Residents who participated in this week’s meeting of the Larchmont Village Neighborhood Association decided to organize another meeting, in-person to discuss how neighbors can collaborate with each other and the LAPD to reduce crime in the neighborhood.
The request for an in-person meeting came from the victims of the recent home invasion attempt by two armed men. They asked neighbors if they would band together to support the local police and explore installing license plate cameras in the neighborhood similar to those installed in the Melrose area after several high-profile armed robberies.
“Keith Johnson has tremendous expertise in this area,” said Charles D’Atri, president of the LVNA. “I have asked Keith to coordinate this meeting. We take this seriously and we support you,” D’Atri told the residents.
Captain Sonia Monico of LAPD Wilshire Division added that security camera footage is an invaluable tool for the police providing information about suspects.
“Eventually we get them,” said Monico. “Sometimes we get a plate or a face and we use this information to build a case.”
Security footage collected from residents in Larchmont Village and Windsor Square, another neighborhood that has seen a significant uptick in burglaries and home invasion attempts, show two different groups of individuals targeting the neighborhood, explained Monico. One group was seen driving a green/gray Charger, the other was using a white Tesla without license plates. Police believe the group with the Charger was involved in the Larchmont Village incident. No arrests have been made and she asked residents to be vigilant and report suspicious activity to the police.
A resident of Serrano and Second Street, in nearby Koreatown, said her neighbors are getting together on December 2 with CD10 Councilmember Heather Hutt at the Anderson Munger YMCA for a similar discussion. She invited Larchmont Village residents to join the meeting so the two neighborhoods could work together.
300 N. Plymouth
Larchmont Village resident Sam Uretsky reported on the neighborhood’s efforts to close down a party house at 300 N. Plymouth Drive. For now, the house is quiet reported Uretsky, who noted that LAPD Olympic Division and Senior Lead Officer Joe Pelayo were very helpful in organizing the enforcement effort that led to getting the house cited twice. Now, he said, residents on the block are more hopeful the house will be closed down permanently since Neighborhood Prosecutor Mehrnoosh Zahiri Naderi is involved in the case. Naderi was instrumental in closing down the house at 310 N. Lucerne two years ago.
In addition, the LA Department of Building and Safety has also cited the property for overheight fences and gates. However, the owners of the property have recently applied for an ADU permit and neighbors are asking the department not to issue the permit.
LA Housing Element
Every eight years, the city planning department reviews the city’s housing needs in the Housing Element of the General Plan, explained Cindy Chvatal-Keane, president of the Hancock Park Homeowners Association and twenty-nine-year resident. Chvatal-Keane is one of the founders of a state-wide homeowners group called United Neighbors that is proposing alternative zoning plans that create affordable housing while preserving single-family residential neighborhoods.
“Recently, the LA City Planning Department rezoned areas of the city, including Larchmont Village that would permit 4-6 story apartments, creating nearly 1,400,000 million housing units to satisfy the 456,000 units we are required have by the Regional Housing Needs Assessment known as RHNA, ” explained Chvatal-Keane. “After substantial opposition from neighborhoods around the city, the Planning Department announced it was removing the Affordable Housing Overlays and the Transit Oriented Community Expansion programs from single-family residential neighborhoods.”
“For now,” Chvatal-Keane cautioned. “We can find space for more housing, affordable housing, not just market-rate housing, along our commercial corridors near our residential neighborhoods.”
Chvatal-Keane proposed the association send the following statement to the LA City Council opposing overlays and other densification zoning measures to be submitted to Council File 21-1230:
Whereas the Housing Element and Community Plan Updates have sufficient zoning opportunities in commercial corridors, on public lands and through Adaptive Reuse to meet State housing needs mandates, there is no need to divide and destroy existing residential neighborhoods by rezoning through overlays or other zoning devices of R1 zones or sensitive, rent stabilized multi-family housing. The Larchmont Village Neighborhood Association opposes the Housing Element’s proposed rezoning and densification of R1 and multi-family neighborhoods beyond what SB9 and ADU law allows.
“Currently neighborhoods that are designated a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) are protected from these zoning measures,” added Chris Shanely, an architect who lives in Larchmont Village. “But we are not protected because we are not an HPOZ.”
Chvatal-Keane agreed and urged residents to keep informed as the work on finalizing the Housing Element must be completed by February 2025. Click here to view Chvatal-Keane’s presentation.