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Larchmont Village Neighborhood Association Annual Meeting; Paramount Masterplan Discussed


Larchmont Village Neighborhood Association Annual Meeting was held Tuesday, November 19 at Van Ness Elementary School
The Larchmont Village Neighborhood Association Annual Meeting was held Tuesday, November 19 at Van Ness Elementary School

Of all issues facing the Larchmont Village neighborhood at the moment, the Paramount Master Plan  is likely to have the greatest impact, said Larchmont Village Neighborhood Association President Charles D’Atri to residents at the group’s annual meeting at Van Ness Elementary School on Tuesday night.  The LVNA boundaries include the South side of Melrose Avenue to the north side of Beverly Boulevard, between the east side of Arden Avenue and the west side of Wilton Place.

“Paramount will be adding over 2 million square feet of in-fill development in our neighborhood,” said D’Atri. “The entitlements they are seeking from the city will dramatically enhance the value of their property whether they build them or not.”

D’Atri explained that Paramount is asking for permission to build a 15 story glass office building; tear down the old RKO Studios building at the corner of Melrose Avenue and Gower; build an 8-story office building on the former Western Costume site at Van Ness and Melrose; and they are asking for an electronic sign district that would change images on electronic billboards as often as every 8 seconds. There are also proposals to build on surface parking lots Paramount owns on the south side of Melrose.

While the comment period on Paramount’s draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) has closed, D’Atri said residents could still become involved in the approval process by adding their names to the notification list for future actions.  Just write to [email protected] at the Department of City Planning.

Out-of- scale construction projects and squatters in vacant properties were also of great concern to residents at the meeting. Karen Gilman, LVNA board member, announced she was organizing a small committee to explore securing a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) for the neighborhood, and invited interested residents to join.

With the holidays coming, Senior Lead Officers Joe Pelayo and Dave Cordova talked to residents about keeping property safety from theft, as well as the recent spate of catalytic converter thefts.  They introduced Sargent Priscilla Bielma, who is in charge of the Olympic area SLO unit. All three officers urged residents to continue to be vigilant and do simple things like lock their doors and their cars. Pelayo and Cordova estimated that most property crime could be reduced if people simply removed property from their cars and locked their doors. The officers also asked residents to consider supporting Olympic Division’s Operation Shoes from Santa program, which will benefit local students at Van Ness Elementary school. Officer Pelayo said he would be happy to pick up any and all donations. He can be reached by email at [email protected]

Nikki Ezhari, Senior Field Deputy for Council member David Ryu, encouraged residents to contact her if they have any concerns, and noted that her office has no historical files on the neighborhood. She can be reached by emailing [email protected] or by calling (323) 957-6335.

Stu Melvin, LVNA Block Captain coordinator, said the association is looking for more volunteers to join the block captain effort. Many blocks are already assigned, so Melvin invited residents to check in with him about who is coordinating their block. Marguerite Topping invited residents interested in learning about catastrophe preparedness to sign up for the CERT classes starting in January. The free program is conducted by the Los Angeles Fire Department to train volunteers to respond in the event of a major disaster, since first responders are not likely to  be able to assist everyone.


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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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