Wednesday, March 31, 2010

West LAPD Community Crime Alert

COMMUNITY ALERT
NOTIFICATION

EMERGENCY: 911

NON-EMERGENCY: 1-877-275-5273
All other City Services: 311
Christopher Ragsdale
Senior Lead Officer
West Los Angeles Community Police Station
Office: 310-444-0741 
Cell: 213-305-5895
Email: 26690@lapd.lacity.org 
Website: www.lapdonline.org
*ARREST* BUSINESS ROBBERY:
1400 block Westwood Blvd. RD 0833. Date/Time: 02/18/10, 0020 hours, Officers observed suspect from crime alert of the above robbery. Suspect arrested.
Business Robbery:
800 block N. Sepulveda Blvd. Gas Station. RD 0805. MO: On 3/19/10, 2320 hours, Suspect entered location armed with handgun and demanded money. Suspect fled on foot with money. Suspect: M, B, 507, 180, 40 YRS, Bro jkt, drk blu pants, b/b cap. Weapon: handgun Property taken: Money.
Home Invasion Robbery:
500 block Midvale Ave. RD 0816. MO: On 3/11/10, at 0030 hours Victims were inside the location studying, and two of the victims arrived just before the crime. The suspects entered via the front door, which was ajar. The suspects were armed with a shotgun and a large knife. The suspects moved the victims into a bedroom and covered the victims with a blanket and bound them with items obtained inside the residence. Suspects took property and fled. Suspect #1: Male Asian 20's. Suspect #2: Male Asian 20's. Suspect #3: Male Black or middle Easterner 20's. Weapon:Shotgun and large knife. Property: Cell phones, laptop computers, X-Box, and cash.
Residential Burglary:
1600 block Tower Grove Drive. RD 0808. MO: On 03/30/10, between 1300 and 1445, suspect(s) smashed the SFR front glass door, removed a laptop, video camera, and gaming system. The victim suspects the involvement of former roommate.
800 block N Beverly Glen. RD 0807. MO: On 03/26/10, between 0800 and 1800, suspect(s) entered the SFR via an unlocked side door, removed jewelry.
1600 block S Beverly Glen. RD 0829. MO: Between 03/26/10 at 1430 and 03/27/10 at 1030, suspect(s) attempted to pry the apartment side balcony door. Entry was not gained.
1300 block Warnall Ave. RD 0829. MO: Between 3/18/10, 1900 and 3/19/10, 0730, Unknown suspect(s) entered via open door and removed Cash, Ipod and tools.
1500 block Linda Crest Drive. RD 0809. MO: On 3/24/10, between 1030 and 1345 hours, unknown suspect(s) entered via open door and removed computer.
15400 block Duomo Via. RD 0805. MO: On 03/10/10, between 0830 and 1200, suspect(s) entered the SFR via an unlocked garage door, removed a laptop and petty cash.
Grand Theft Auto:
03/17/10, 2350/0330 RD 0828 900 block Hilgard Ave Street 10 BMW 320I
03/25/10, 1915/0855 RD 0834 10500 block Santa Monica Bl.Sub Garage 03 Audi A4
03/16/10, Unk Time. RD 0828 900 block Manning Ave. Street 1984 Toyota PU Blue
03/17/10, Unk Time. RD 0828 900 block Hilgard Ave. 2010 BMW 320I
Burglary Theft from Motor Vehicle:
03/23/10, 0900-0910 RD 0807 2700 block Bottlebrush Dr.driveway unlocked Laptop stolen
03/03/10-03/06/10, 2000/1300 RD 0816 600 block Levering Ave. Carport School supplies
03/06/10, 0300-1800 RD 0815 600 block Levering Ave.Garage Susp remvd cat. Converter
03/08/10, 2000/0945 RD 0834 10500 block Eastborne Ave.Smash Carport GPS, Cable
03/07/10, 1430/1000 RD 0817 900 block Broxton Ave. Street Susp remvd Lic plate
03/06/10, 2300/0100 RD 0816 600 block Kelton Ave. Sub Garage Cash, GPS
03/08/10, 1610/1100 RD 0829 1200 block Beverly GlenSmash Street Purse, wallet
03/06/10, 2300/1100 RD 0829 10400 block Holman Ave.Smash Street Wallet
Grand/Petty Theft:
Residential-1000 block Selby Ave. RD 0828 Laptop $1114
Residential-1300 block S.Beverly Glen. RD 0829 Watch $20,000
Coffee Shop-1100 block Glendon Ave. RD 0817 Sign $800
Residential-2400 block Benedict Canyon. RD 0807 US Currency Unk
Store-200 block S. Sepulveda Blvd. RD 0815 Protection plan $100
Residential-11400 block Thurston Cir. RD 0805 Dog Statue $4200
Retail store-1000 block Westwood Blvd. RD 0817 Underwear $1600
Office-10600 block Santa Monica Blvd. RD 0834 Wireless reader $260
Store-10800 block Wellworth Ave. RD 0833 Toiletries $160
Residential-1900 block Stradella RD 0806 Printer $250
Residential-10600 block Wellworth Ave. RD 0834 flag $40
Residential-10400 block Wilshire Blvd. RD 0829 Necklace $10000
ARREST: Residential-1600 block Camden Ave. RD 0855 Maid stole cash $1000

