Westwood South of

Santa Monica Blvd.

Homeowners Association


Breaking News

BE AWARE OF THEFTS FROM US POST BOXES!

October 24, 2012

Thieves are removing mail that we have placed in US Postal Service mailboxes in our area.


One of our neighbors in the Bentley/Greenfield/Missouri area contacted us to let us know that she saw a man attempting to remove mail from her local mailbox.  She contacted the LAPD but was told instead to contact the US Postal Service for follow up.  At that time (a week ago), this was an isolated incident. 

Just this weekend, we had a report from a second resident that after mailing a letter at the Prosser/Mississippi mail box, she realized that the inside slot of the box was very, very sticky.  This made her suspicious in that letters mailed would not go down into the box but would instead stick to the upper portion and could be retrieved.

On Tuesday, we learned of a third incident:  A neighbor who mailed payment envelopes from the US Postal Box at Selby and Pico (at the side of the Bank of America) on Sunday was contacted by a local neighbor who FOUND his envelopes and payment stubs BUT NO CHECKS, discarded in the street near the mailbox.  THIS MEANS THAT SOMEONE REMOVED THE ENVELOPES, OPENED THEM AND STOLE THE CHECKS. 

Thieves can "wash" out the name of a payee on a check and enter their own name.  Thieves can take your personal information from a payment stub and request that your charge account info be mailed to a new address (and then request new credit cards and do further damage).  If a thief were lucky enough to get hold of mail with your personal information such as social security number, date of birth, etc. there could be identify theft leading to serious problems. 

UNTIL THE LAPD AND/OR U.S. POSTAL SERVICE ARE ABLE TO CATCH THOSE RESPONSIBLE, WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO NOT USE THE LOCAL MAILBOXES.  IT IS BEST TO  HAND YOUR OUTGOING MAIL TO YOUR MAIL CARRIER (do not leave checks in letters outside of your mailbox at your home as they could be taken) or TAKE THEM TO THE POST OFFICE.  Offer to take the mail of your neighbors if they don't make regular trips to the post office. 

BE ALERT AND MAKE A SPECIAL EFFORT TO KEEP AN EYE ON THE LOCAL MAILBOXES AND CALL THE POLICE SHOULD YOU OBSERVE ANYTHING SUSPICIOUS.  WE WILL BE IN CONTACT WITH BOTH THE LAPD AND U.S. POSTAL SERVICE. 

WESTSIDE MOBILITY STUDY wants your input:

Three community meetings were held in early October 2012 to give feedback on the work being done for the Westside Mobility Study.  If you were not able to attend one of these meetings, you are invited to view the presentation given and to see the slides that were on display so that you can submit COMMENTS to the project. 

Go to:
 http://www.westsidemobilityplan.com/participate-in-the-westside-mobility-plan-online/

The feedback survey can be linked from the project website or go to: 
http://www.westsidemobilityplan.com/public-outreach/community-feedback-survey/

FLASH MOB PARTIES

ATTENTION-AREA RESIDENTS

Recently, there has been a new trend of social media/flash mob

parties occurring, following the release of a particular movie.

Teenaged children are targeting homes where the parents

are either away for the weekend or on vacation leaving

the residence unattended or attended by an unsupervised teen.


Using social media, the address of the unattended residence

or teen willing to host the party is sent to thousands of

followers who will then converge on the residence creating

a flash mob party scene. Party goers will arrive at the

residence bringing alcoholic beverages, narcotics, commit

acts of vandalism, theft, burglary, physical and sexual

assaults. Most homes will sustain thousands to hundreds of

thousands of dollars in property damage and property loss.


Residents are reminded to always maintain their home

security and participate in a Neighborhood Watch. If

possible use a responsible adult house sitter while away.

Ensure your alarm is armed and a local responsible person

or neighbor is available to respond if necessary. Web based

surveillance cameras will also allow you to monitor your

residence from your smartphone or laptop.


If you suspect an intrusion or an illegal party call 911 or

1-877-275-5273 (1-877-ASK-LAPD).

Prepared by

West Los Angeles Crime Analysis Detail
Date: 4/10/12
CAS#: 08120410-2CC





 

METRO Board adopts Westside Subway Extension FEIR and route from Western Ave. to Brentwood VA.


