market in Larchmont Village and investigate the cost of pole banners. The committee also welcomes recommendations for the Citizen’s Recognition Award. The next meeting of the Outreach committee is Saturday, June 25 at 9 am at Bricks and Scones on Larchmont Blvd.
The Philip Farha presented the Land Use Committee’s (LUC) recommendation to support a project at 4807-4813 W Oakwood. The recommendation was not approved 7 votes to 4. Other recommendations including a request for a density bonus at 5030 Rosewood Avenue and a CUP for 300-306 N. La Brea and a zone variance to construct a one-story garage at 565 N Windsor were unanimously approved.
The LUC recommendation to support the City’s proposed Home Sharing and Short Term Rentals Ordinance passed with only 6 votes in favor and 7 abstention votes after concerns were raised in public comments from resident La Brea Hancock Suzan Fellman who strongly opposed the 90 day restriction on home rentals. Fellman said she and others were hosting guests in their homes, not running a business and were adding to the local economy. In addition, she said many of her neighbors were earning essential income to allow them to keep their homes. Fellman said the effort to restrict home sharing was being lead by the hotel industry to the detriment of individual homeowners who contributing to the local economy by offering more reasonable rates encouraging their guests to do more shopping and spend more locally. She also questioned the assertion that legislation was needed to protect neighborhoods from developers taking rental housing off the market. According to Fellman, everyone she knows is offering their home to supplement their income and is not harming their neighborhood.
The committee’s recommendation to support the Baseline Mansionization ordinance as currently drafted by the City was also approved by the board. Daniel Brook, who lives on Rossmore said he supported rules to prevent over built homes on small sized lots but said the current Interim Control Ordinance was too extreme and was hurting families who want to expand their homes. Board member Karen Gilman from Larchmont Village, explained the ordinance was written by the City without involvement from the neighborhood and encouraged Brook to attend the ICO forum this Saturday, June 11, at 10:00 am and be part of the discussion to develop a more sensitive formula that would be more appropriate for owners wanted to expand their homes but protect the neighborhood from over-built homes that destroy the character of the neighborhood. La Brea Hancock resident Kathy Rogers said she supported the measure and urged the GWNC to quickly send their letter since the public comment period ends on June 10.
Other announcements at the meeting included Michael Cortez from Metro who reminded everyone the Wilshire Blvd street closure will start Friday evening and continue for 16 weekend to construct the concrete decking.
John Darnell from Council member Paul Koretz reported that Council member Koretz had successfully pushed to restore four planning position in the City’s budget to work on HPOZs. He invited everyone to attend a “Meet and Greet” with Council member Koretz and Vince Bertoni, the new director of the Department of City Planning on Monday, June 27, 2016 at 7:00 pm at the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center Auditorium. This coming Monday, June 13 at 5:30 pm Council member Koretz will host a community meeting with all the department heads of the city’s Board of Public Works also at the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center Auditorium. Darnell encouraged interested residents to take advantage of this rare opportunity to meet all the various department. Topics covered will include Street Services, Street Lighting, Sidewalk Repair, Graffiti Abatement, and Clean Streets.
Nikki Ezhari, deputy for Council member David Ryu invited resident to join the “Great Streets” effort and help beautify Western avenue this Saturday, June 11 starting at 8:30 am to help paint murals, pick up litter and prune street landscaping. Volunteers should meet at the intersection of Melrose and Western Avenue. She also announced the council office was looking for volunteers to advise on pedestrian safety task force being organized by the Mayor’s office.
The next meeting of the GWNC is Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 7 pm at the Wilshire Ebell.