Upcoming I-405 Open House Meeting - April 8th

Conceptual aesthetic designs for Sepulveda Bl. walls to be shown April 8

On Thursday, April 8, Greenmeme will present its conceptual aesthetic designs for the walls along the east side of Sepulveda Blvd., between Sunset Blvd. and Montana Ave. Twenty-minute presentations will be made at 5, 6 and 7 p.m. Following the presentations, you will have an opportunity to provide comments to the artist. Join us at the Westwood Recreation Center.

Here is the address:

Westwood Recreation Center
1350 Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Please contact Metro Community Relations at (213) 922-3665 or via email at I405@metro.net if you have any questions.

Monday, March 29, 2010

UPDATE EMAIL FROM CITY: Proposed Baseline Hillside Ordinance Provisions

Greetings All,
Attached to this email is the Proposed Baseline Hillside Ordinance Provisions that will be the subject of the upcoming Public Hearings and Staff Report, and ultimately go before the City Planning Commission for their recommendation to the City Council.


The language is intended to be a depiction of the propose Code provisions that may comprise the Baseline Hillside Ordinance. These provisions attempt to consolidate as many relevant Zoning Code provisions related to single-family hillside development as possible into one simplified Code section. The final Baseline Hillside Ordinance, containing the legal description of the proposed Code Amendments, will be prepared at a later date by the City Attorney's Office with the assistance of Department of City Planning staff.

The Open House and Public Hearings will be held:

Monday, April 5, 2010
Marvin Braude Building
6262 Van Nuys Blvd., Room 1A and 1B
Van Nuys, CA 91401
Open House: 5:00 – 6:00 PM
Public Hearing: 6:30 – 8:00 PM

Thursday, April 8, 2010
Hollywood United Methodist Church, Parlor Room
6817 Franklin Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Note: There is limited parking on-site, and additional pay parking is available at the Hollywood & Highland complex.

Open House: 5:00 – 6:00 PM

Public Hearing: 6:30 – 8:00 PM

If you received this email via forwarded message from someone other than myself, and you want to obtain updates directly from the Department, please email erick.lopez@lacity.org and ask to be added to the interest list. Please type "Add Me To Hillside Notification List" in the subject line and provide your group/organization/company affiliations and contact information (please include at least your ZIP Code).

Facebook™ Users: Look for the Baseline Hillside Ordinance page; add the page and receive updates in your news feed. You can also view our events calendar and participate in discussion boards.

As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact myself or Jennifer Driver at jennifer.driver@lacity.org or at (818) 374-5034.

Thank you for your attention.
__________________________________________
Erick Lopez
City Planner
Department of City Planning
Community Planning Bureau - West Coastal Division
200 N. Spring St., Room 621
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 978-1243
(213) 978-1226 - fax

LETTER: From the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy to the City Planning Dept. - Re: Proposed Baseline Hillside Ordinance

**DUE TO VERY HIGH INTEREST SURROUNDING THE PROPOSED BASELINE HILLSIDE ORDINANCE, THE BEL-AIR ASSOCIATION WILL BE POSTING NUMEROUS LETTERS & DOCUMENTS FROM VARIOUS ASSOCIATIONS AND GROUPS AS IT PERTAINS TO THE PROPOSED ORDINANCE. BOTH, PRO AND CON VIEWPOINTS, WILL BE POSTED. THESE ARE BEING PUBLISHED FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF BEING INFORMATIVE TO OUR MEMBERS.**
______________

March 15,2010

Mr. Erick Lopez and Ms. Jennifer Driver
Department of City Planning
City of Los Angeles
6262 Van Nuys Boulevard, Room 351
Van Nuys, California 91401

Support for the Proposed Baseline Hillside Ordinance in the City of Los Angeles
Dear Mr. Lopez and Ms. Driver:

The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (Conservancy) supports the City's efforts to reduce the intensity of new development in hillside areas, preserving the character of existing neighborhoods and the integrity of the natural terrain. Too many projects have been permitted to dramatically alter native landforms, with severe geological, hydrological, biological, and aesthetic consequences. The proposed Baseline Hillside Ordinance provides reasonable limits on excessive development and enhances the Conservancy's ability to protect our natural resources.