The Board approved the CONSTELLATION STATION stop in Century City which will go beneath Beverly Hills High School property.  BHUSD may take legal action.  WSSM supports the Constellation Station stop as the location that will serve the greatest number of riders and holds the best promise for getting commuters out of their cars and onto public transit.


See TRAFFIC AND TRANSPORTATION page for additional details.  


NEW LAWS RESULT IN BAN ON MOBILE BILLBOARDS IN LOS ANGELES!

 

On Wednesday, March 7th the LA City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance banning mobile billboards from City streets.

 

Past efforts to regulate these nuisance signs were fraught with loopholes which made enforcement nearly impossible. Billboard companies frequently moved the billboards or vehicles a few feet every few hours to avoid the 72 hour parking rule.  A new State law (AB 1298 by Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield) gives local governments the means to eliminate the mobile billboards mounted on cars, mopeds, and sleds by expanding the definition of mobile billboard which state law makes subject to regulation by local ordinance.  The definition now includes any device which transports a sign for the purpose of advertising, ending the ways in which a new generation of mobile billboards has sought to skirt Los Angeles' ban on unhitched trailer advertising 

 

The new ordinance restricts ANY mobile billboards whether or not they are attached to a vehicle, bicycle or are freestanding. The adopted ordinance is an outright ban making the first violation a warning and subsequent violations a criminal act, punishable as a misdemeanor to the registered owner of the vehicle. Perhaps the greatest deterrent is that the billboards can now be impounded after 24 hour notice.

 

The ordinance was signed by Mayor Villaraigosa and goes into effect immediately. 

It is expected that there will be lawsuits filed against this ordinance before the ink is even dry on the Mayor's signature - at least that was what was threatened during public comment on this item.  The court may impose an injunction against enforcement until it is determined whether or not the ordinance is legal. Until then, it is illegal and violating signs should be reported to Dept. of Transportation Parking Enforcement:  818-752-5100
 (press 2 to be connected to an operator).

 

 

City Council PLUM Committee directs the drafting of new modifications to proposed Sign Ordinance.  Hearing of Dec. 5th, 2011 sets the tone for serious consideration of commercial signage in parks, in the LA Zoo and at City facilities!

Although the majority of speakers attending the Dec. 5th hearing spoke against allowing commercial advertising in our City's parks, in the LA Zoo and at libraries and other City facilities, the members of the PLUM Committee seemed to embrace the notion that signage should be allowed because of the tough economic situation the City finds itself in.  Councilmember Krikorian noted that there are proposals to privatize the zoo, and to close the zoo; somehow allowing advertising there will be the solution to the Zoo's (and the City's???) fiscal woes?  

PLUM Chairman Reyes and Committee members Huizar and Krikorian instructed staff and the City Attorney's office to draft new language that would further dilute the intent of the City's 2002 Sign Ordinance and ban on new billboard signage.  They seemed to believe that sign approvals in parks, for example, could be left to


Another round of revisions was just released in advance of the Dec. 5th PLUM meeting.  In it there have been a number of improvements to the ordinance.  However, there are some very glaring loopholes that remain... and some that have been recently created!  We know that the outdoor advertising industry has considerable clout downtown and has invested a great deal of money on lobbying the City Council and Mayor this year in order to create a more favorable sign ordinance.  

As reported on the www.banbillboardblight.org website this week, we are needing to counter this formidable presence of the billboard companies:

Most of the city’s billboards are owned by Clear Channel, CBS Outdoor, and Lamar Advertising, which together with two smaller companies spent $595,000 lobbying city officials in the first three quarters of 2011, according to reports filed with the City Ethics Commission. The biggest spender by far was Clear Channel, with a reported $338,000 in lobbying expenditures.

What is it that the billboard companies seek?  They wish to undermine the intent of the 2002 Sign Ordinance which declared that there could be no new off-site signs... no more new billboards!   With the proposed creation of SIGN DISTRICTS and COMPREHENSIVE SIGN PROGRAM it is critical that any new signs be offset by the REMOVAL of existing signs.  Without that requirement, we face an explosion in the number of signs across the City.  The industry wishes instead to create Community Betterment Funds whereby they can place money (how much and for what uses and who gets to use them????) and then avoid having to do any takedown of signs.  The whole intent of the 2002 Sign Ordinance was to REDUCE signage and allow for the gradual reduction in signs across the city.  Not so with the proposed changes to the ordinance.  We recognize that there will always be special places where signage will grow unregulated... such as at downtown's LA LIVE and in Hollywood.  However, to allow for the addition of signs in SIGN DISTRICTS across the City where they would be allowed (and there are now 14 proposed sign districts, a HUGE INCREASE from the two that had been proposed for approval when the City's Planning Commission held hearings and made recommendations on the proposed revisions to the Sign Ordinance. 

