Next Neighborhood Council Meeting on Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013

The LA City Charter requires the City of Los Angeles to promote organized neighborhood empowerment in the form of Neighborhood Councils. Our local council is the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa (NCWP).

NCWP’s next meeting is Tuesday, September 3rd at 6:30 pm in the Community Room of the Westchester Municipal Building, located at 7166 Manchester Avenue.

For the agenda, head over to NCWP’s website.

One item that caught my attention is recognition for our Babe Ruth teams and their recent successes at the Championship tournaments over the weekend. Way to go, boys!

Playa Vista: Drainage system continues to draw ire of some wetlands organizations

ballona wetlands
Photo courtesy of ballona.org

Attention surrounding a drainage system at Playa Vista that apparently was installed without permission from the state Coastal Commission has not dissipated since the discovery of the network was reported in June.

The underground system was discovered earlier this summer and was reported to the California Coastal Commission. The installation is now under investigation by the commission, which confirmed that it does not have a coastal permit.

For the full story, including the history of the drainage system, head over to argonautnews.com. Be sure and read the article’s comments for interesting insights on this topic, as well.

Is Our Housing Recovery At Risk?

CB on CNBCInterest rates are climbing to 4.4 percent on a 30-year fixed mortgage. Coldwell Banker Real Estate CEO Budge Huskey was interviewed yesterday on CNBC and offers insight into whether our budding housing recovery is at risk.

To be in the know in under two minutes, head over to cnbc.com.

Airport Relations Committee Meeting on Aug 22, 2013

The Airport Relations Committee is scheduled to meet next week. This informational only meeting was rescheduled from August 15th to August 22nd.

According to NCWP’s website, Christopher Koontz from LAWA Planning will update the Committee on LAX projects including the Sign District Ordinance, Airside Plans & Upgrades, Intermodal Transportation Facility, West Area Maintenance Facility and the Northside Project.

Val Velasco, the NCWP’s community representative on the Board of Airport Commissioners is scheduled to share her thoughts on the new Board.

The meeting starts at 6:30 pm at Del Rey Church.

Deconstructing Obama on Housing

Hahn_Robert-150x150Is the Mortgage Interest Deduction headed for the morgue? Rob Hahn – aka Notorious R.O.B. – analyzes three of President Obama’s recent interviews and speeches on the topic of housing, and comes up with some sobering  predictions.

For Rob’s thoughtful analysis, head over to notorious-rob.com.

Temporary parking district on agenda for next LMU NAC meeting

With Loyola Marymount University’s (LMU) fall semester set to begin on August 26, community members, LMU and Councilman Mike Bonin’s office have made it a priority to help find a solution to the LMU parking problem that will hopefully lead to more students and faculty parking on campus and not on residential, neighborhood streets.

The next quarterly LMU Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC), made up of neighborhood stakeholders appointed by the council office, as well as LMU representatives, will meet on Thursday, August 22 to discuss solutions to the parking issue that has plagued the streets surrounding the university. While neighbors have been complaining for years about residential parking being used by students, the situation has been exacerbated by the university’s decision to charge its students, staff and visitors for parking.

For the full story, head over to www.thehometownnewsonline.com.

What are your thoughts? Should 90045 residents be forced to deal with the extra LMU cars because students don’t want to pay $700/year to park on campus?

Sepulveda sidewalks still in need of repair 8 months after trees are cut down

wsiaFrom The Hometown News:

In January of this year, the Westchester Streetscape Improvement Association (WSIA) completed the removal of trees along the west side of Sepulveda as part of its Westchester Landscape Entry project. The 50-plus-year-old Ficus trees and their massive roots, many of which were diseased or structurally unstable, had made sidewalk repair impossible and impractical. While pedestrians walking the stretch of Sepulveda between Manchester and 80th street were fully aware of the extent of the crumbling sidewalks, with the massive trees now gone, the sidewalks are painfully visible to anyone traveling down Sepulveda creating a massive eyesore….

While the project was slated to begin in March or April of this year, eight months after the trees were taken down, however, the project remains on hold. According to WSIA president John Ruhlen, the city’s Bureau of Engineering, which is overseeing the project, has now rescheduled two or three times and the project is now tentatively scheduled to begin….

We weren’t familiar with the Westchester Streetscape Improvement Association before we read the Hometown News article. In doing a little research, we discovered that they have quite a detailed website. The website is a great resource, but also kind of puts those folks on the hook for a little accountability, right?

WSIA Sepulveda AfterThis is promised “after” picture look great. What’s the updated ETA, you might ask? Well a little friendly competition has come to town that might just nudge this project along.

According to the HTN article, Caltrans is coming in and replacing trees on the other side of the street as part of the Safe Routes for Schools program.

Maybe that’ll get some things moving?

State or City first? Who’s your money on?

Parking, traffic concerns lead committee to table Legado project in PdR

legadoFrom The Argonaut:

Citing disappointment with a traffic study and a string of missed opportunities to demonstrate how the developer was willing to work with Playa del Rey residents, the Neighborhood Council of Westchester-Playa’s Planning and Land Use Committee tabled a vote on a proposed project by the Legado Co. July 16.

Legado, a development and real estate firm owned by the family of Edward Czuker, was seeking approval to construct a 72-apartment mixed-use project with 16,000 square feet of retail space that the company calls Legado Del Mar at 138 Culver Blvd., a triangular shaped parcel known to locals as “Jake’s Lot.”

The earliest the project can come back to the agenda is September, according to Patricia Lyon, Chair of the Planning & Land Use Committee.

The location mapped:

138 Culver Blvd  Los Angeles  CA   Google MapsSee the full story on The Argonaut.

Probe of possible conflicts of interest on Westchester-Playa council requested

From the Argonaut:

The topic of potential conflicts of interest was the most attention-grabbing event on an agenda that was light on substantive matters at the Neighborhood Council of Westchester-Playa’s July 9 meeting.

Playa del Rey environmentalist Marcia Hanscom accused two members of the board of having ethical conflicts because they work for entities connected with projects that could eventually be brought before the council.

Thomas Flintoft, a lobbyist with Kindal Gagen, a Los Angeles public affairs and lobbying firm, and Geoff Maleman, who runs a Westchester public relations firm, have been hired to represent the Annenberg Foundation and are the two members whom Hanscom cited in her remarks to the council.

The nonprofit organization hopes to build a 46,000-square foot, $50 million nature center in a location known as Area C of the Ballona Wetlands near Culver Boulevard. The interpretive center would include an auditorium, classrooms, a public lobby, exhibits on wildlife and domestic animals, facilities for an animal adoption and care program and veterinary facilities for animals.

For the full story, head over to argonautnews.com.