Throughout the eastern Santa Monica Mountains in recent years, large houses have been squeezed into ever-smaller lots in existing neighborhoods. Prior to development, vacant lots serve as safe passages for wildlife movement between large habitat blocks. Increasing the intensity of development compromises this wildlife movement, which is essential to maintaining genetic diversity in large public parks, such as Griffith Park. Oversized houses consume a large percentage of the lot and leave side yards that are too narrow to facilitate wildlife movement. As new houses tear the web of passageways, the cumulative impact on wildlife populations is significant.

The proposed FAR guidelines would properly restrict the scale of new houses on small lots. Under the old rules, a house can be substantially larger than the size of the lot it sits on. For example, currently a 5,000 square foot lot can support a 7,000 square foot house, no matter the terrain. On a steep hillside lot, that requires excavating a large cut of earth and exporting thousands of cubic yards of dirt off the mountain. Hauling so much soil impedes access to hillside areas during emergencies and accelerates deterioration of narrow roads. The resulting overbuilt structure is often an unsightly tall block utilizing every buildable inch of the lot. Under the proposed ordinance, the maximum FAR would vary according to the suitability of the lot for building, with steeper lots supporting smaller structures. This common-sense approach will limit development to a level appropriate for the lot, without restricting the economic use of private property.

Additionally, the proposed ordinance would restrict the total amount of grading allowed without a variance. Currently there is no limit to the amount of earth a developer can import or export from the project site. This oversight results in mega-projects that transform the natural terrain instead of working with it. People living in the hills generally value their natural setting, but individual projects are allowed to destroy the landscape for everyone through excessive grading. Grading affects natural drainage patterns and soil composition, which inhibits growth of native plants. Large projects generally also include complex retaining wall configurations that leave the site unpassable to wildlife. By decreasing the quality and quantity of wildlife passages, the present rules fail to protect public resources. The proposed rules provide enough leeway for developers to create a feasible building pad that compliments the terrain without removing the very hillside that attracts residents in the first place.

Overall, this ordinance proposes reasonable limits on hillside development. The City would be wise to adopt the new rules to preserve one of its defining features. The Santa Monica Mountains Comprehensive Plan calls for letting the land dictate the use instead of imposing human uses on the land. The proposed ordinance follows the spirit of the Plan by encouraging houses to fit the terrain. The Conservancy supports the City in its efforts to protect the character and integrity of its hills.

Please accept this staff letter until the Conservancy's Board approves its full comments. Please direct all future materials regarding this proposed ordinance to me at the letterhead address or contact me by phone at (310) 589-3200 ext. 128.

Sincerely,

PAUL EDELMAN
Deputy Director
Natural Resources and Planning

Thursday, March 25, 2010

LOST DOG: Recent Clue Found - Can Anyone Help?????



Please see below a letter from the lost dog's (Morgan's) owner...



Dear Bel Air Homeowners:

The photo above is of my beloved Sheltie mix, Morgan, who vanished from my home on South Bentley Ave. on September 20, 2009. He disappeared without a trace and we concluded after feedback from surrounding homeowners that quite probably he’d been grabbed by a coyote.

BUT...JUST YESTERDAY A HOMEOWNER ON NORTH BENTLEY JUST ABOVE SUNSET FOUND MORGAN’S COLLAR.

I am aware that he may be long gone and the collar was lodged somewhere and came loose for whatever reason. The homeowner had never seen it before. But…on the slim chance that Morgan is still “out there” I am asking if anyone has seen this dog, and that if you do you would please call me at 310-471-0476 and let me know.