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and it appears that he has the list from Clear Channel, CBS Outdoor and their buddies.

Rather than re-state all the issues here, please go to the recent summary posted on the Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight website:  www.banbillboardblight.org

We will soon be emailing out a list of important points to make  to those on our email blast list for your letters to the PLUM Committee.  Please take a moment to write.  If you do not receive our blasts, write to wssmhoa@gmail.com and request to be placed on the  email blast mailing list.  You will then get all our action alerts and timely updates of neighborhood issues. 

Go on record and write to PLUM:  Chairperson Reyes, and Councilmembers Huizar and Krikorian c/o sharon.gin@lacity.org.  Send a copy to:  info@banbillboardblight.org. 

Tell them you :

***oppose signs in parks and public facilities

***oppose the current revisions that will allow for signs to be placed without mandatory takedowns.  The sign companies should do mandatory takedowns AND contribute to community beautification funds.  After all, the signs that they are placing will yield significant income over the years.  The City sees no benefits... only blight. 

***oppose allowing any off-site signage  in Comprehensive Sign Programs.

***oppose signs that cover any windows on buildings.

***oppose legalization of currently illegal billboards that violate provisions of their permits and that are larger and taller than allowed.  This provision could affect the status of over 500 billboards.

***oppose allowing zoning administrators authority to grant “adjustments” for billboards that deviate up to 20% from the height and sign area specified by their permits. The provision would apply to billboards erected before the city’s 2002 ban on new off-site signs.

***oppose the approval  ("grandfathering") of proposed sign districts that have not had entitlement hearings.   Require that any grandfathered sign districts comply with takedown requirements AND community benefits contribution.  

***oppose the creation of an appeals process that could reduce required fines against those not in compliance with the Ordinance.  Section 14.427 would create a mechanism that could allow outdoor advertisers to avoid the sting of fines used to encourage compliance with the Ordinance. 




The October 5th revision included many dramatic changes, including:

· a large increase in the number of sign district applications eligible for grandfathering (from the original 2 proposed in March 2009 to 14);

· a new “Community Benefits Program” that would allow trading off things such as streetscape improvements in lieu of the requirement to remove old signs on a

greater than one-to-one basis;

· an interior sign exception that does not unequivocally spell out that city parks are

t o be protected from the impacts of comprehensive sign programs.

 

The last of these issues is particularly troubling in light of Councilmember Jan Perry’s letter to PLUM dated October 18, asking PLUM to modify the Sign Ordinance to allow commercial advertising in City parks and other facilities. Councilmember Perry warns that the City will be “missing a critical opportunity to create possible revenue through signage at city facilities” if the change is not made.

 

The PLUM hearing on October 18 was very well attended. Sixty-nine speaker cards were collected, with the overwhelming majority of speakers opposed to the ordinance. WSSM President Barbara Broide was among the many speakers opposed, and no community council, neighborhood council, or group representing homeowners supported the ordinance as written.

 

Numerous media and sign industry representatives also expressed their opposition, apparently believing that the current revision remains too restrictive. Deputy Planning Director Alan Bell was asked to return to PLUM November 1 to discuss a schedule to report back on numerous topics discussed by PLUM, with further hearings expected toward the end of the year.

 

For the most up-to-date  information, please visit: http://banbillboardblight.org/ .

 


APRON PARKING
It is now ok to park on the apron of your driveway so long as you do not enter or touch the sidewalk with your vehicle.  The ban on apron parking has been suspended at this time.


DOT General Manager Jaime de la Vega issued a letter on October 19th, 2011 to clarify how DOT is responding to the motion passed by Council on  Oct. 12.
 
