A monthly newsletter published by United Neighborhoods for Los Angeles.
UN4LA's mission is to bring communities together to plan for a sustainable future. This city's growth must be shaped by community engagement, not developer dollars.
NORTH WESTLAKE DESIGN DISTRICT: IS THIS WHAT THE COMMUNITY WANTS?
Back in 2014, the Department of City Planning (DCP) posted notice of a workshop and public hearing on the proposed North Westlake Design District (NWDD). Members of this largely Flipino and Latino community were surprised to hear about the proposal, since apparently nobody in the area had expressed any desire to create a "design district". They were even more concerned to find that the NWDD would prohibit uses such as auto repair shops and recycling centers, while promoting uses such as art galleries and cafés. While these prohibitions have been dropped from a revised version of the NWDD, it's clear that the DCP and Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell have targeted this predominantly working class area for another round of gentrification and displacement.
But the community is fighting back. Working with the Los Angeles Tenants Union, area residents have formed the Coalition to Defend Westlake (CDW), bringing together Pro People Youth, the Pilipino Worker's Center, the Rampart Village Neighborhood Council, Kenneth Mejia for Congress, and a group of students from the Claremont Colleges. Here's what CDW says about their efforts so far:
"Members of the group began canvassing the area in Spanish and English to inform the community about what the NWDD actually was and also began working on a plan to stop it. The group collected around 150 signed petition statements from community members against the proposed ordinance and presented the statements to the DCP. Due to the amount of comments in opposition to the project, the proposal was stalled for several months. But now it appears the DCP is moving ahead anyway."
"The Coalition to Defend Westlake continues to build neighborhood power to force the DCP and Councilmember O'Farrell to actually listen to the community and protect its rich history and culture. Their first community forum is on January 17 at the Pilipino Worker's Center, 153 Glendale Blvd., 6:30pm to 8:30pm."
Please follow CDW's Facebook page to get updates and learn about future events.
Coalition to Defend Westlake
2018 HOMELESS COUNT
LA's homeless problem can seem overwhelming, with increasing numbers of people on the street and no easy solutions on the horizon. But one concrete step you can take is to participate in the 2018 Homeless Count. Gathering information about the number of people who are unsheltered and what groups have the greatest need will help local governments decide how to allocate resources. If you'd like to volunteer to help with the count, here's the link.
2018 Los Angeles Homeless Count
ANOTHER MASSIVE MIXED-USE PROJECT FOR HOLLYWOOD
Hollywood may see yet another large mixed-use project going up at the corner of Sunset and Western. A scoping meeting was held in July to get community feedback for the Environmental Impact Report. The project would consist of 735 multifamily units and about 95,000 sq. ft. of commercial space. While the area could certainly use more housing, the inclusion of amenities such as pools and spas seems to indicate that the new units will be geared toward high-end tenants. The fact that no affordable units are mentioned in the project description makes it sound like the current residents of this largely low-income community will be left out in the cold. Also disturbing is the fact that the developer is asking for a Master Conditional Use Permit to allow the onsite and offsite sale of alcohol, while providing zero details on how many establishments this would cover. The Department of City Planning has been very generous in handing out liquor permits lately, apparently not troubled by the strong relationship between alcohol outlets and violent crime, or the fact that crime has been rising in Hollywood for the past four years.
To take a look at the Initial Study prepared for the project, click on the link below.
5420 Sunset Initial Study
L.A. CONSERVANCY MOVES TO PRESERVE TELEVISION CITY
There's been a lot of talk lately about the possible sale by CBS of the Television City campus located at Beverly and Fairfax. The site would certainly be a prime location for development, as the area has already seen significant growth in recent years, but preservationists are concerned about what might be lost. Designed by prominent architects William Pereira and Charles Luckman, Television City opened in 1952. Among the popular programs that have been taped there are The Carol Burnett Show, All in the Family, and The Price Is Right. Survey LA has identified it as potentially eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
The Los Angeles Conservancy has started the process of nominating Television City for designation as a Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM). It's important to remember that while the HCM designation would limit new development of the site, it would not prevent development. Rather it would mandate design review of any new construction under the supervision of the Office of Historic Resources.
Conservancy Nominates Television City as Historic-Cultural Monument