Morgan is 14 years old, was about 12 pounds when he disappeared, and is mostly tan and black (tan underside, black on his back) with some graying of the muzzle. He can be skittish with strangers, depending on how he feels. So if you see him best to call me….and if you can coax him into a fenced yard that’s good. Because of what was probably early bad experiences before I rescued him at age two, he can act like he’ll bite if he gets spooked—and might. Otherwise he is a highly loving, affectionate and sensitive guy. He also had some degenerative back disease so was very sensitive about how he was picked up…one more reason to call me and just coax him into a yard with food and wait for me to get there.

Morgan was my soul-mate….if by any slim chance he is still alive and you have seen this dog I would be beyond grateful to hear from you. Also I had posted a $500 reward for his return…and that is still in effect.

Thanks so much…

Marion Wells (mrosewells@aol.com).

I-405 Project Activity

From I-405 Sepulveda Pass Widening Project Community Relations

Dear Homeowner,

This email is to inform you that the Contractor will have a two-man crew walk Sepulveda Blvd. between Montana Ave. and Church Ln. to conduct a noise monitoring study. The Crew will place noise monitoring equipment on the hills side between Montana Ave. and Bronwood, and in the brush area between Sunset Blvd. and Church Ln. The equipment will be hand-carried and does not require the use of heavy machinery. The Crew will wear recognizable Kiewit Pacific Safety gear. The Crew will not enter or place noise monitoring equipment on private property.

Work is anticipated to start on Thursday, March 25, 2010 for approximately two weeks. The work hours are from 7:00pm to 7:00am.

Thank you.

Olga N. Arroyo

I-405 Sepulveda Pass Widening Project

Community Relations

310-846-2357

www.metro.net/I-405

http://twitter.com/I_405

213.922.3665 Project Hotline

Visit the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Widening Project on Facebook

Notice of Construction - I-405 Sepulveda Pass Widening Project

ATTENTION COMMUTERS, BUSINESSES, AND RESIDENTS IN
THE VICINITY OF MULHOLLAND DRIVE ALONG THE
MULHOLLAND BRIDGE.

As part of the pre-construction activities for the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Widening Project, the
Contractor will stripe over existing traffic lanes on Mulholland Drive along the Mulholland
Bridge. This night time work activity is designed to highlight existing traffic lane configuration
in order to improve visibility. There will not be any closures associated with this work activity.
The Mulholland Bridge will remain open and accessible to the public during the re-striping
activity.

What: Re-striping of existing traffic lanes on Mulholland Drive along the Mulholland Bridge.
There will be no closures associated with this work activity.

When: Work is anticipated to take place on Friday, March 26, 2010 from 9pm to 3:00am.for one
night only.

Where: Mulholland Drive along the Mulholland Bridge.

What to expect:
 Traffic will be reconfigured with one lane in each direction to maintain access in both
directions.
 Local access to businesses and residences will be maintained.
 Emergency vehicle access will be maintained.
 Pedestrians will be rerouted to a safe area outside the construction zone.

For road side assistance during construction, please call the Metro Freeway Service Patrol
at #399.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hillside Area Ordinance effective on Monday, May 3, 2010

Greetings Everyone:
The Hillside Area Ordinance (the definition and map, NOT the Baseline Hillside Ordinance) has been signed by the Mayor's Office and will become effective on Monday, May 3, 2010; it is Ordinance No. 181,128.
Just to clarify for all, any property zoned R1, RS, RE, or RA which is having the Hillside Area designation removed will be subject to the Baseline Mansionization Ordinance beginning on May 3, 2010. Any property zoned R1, RS, RE, or RA maintaining its Hillside Area designation will be subject to the Baseline Hillside Ordinance which is currently being developed and undergoing a series of public hearings.
Pursuant to Section 12.26 A.3 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code, any project which is accepted by the Department of Building and Safety for plan check with a complete set of plans and for which the fees have been paid prior to May 3, 2010 (essentially, you have until Friday, April 30, 2010) will be considered to be a Vested Development Plan; meaning that the applicable regulations in place prior to this change will continue to apply. However, there are some limitations to this provision that you should be aware of, but the more relevant ones are that you have 18 months after the fee is paid, and that you cannot make changes to those plans which increase or decrease the height, floor area, or occupant load of the proposed structure by more than 5%. Feel free to reference our online Municipal Code for more details (http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll?f=templates&fn=default.htm&vid=amlegal:lamc_ca); go to Chapter 1, Article 2, Section 12.26, Subsection A, Subdivision 3.
To download a copy of the Hillside Area Ordinance: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2009/09-1390_ord_181128.pdf
To download a copy of the Department of City Planning Hillside Area Map (dated September 23, 2009) please go to the following link: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2009/09-1390_misc_12-7-09.pdf
To access the rest of the City Clerk's records for this case please click go to the following link: http://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm?fa=ccfi.viewrecord&cfnumber=09-1390
As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
Sincerely,
__________________________________________
Erick Lopez
City Planner
Department of City Planning
Community Planning Bureau - West Coastal Division
200 N. Spring St., Room 621
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 978-1243
(213) 978-1226 - fax