The letter says:

"Per Council file 11-1676 (Koretz-Rosendahl motion) and advice of the Office of the City Attorney, effective October 12, 2011 LADOT is not issuing parking citations under Los Angeles Municipal Code section 80.53 for paring on a driveway apron.  Traffic officers have been instructed as to the change.   In addition, any citations issued in error under LAMC section 80.53 on October 12, 2011 or later will be administratively canceled. 

LADOT will continue to enforce other sections of the LAMC and California Vehicle Code, including CVC section 22500(e), which prohibits parking in front of the driveway, and CVC section 22500(f), which prohibits parking on the sidewalk."

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Oct. 12 update:
The Los Angeles City Council approved a motion on October 12, 2011,
suspending enforcement of LAMC Section 80.53.  While Section 80.53 is
suspended, an owner or lessee may park on the apron as long as no
portion of the vehicle touches a sidewalk or projects into the street
in violation of California Vehicle Code Sections 22500(e) and (f),
respectively.  Enforcement of California Vehicle Section 22500, in its
entirety, will remain in full force and effect.   In addition, other
sections of the Los Angeles Municipal Code regulating "parkways" shall
also remain in full force and effect.


--
Chris Rider
Transportation Engineering Associate II
LADOT Public Information Office 213-972-8461
"And Knowing Is Half The Battle"


THOSE WHOSE APRONS ARE NOT LARGE ENOUGH FOR THEIR CARS STILL NEED RELIEF AND OTHER MEASURES  ARE BEING CONSIDERED.

WE CONTINUE TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE.


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July 28 Update:  Over 25 WSSM are residents and residents from Westwood Village and Mar Vista attended the July 27th hearing. The Council members said that they would further discuss the issue in LA City Council CLOSED session as the City Attorney's office representative advised them  they could not discuss apron parking at the meeting due to the pending litigation.  However, the legal action did not stop any of the citizen speakers from describing their many concerns, the negative impact the City's "one size fits all" enforcement has caused including the problems created for those handicapped residents who have relied on apron parking and can now no longer access their vehicles or their homes! 
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LA CITY COUNCIL  TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE  CONSIDERED THE ROSENDAHL - KORETZ MOTION TO ALLOW FOR PARKING IN FRONT OF DRIVEWAYS AT THE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE MEETING ON WEDNESDAY, JULY 27th:

Motion (Rosendahl – Koretz) instructing DOT to report relative to the steps necessary to implement the California Vehicle Code exemption to allow residents to legally park in front of their driveways.

For more info go to:  http://ens.lacity.org/clk/committeeagend/clkcommitteeagend3072579_07272011.pdf

While this motion was written last year and was done before enforcement against parking on the aprons took place, it does not address the Beverly Glen problem.  We will ask that the Transportation Committee either amend or introduce a second measure that would allow apron parking where it does not impede handicapped access or violate ADA. 
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August 19 Update:  On Wednesday, August 17th, Councilmember Koretz introduced the following motion to be placed on the City Council's Special Agenda for August 19th (Agenda Item No. 45):

 11-1341 CONSIDERATION OF MOTION (KORETZ - ROSENDHAL) relative to apron parking in the City of Los Angeles.

  Recommendation for Council action: INSTRUCT and REQUEST, as appropriate, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and the City Attorney to report back on:

 a. potential State legislation to correct apron parking problems in the City of Los Angeles.

  b. potential creation of a program to deal with parking in driveways in a way that is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

 c. a program to allow apron parking that is ADA compliant.

  d. meeting with plaintiffs and creating a program in cooperation with the plaintiffs.

The motion passed with consent. 

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With the motion adopted, the question will now be HOW QUICKLY will DOT and the City Attorney be able to report back to Council with the requested information?
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City Amends Bus Bench Contract To Require Compliance With Zoning Regulations

On Friday, August 19, 2011, the Los Angeles City Council voted to approve a Bus Bench Program that includes amending language proposed by Councilmember Bill Rosendahl. This amendment incorporates zoning restrictions into the proposed bus bench contract.

The Bus Bench Program authorizes the placement of thousands of new bus benches with commercial advertising throughout the City. They will replace the tan plastic Norman Co. bus benches currently in the City.  WSSM, with other concerned community groups, expressed our fears that the proposal might allow bus bench advertisements in areas where zoning regulations preclude such commercial advertising.  We joined with the Brentwood Residents Coalition who submitted model language to the City that would preclude the installation of commercial ads on benches in areas that prohibit or restrict such advertising.

