CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman met with residents of the La Brea Hancock Homeowners Association last week to learn more about their neighborhood. Raman started off the meeting by announcing that her office and all of City Hall would be re-opening on June 15. Raman told a small group of residents in the 300 home-neighborhood, located between Carling Way and Third Street, and La Brea and Highland, that she is looking forward to working full-time in her office and in person with her staff and others in City Hall for the first time. (Raman has been working remotely since she was elected last November, due to the pandemic.) She said remote working has made it much more challenging to get her office up and running, but as she looks ahead at her office and the city’s budget, she is hopeful she can support more constituent services like tree trimming, thanks to increased federal and state funding, which has already greatly improved the city’s budget situation.
Raman was joined in the meeting by Su Lee, Raman’s Field Manager for the area, and Andrea Conant, Deputy Chief of Staff and District Manager. La Brea Hancock HOA President Cathy Roberts posed questions to Raman and her staff on a wide range of subjects of interest to the residents. Maintenance and health of the local street trees in the eleven-block neighborhood, speeding traffic on 6th Street, and housing were among the topics discussed. Residents asked for help with getting a comprehensive plan for street trees from the city’s department of Urban Forestry, to monitor trees that have structural decline and could be at risk for falling.
Jen Rojas, a Mansfield Ave. resident whose home has been struck by speeding vehicles, asked Councilmember Raman for help in getting LADOT to resume efforts begun by Councilmember David Ryu’s office to explore ways to slow the traffic down on 6th Street between La Brea and Highland Avenue.
In other discussions, Raman told residents she supports SB10, a statewide measure that would allow all municipalities to streamline construction developments of 10 units or more without state environmental reviews.
“Municipalities should be able to make those changes,” said Raman. However, she said she does not support SB9, another state measure that allow greater density on current single family lots. “I would like to see more protections for neighborhoods,” she said.
Raman also said she supports efforts to increase housing in the City. She cited the city’s Transit Oriented Community (TOC) program, which provides housing density incentives to developers who include affordable housing in their projects. However, she said she would like to increase the percentage of affordable housing required in TOC projects. She also said she’d like to see more support for housing developments in the district, though she noted that CD4 real estate is expensive and already quite well developed.
“I don’t hear a community of yes,” said Raman, urging residents to actively support housing. “We need to build more housing. I would ask all of you to help us identify the opportunities in this neighborhood.”
“Creating a sense of place is important to the livability of a city. And that happens through the uniqueness of neighborhoods such as La Brea Hancock. Tom LaBonge always said that it is neighborhoods that make Los Angeles great,” Roberts told the Buzz. “We look forward to working with CM Raman to identify locations on (Wilshire and La Brea) or (commercial corridors) (where there is unused capacity) or (that are viable locations) for denser housing while preserving our single family zoning.”
After Raman left the meeting, residents heard from nearby Hancock Park residents Clif Lord and Jennifer Devore, who asked the La Brea Hancock Homeowners Association to support their request to LADOT to pursue safety measures at the intersections of 4th Street and Highland and Rossmore Avenues that do not include traffic lights and restricted turn lanes. The La Brea Hancock board agreed to study the matter further.
The next meeting of the association will be its annual meeting and election of officers. Below is a link to a recording of the meeting. https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/F0e3p9WEy3hzBNkgLiwOPJoQ73bgV3_Jfe6BsH57k_zSn5QtjVKlOkqeGcL10JU.JvanVbssoUNTAk2U Passcode: &#%gGk!1