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

NEWEST Bel-Air Association Member - Bel-Air Magazine

We WHOLEHEARTEDLY welcome Bel-Air Magazine to the Bel-Air Association family. Over the last couple months, we have had the pleasure of meeting and working with Rick Amor and his staff as they prepare to launch Bel-Air Magazine this spring.

We are excited about this new relationship and look forward to working together in the future.

Please join us in a warm welcome and help support the magazine when it launches.

To learn more about the magazine, please visit their website @ http://www.belairmag.com/.

Cell Coverage Area Map


Root Wireless and CNET are teaming up to make a crowd-sourced map of cellphone signal quality with data available in Los Angeles and several other cities.

The map displays data collected from an app you can load onto a Blackberry or Android phone, with apps for other phones coming soon. Read Write Web reports:

"The map lets us choose between what type of reported info we would like to see, whether 'Signal,' 'Data' or 'Network,' but there is no device category. We can also see the number of zones reporting 'No Bars,' 'Access Failure' and 'Hot Zones' (such as dropped calls), but no information on how many people have reported these issues." [via LA NOW]

LA TIMES: Assembly approves smoking ban at state parks and beaches

The Senate, which also passed the bill, is expected to OK amendments.
Governor has not said publicly if he will sign it.

By Patrick McGreevy
Reporting from Sacramento

State lawmakers adopted one of the nation's most far-reaching regulations of tobacco use Monday, approving a bill to outlaw smoking at 278 state parks and beaches.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has not said publicly whether he will sign the measure, which would allow a fine of up to $100 for smoking at a state beach or in a designated section of a state park.

Smoking would still be allowed in many parking lots and campgrounds.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

ABC7: L.A. City Council challenges DWP rate hike









LADWP customers in Los Angeles could see their rates go up. A controversial carbon reduction surcharge has been approved by Department of Water and Power commissioners.

It was proposed by L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to help the city shift toward "green" energy. But other city leaders say it's hardly the right time.

There appears to be a revolt brewing in the Los Angeles City Council over theLADWP electric rate increases. Rates could go up as high as 28 percent.

Homa Mahmoudi is a homeowner in Brentwood and is hoping to retire soon.

"Every little bit affects us and the budget we have for our lives and also the retirement funds that we have," said Mahmoudi.


CLICK HERE for the Full Story

Friday, March 19, 2010

LETTER: From the Sierra Club - Let's Make a Coal Free LA a Reality

With 44% of Los Angeles' energy coming from a dirty, 19th century fuel source, coal, our city is in a dangerous position where the whims of a volatile fossil fuel market can threaten to increase our utility bills.

But we have a chance to demand investments in a clean energy future.

We believe that the DWP Board will vote on a resolution supporting the creation of 18000 green jobs here in LA, laying the foundation for LA to get off of coal. Please let me know if you can make this meeting @ chrissy.scarborough@sierraclub.org (if you can't make the meeting please sign our petition http://action.sierraclub.org/LACoal )

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Room 1555-H, 15th Floor
111 North Hope Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Time: 12:30pm

If given the option to invest in the continued funding of dirty coal or renewable energy what would you choose?

The rate increases we are threatened with are largely due to fossil fuels.
Renewable energy will protect us from these volatile fossil fuel markets.
See this graph from the PA consulting report:
https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B5YqaMYR68i2NmJmNDY2NGMtNzlmMC00MjA0LWF
lMTItNzViNmZlZmU2MTEz&hl=en

Join us in telling the LADWP that we demand a future here in Los Angeles that relies on energy efficiency and clean energy solutions, not dirty coal.


As share-holders in the largest municipally-owned utility in the country we have the opportunity to shape the way this utility continues to invest in the future.

We know what the consequences of inaction will be for the people of Los
Angeles: deadly summer heat waves, wildfire frequency and intensity due to Climate Change (1), and polluted air and water across the Southwest from our dirty coal-fired power plants.


Join us as we tell the LADWP to take action now and demand that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power move forward with a plan to get LA off of coal by 2020.