We appreciate the leadership of CD 11 Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, who made the motion to amend “the proposed contract to require that new bus benches with advertising be installed in a manner that is consistent with all local zoning codes, including restrictions on off-site advertising set forth in the General Plan, Community Plans, Specific Plans as enacted by ordinance, the California Coastal Act, and all other applicable law.”

The City Council passed the Bus Bench Ordinance with the Rosendahl Amendment by a vote of 11-1.

Attending the hearing or submitting comments were representatives from:  The Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight, the Coastal Law Enforcement Action Network (CLEAN), the Westwood, Brentwood and Pacific Palisades Community Councils, the Studio City Neighborhood Council, the Westwood Village Business Association, the Bel Air Skycrest Property Owners’ Association, the Brentwood Homeowners Association, the Westwood Homeowners Association, the North Westwood Village Residents Association, the Tract 7260 Association, and the Pacific Palisades Residents Association.

The Rosendahl Motion amending the bus bench contract represents an important first step in controlling the proliferation of bus bench advertising in scenic and historic areas. But the Bus Bench Program is far from the only advertising-related ordinance on the City’s agenda. The proposed City-Wide Sign Ordinance and the Sign Banner Program threaten to bring additional commercial blight into scenic and historic areas, despite zoning prohibitions on such signage. These proposals, supported by well-funded and influential commercial interests, will again challenge the community’s resolve, resources and abilities.

 

 

PROPOSED REVISIONS TO THE CITY'S 2002 SIGN ORDINANCE  (CF 08-2020) WENT BEFORE THE CITY COUNCIL'S PLUM COMMITTEE AUG. 9  and we learned that many changes are being proposed that differ greatly from the recommendations made by the City Planing Commission following  three lengthy public hearings they held. 

The changes are unacceptable to WSSM and most homeowner associations and community and neighborhood councils.   The PLUM Committee's consideration of the changes is being continued to October  18th.  We urge our members to review the proposal, to write to the PLUM Committee and to attend the hearing.  There are fatal flaws in the ordinance as currently drafted!

The WSSM Board passed the following motion at our September Board meeting: 

Westwood South of Santa Monica Blvd. Homeowners Association opposes adoption of the revised citywide sign ordinance now pending before the City Council Planning and Land Use Management committee because it would allow a proliferation of commercial advertising on both private and public property without a significant reduction in existing billboard and signage blight, and would allow new electronic signage without addressing energy use, light pollution, traffic safety, and other issues that could negatively effect communities throughout the city.  We also call for a 2-year moratorium on new digital displays until those issues are thoroughly studied and regulations developed to address them.


For more information, go to the website of the Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight:  www.banbillboardblight.org

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* WHY DO WE OPPOSE THE SIGN ORDINANCE  AS CURRENTLY REVISED?

It would allow for commercial signage in City parks and playgrounds!

It would allow for individual businesses on any street to have their own digital/electronic signs advertising their business!

It would recognize and grandfather into existence SIGN DISTRICTS that have never had an entitlement hearing!

It could allow sign companies to erect new signs without removing old ones thus resulting in more sign blight and gutting the intent of the 2002 sign ordinance which was to reduce signage!

It could allow for the erection of signs that cover windows!

It would allow for the digital signs outside of sign districts thus endangering drivers and pedestrians, wasting energy, creating light pollution and degrading the quality of life of those who live near them!

and there are more reasons!

CELL TOWER REGULATION 

A new city-wide ordinance has been approved by the Council and the City Attorney's staff has been instructed to draft language for review and approval. 

 THIEVES TARGET GARDENER TRUCKS IN WLA!  Read all about it on our CRIME tab and warn your gardener.

LA CITY PLANNING DEPT. PROPOSING CHANGES

There are a number of major planning initiatives underway that will help to shape how our community and our city will look in the future.  Citizen input is important in the review of these initiatives.  WSSM plays a role in commenting on these plans whenever possible.  We invite you to attend city briefing meetings and learn more.  You may wish to comment as an individual  (in writing and/or at upcoming public hearings) andor you are welcome to help our HOA to formulate our comments and responses to the city.  As you will note below, there are quite a number of plans moving forward, some prompted by a desire of the city to streamline its processes due to staff changes, some as  a result of policy changes.  When adopted, these will impact the quality of life in the community.