Thanks for all that you do to protect our environment,

Chrissy Scarborough
Sierra Club, Los Angeles Conservation Organizer Beyond Coal Campaign

www.labeyondcoal.org
twitter/labeyondcoal
O: 2133876528 x224
F: 7146994043


1 CAL Fire Climate Change Program
http://www.fire.ca.gov/resource_mgt/resource_mgt_EPRP_Climate/climate_change.php

Notice of Construction - I-405 Sepulveda Pass Widening Project

ATTENTION COMMUTERS, BUSINESSES, AND RESIDENTS IN
THE VICINITY OF THE I-405 FREEWAY BETWEEN GETTY CENTER
DRIVE AND SKIRBALL CENTER DRIVE.

As part of the pre-construction activities for the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Widening Project, the Contractor will conduct a soil stability test near the Getty View Trailhead running along the northbound I-405 freeway between Getty Center Drive and Skirball Center Drive.

This work activity is being conducted to survey and monitor the stability of the soil for the future construction of a retaining wall along the I-405 freeway. Night time work for this activity will require freeway lane closures and ramp closures to facilitate the safe use of excavation equipment.

What:
Soil stability testing, which will require two right hand freeway lane closures and the
closure of the on and off ramps at Getty Center Drive on the northbound I-405 freeway.
When: Work is anticipated to start on Monday, March 22, 2010 and last for approximately four
days. Night time work for soil stability testing will be from 10:00pm to 6:00am.

Where: The Getty View Trailhead along the I-405 freeway between Getty Center Drive and
Skirball Center Drive.

What to expect:
 Ramp and lane closures will be coordinated with Caltrans.
 Detour signs will be posted where ramp closures occur.
 Northbound traffic on the I-405 freeway will be maintained throughout this work activity.

For road side assistance during construction, please call the Metro Freeway Service
Patrol at #399.z

LA Marathon This Sunday!

Should be amazing and a great boost for our beautiful city!

Click on the Link Below for the full detail Course Map:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

LETTER: Councilmember Paul Koretz (CD5) to LA DWP Board

**PLEASE SEE BELOW A LETTER FROM COUNCILMEMBER PAUL KORETZ (CD5) TO THE LA DWP BOARD REGARDING THEIR RECENT RATE INCREASE ANNOUNCEMENT.**



(click images to enlarge)



(click images to enlarge)



(click images to enlarge)

EMAIL: BEL-AIR ASSOCIATION COMMENTS ON PROPOSED BASELINE HILLSIDE ORDINANCE

**PLEASE FIND BELOW AN EMAIL ON BEHALF OF THE BEL-AIR ASSOCIATION TO CITY PLANNER ERICK LOPEZ REGARDING THE PROPOSED BASELINE HILLSIDE ORDINANCE.**



--------


Monday, March 15, 2010

Dear Erick,

First, on behalf of the Bel-Air Association, I would like to thank you for the Los Angeles Planning Department’s informative public workshops and extensive written materials on the proposed Baseline Hillside Ordinance (BHO). Obviously, you and your department have worked extremely hard to create the proposal and explain it to the community, and we appreciate your efforts.

As you know, the BHO is highly complex and take time to digest and evaluate. The difficulty is compounded by the current absence of publicly available topographical maps of hillside areas refined to the 1’ slope-band level the BHO requires. The Association is providing summaries of the BHO, copies of the proposed law, and links to Planning Department websites to its members to educate them on the proposed measure. In addition, the BHO tops the agenda of the Bel-Association’s Board meeting scheduled for March 24, 2010, and the Association is holding a “Fireside Chat” for all members on April 13, 2010 featuring knowledgeable speakers to explain the BHO. We intend to provide the PLUM, Planning Commission and the City Council with comprehensive comments on the BHO following those events.

In the meantime, in light of the March 15, 2010 deadline for comments to be made to the Planning Department, I would like to make the following suggestions on behalf of the Association, which are reflective of our Board’s thinking thus far:





· It is unclear whether the grading limitations’ exemption for foundational grading extends to excavation under pools, tennis courts, play courts, patios, and the like. As such excavation is located solely underneath allowed structures, it does not disrupt the appearance of the natural terrain as other grading does. Therefore, the Association recommends the BHO’s exemption for foundational grading clearly extend to that required for pools, tennis courts, play courts, patios and other structures (assuming such excavation would otherwise be allowed under existing applicable geological and ecological standards).