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1)  LA CITY BIKE PLANThe 2010 Bicycle Plan serves as the City’s blueprint for meeting the needs of all bicyclists and is intended to increase, improve and enhance bicycling in the City as a safe, healthy, and enjoyable means of transportation and recreation. It designates over 1,600 miles of bikeways and creates a blueprint for the development of the Citywide and Neighborhood Bikeways Networks.  For more info, visit: http://www.labikeplan.org/public_involvement/

 WSSM would like to form a bicycle task force to review recommendations for our area in particular.  Email us if you would like to get involved in this.

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2)  PROPOSED CODE AMENDMENTS:   Many of the proposed changes are to reduce duplication and will update and clarify the code.  However, we have submitted comments and advocate for changes in the language being considered so that there can be no possible weakening or dilution of provisions of or protections provided in Community and Specific Plans.   MEetings with Planning Dept. staff and community members have been held since the initial CPC  hearing on the proposed changes and revisions to the proposal are being made.  We will review the extent of adopted revisions and determine our HOA's standing on the document as it goes to Council for consideration following the CPC's consideration.

For copies of the staff reports including the proposed ordinances, go to:   www.planning.lacity.org.  

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Proposed Rewrite of the City's entire zoning code- The Planning Dept. has drafted a document to tackle a multi-year project to rewrite the zoning code of the entire City.  A proposal for funding is before the City Council and will rely on fees generated through permitting to finance the costs of this significant project. 

Citywide Draft Design Guidelines:  You may review the draft guidelines for multi-family, commercial and industrial properties and submit your written comments on a survey posted online.  Follow the links from the City Planning website:  http://cityplanning.lacity.org/

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Community Care Facilities:  Legislation to regulate  Community Care Facilities  (these are sometimes referred to as "sober living homes") has been stalled in full Council. 

While most homeowners associations and neighborhood and community councils favor the enactment of regulations that would  restrict the operation of these facilities in single family residential neighborhoods and would also create general guidelines as to where these facilities could (and could not) be located, (ie not within 1000 feet of sensitve uses such as schools), the Council has been told that if enacted, its regulations to mandate a specific maximum number of leases at an individual property, would create thousands of new homeless Angelenos.  Documentation of such as assertion has been requested by backers of the CCFO, but none has been forthcoming. 


Meanwhile, in WSSM's own neighborhood, the community has lost any remaining patience that it may have once had in regards to the sober living facility operated at 1943 Selby Avenue.  That property is a nuisance to the community with residents of the home  having frequent altercations, loitering necessitating  response by both LAPD and LAFD. On two occasions in late summer, the building was searched by LAPD.  Nearly 20 residents of that building attended the WSSM October board meeting to describe the many problems that have been living with.  It was decided that WSSM would invite the new management of the home to an upcoming Board (or special Board) meeting.  


WSSM has submitted written and oral testimony on the need for and our support for the proposed CCF Ordinance on a number of occasions to the City's Planning Commission (November and February public hearings) and to the full City Council and the PLUM Committee. 

We have joined with other HOA's in suggesting some additions to the proposed ordinance.  Our letter to the City Planning Dept. follows.   We expect this measure to return to council in November 2012.   Support for a strong ordinance from HOA members from across the City will be important if we are to be heard over the voices of lobbyists and representatives of the operators of these facilities who have been lobbying the Council since the last hearing was held. 


For more information on the issue, visit the website for the LA Coalition for Neighborhoods who is leading the community effort:                    www.LACoalition4Neighborhoods.org

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Westwood South of Santa Monica Blvd. Homeowners Association

                                 Incorporated November 8, 1971

                    P. O. Box 64213, Los Angeles, CA  90064-0213

www.westwoodsouth.org

 

October 6, 2010                                              

Commission Secretariat

City Planning Commission

Los Angeles City Hall, Room 532

200 N. Spring Street

Los Angeles, CA 90012                    VIA EMAIL:  James.k.williams@lacity.org

 RE:        Community Care Facilities Ordinance - CASE NO CPC-2009-800-CA

              CEQA ENV-2009-801-ND /  COUNCIL FILE 07-3427

 Dear President Roschen and Commission Members:

 Our organization, Westwood South of Santa Monica Homeowners Association, has reviewed the City Planning Department’s proposed Community Care Facilities Ordinance.  At our Board of Director’s meeting on October 5, 2010, our Board voted to support the proposed ordinance with a request that the following six additions as recommended by the Pacific Palisades Community Council be considered by the City and incorporated into the final ordinance:

(a)            Clarification that there can be absolutely no unlicensed community care facilities or “sober living” homes operating in low-zoned residential neighborhoods. Part 1 of the proposed Ordinance shall be amended to clearly state that there will be no (a) unlicensed facilities serving six or fewer residents and (b) unlicensed community care facilities serving seven or more residents eligible for the “public benefits” test. This modification will bring the proposed ordinance into conformance with state law that requires any and all residential facilities to have a valid license to operate.  Further, it is only through the State of California’s Department of Social Services licensing procedures that (among other things) the number of operators, quality of operators, approved fire clearances, local building use permits, on-site inspections and reviews, and health safety standards can be assured.

 (b)            Community care facilities must be located 300 feet apart.  Part 1 of the proposed Ordinance shall be amended to include a limit on over-concentration which states that all community care facilities must be located more than 300 feet from each other.  Further, limits are necessary to address the City’s own findings that the over-concentration of licensed and unlicensed facilities create problems with parking, noise and incompatibility with the character and quality of residential neighborhoods.

 (c)             Community care facilities must be 2,000 feet from schools, churches, temples and other places of religious worship.  This amendment will bring the proposed Ordinance into conformance with findings by the City of Los Angeles at PLUM hearings and other venues.

 (d)            Public hearings shall be required before City may make a determination relative to the “Public Benefits” test.  The Ordinance shall be amended to require a public hearing before the City may make a determination relative to the “Public Benefit” test and performance standards for licensed facilities of seven or more residents.  As written, the proposed Ordinance utilizes a “ministerial process” that does not require a public hearing or letter of determination.  We believe the fundamental principles of fairness and due process require that the City provide impacted communities the opportunity to be heard when a licensed community care facility with seven or more residents is seeking to locate in the immediate area.  Further, we believe that any investigation or evaluation of Public Benefit by the City would be inadequate without public notice and comment.

 (e)             There shall be no “grandfathering” in of existing community care facilities that are currently in existence but operating unlicensed or illegally licensed. It must be made clear that any existing (a) unlicensed or (b) illegally licensed community care facilities would have to comply with the new ordinance to be allowed.  This clarification is required to ensure that all facilities are brought into compliance with the existing zoning code provisions that protect the character of established residential neighborhoods.

 (f)              Correctional or Penal Institutions, including group homes, are entirely prohibited from locating in residential zones – meaning that there is no chance for these operators to use the CUP process.  The proposed Ordinance shall be amended to prohibit Correctional or Penal Institutions in R1, RD1.5, R2 and RD zoned areas.  It is wholly inconsistent with the nature of low zoned residential neighborhoods to allow prisons, jails, halfway houses and group parolee homes to operate within them under a conditional use permit or otherwise.

 We look to the City and Planning Commission to promulgate regulations that will halt the operation of any group living situations that essentially convert single family homes and duplexes into boarding house living situations.  Our neighborhoods are unable to absorb the negative impacts of such uses.   Along with the adoption of a strong ordinance must come the provision of enforcement personnel to implement regulations as adopted.    

Thank you for your consideration.

 Sincerely,

Barbara Broide, President 

 

CC: Councilman Paul Koretz, CD 5

      Alan Bell, Planning Dept.

      Thomas Rothmann, Planning Dept. 

      Chris Koontz, CD 5 Planning Deputy

      Jay Greenstein, CD 5 Chief Deputy


 


    WSSM SUPPORTS  THE PLACEMENT

OF THE FUTURE

CENTURY CITY SUBWAY STOP 

ON CONSTELLATION BLVD.         


SIGN THE PETITION TO SUPPORT THE CONSTELLATION STATION:

                      http://www.centurycitycc.com/subway-petition/


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GUEST PARKING PERMITS NOW AVAILABLE BY EMAIL! 

Read about it on our Transportation / Traffic page.


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LA City Sign Ordinance revisions returning to PLUM Committee: 

It's been a long-time coming, but the staff report and recommendations to revise the current sign ordinance will soon be coming before the PLUM Committee.  Watch for updates and opportunities to comment.

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