· The area required for Hillside Overlay Districts seems larger than the areas comprising hillside neighborhoods; in Bel-Air, neighborhoods are commonly apprehended as areas smaller than areas with a 1/4 mile radius. For example, there are many north-south streets terminating in the hillside which, along with their small offshoots, are perceived by their residents as forming a defined neighborhood (like my own North Bentley Avenue/Bentley Circle area). Also, the 75% super-majority requirement for a Hillside Overlay District vote could effectively block large majorities in defined neighborhoods from varying the BHO standards for their own neighborhoods. A requirement closer to a simple majority would give residents of unique areas greater latitude to tailor the BHO to their particularized conditions.





If you have any questions about our suggestions or would like to discuss them, please do not hesitate to contact me. We thank you again for all of your efforts and for taking into consideration our comments as your efforts continue.

Best regards,

COLLEEN M. HANLON
Board of Directors
Chair, Long-Range Planning Committee
Bel-Air Association

Social Media Channels for the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Widening Project

The I-405 Sepulveda Pass Widening Project now has two new ways to share information about the project.

· Please visit our Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Los-Angeles-CA/I-405-Sepulveda-Pass-Widening-Project/197583884945#!. Our Facebook page allows us to share more detail than practical during our quarterly community meetings or our Community Advisory Committee meetings. Here we post construction updates, photographs, and pieces explaining how this complex project is being built. Visitors will discover profiles of key project staff and the skills they bring to the project. And soon we will be adding brief videos. We update this page several times each week, so you will often find something new. Become a fan of the Facebook page, and you will receive an email notice when new material has been added.

· Information on our Facebook page is also available at the project website: www.metro.net/projects/I-405.

· To send advisories through a secure and advertisement-free channel, we now send project updates through Nixle. As with Facebook, Nixle is free to join. Used by many government agencies, such as police and fire departments, Nixle enforces strict rules about what material can be sent to registered Nixle recepients. (Nixle refers to these as registered residents.) You can become a registered resident of our I-405 project advisories by joining Nixle at http://www.nixle.com. Nixle sends messages to those whose address falls with a certain geographic area. You select that area, so, you will never receive an advisory from Paso Robles, California.

· For our outreach efforts, Nixle offers two advantages over Twitter. One, we can include photographs with our advisories. Two, we can include both a text and email message at the same time. This allows us to describe updates with more detail.

We will continue to use Twitter for brief updates on construction and project updates. As many of you know, Twitter is a free service as well. You can join Twitter at http://twitter.com.

If you have any other methods you would like us to provide information, please write or call me.

Thank you.

Ned J. Racine

New Media Officer

I-405 Sepulveda Pass Widening Project

Visit the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Widening Project on Facebook

6060 Center Drive, Second Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90045

310.846.2400

626.688.3950 (Cell)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Are You Prepared for the Big One?

American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles

On Tuesday, March 16, at 4:04 a.m., Southern Californians were awakened by a 4.4 magnitude earthquake centered in Pico Rivera. No major damage or injuries were reported.

This temblor and the recent large earthquakes that struck in Haiti and Chile are a reminder that Los Angeles residents need to prepare. According to the Southern California Earthquake Center, California has a 99.7% chance of a magnitude 6.7 or larger hitting in the next thirty years. The Red Cross is helping prepare residents through community disaster education classes, volunteer trainings, and partnerships with schools and businesses in the community.

By taking three simple steps: Make a Plan, Get a Kit, and Be Informed, you can be Red Cross Ready for a disaster. Visit www.PrepareLA.org to learn more.

To make a donation to support American Red Cross preparedness efforts, please visit us at http://american.redcross.org/site/R?i=xImZfhHxMt-_eRxKiJoAAQ.. or call 310-445-2685.

American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles11355 Ohio Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90025 (310) 445-2685 http://american.redcross.org/site/R?i=yNUXkBrEGE7xDufa9wePVg..

"STRAIGHT TALK" on STRADELLA

Last night, from 5:30 - 7:00pm, with the wonderful accommodations of Dr. Laird Facey, the Bel-Air Association hosted "Straight Talk" on Stradella.

This was the most recent stop on the Bel-Air Association Road Show Tour where we visit each sector of the Bel-Air neighborhood to meet with the residents, inform them of the most important issues facing the community today, discuss how they can help and tell them about what the Bel-Air Association staff and Board of Directors are doing each day to protect and maintain the vitality of Bel-Air! The goal is to inform as many residents as possible about how the Bel-Air Association is tackling the community's top-line issues, to provide the community with resources/tools and solicit your direct feedback to learn what else we can do.

35 people from the area attended the event to discuss and learn about the Stone Canyon Reservoir, 405 Construction Project, Emergency Preparedness, etc! Many took advantage of purchasing Emergency Preparedness Kits, Flashlights & Radios at the direct to American Red Cross price. Additionally, those in attendance learned about the upcoming CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) program that the Bel-Air Association will be sponsoring and hosting starting in May.

To date, we've made stops for "Canyon Cocktails" (Stone Canyon-area) and "Moraga Mixer" (Moraga-area).

We look forward to vising your part of the neighborhood in 2010, so please be on the look-out for an invitation via postal mail and/or email.

If at any time you have a neighborhood concern, please feel free to reach out to us at 310-474-3527. We're happy to discuss with you any of the above topics or help handle an issue directly related to your part of the neighborhood.

Before we get to some great pictures from last night, PLEASE TELL ALL YOUR NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS about the BEL-AIR ASSOCIATION BLOG (http://www.belaironline.blogspot.com/). It is the best communication tool for us to keep you abreast of Bel-Air news and information. They can register their email address with one click, and it will send daily updates to their email so they can get the information quickly and efficiently.

We're always here to help!






MISSING BLACK CAT

"Blacky," a 2-year old cat, ran outside from a home on Bel-Air Road last night and is missing.

The pet's owners would like you to give them a call at 310-471-4865 if you see Blacky.

According to the owners, he will most likely be too scared to let you touch him.

HE IS ALL BLACK, YELLOW EYES AND MEDIUM BUILD.

You may also feel free to call us here at the Bel-Air Association Office and we can coordinate with the owners.

Please keep your eyes peeled for Blacky!



Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I-405 Sepulveda Pass Widening Project

ATTENTION COMMUTERS, RESIDENTS, AND BUSINESSES IN THE VICINITY OFSEPULVEDA BLVD. BETWEEN MONTANA AVE. AND SUNSET BLVD.

 

As part of the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Widening Project and in preparation for the relocation ofSepulveda Blvd. to the east, the Contractor in conjunction with LADWP will relocate the overhead power lines on Sepulveda Blvd. between Montana Ave. and Sunset Blvd.  This activity requires street lane closures for conduit trenching and placement of DWP vaults. 

 

What:    Under-grounding of DWP overhead electrical lines

 

When:   Work is anticipated to start on Friday, March 19, 2010 for approximately 8 weeks, weather permitting.  Anticipated work hours are from 9:00am to 3:00pm and 9:00pm to 6:00am.  Saturday work is anticipated between the hours of 8:00am and 6:00pm.

 

Where:  Northbound Sepulveda Blvd. between Montana Ave. and Sunset Blvd. and

intersection closures will be implemented as followed for approximately 5 days at each location:

·         Work is anticipated to start on March 29th at Sepulveda Blvd and Homedale St.

·         Work is anticipated to start on March 31st at Sepulveda Blvd and alleyway (south ofBronwood Ave). 

·         Work is anticipated to start on April 2nd at Sepulveda Blvd and Bronwood Ave.

 

What to expect:

  • Temporary reconfiguration of traffic lanes (re-striping) and concrete rail placement will occur starting on March 17, 2010.
  • Traffic detours signs will be placed to direct vehicles around the closed intersections.
  • During construction hours northbound Sepulveda traffic will be detoured to eastbound Montana Ave., northbound Veteran Ave., to westbound Sunset Blvd., to Sepulveda Way and back toSepulveda Blvd.
  • Daytime construction activities will consist of trenching operations and trench backfilling.
  • Night construction operations will consist of conduit installation, trench backfilling, and paving.
  • Westbound bus lines 2/302 will be temporarily detoured at Montana Ave. and Sepulveda Blvd.and it will continue via Montana Ave. to Church Ln, to Sunset Blvd. back to regular route.
  • Local access to residences will be maintained.
  • Pedestrians will be rerouted to a safe area outside the construction zone.
  • Emergency vehicle access will be maintained.

 

 

Olga N. Arroyo

 

I-405 Sepulveda Pass Widening Project

Community Relations

6060 Center Drive, 2nd Flr.

Los Angeles, CA 90045

310-846-2357

ArroyoO@metro.net

 

www.metro.net/I-405

http://twitter.com/I_405

Visit the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Widening Project on Facebook

 

I-405 Project Hotline 213-922-3665