Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Important ICO Update: Victory for Bel-Air & Victory for the Bel-Air Association




To our Friends and Neighbors in the Bel-Air Community,
On Wednesday, March 18th a revised ICO (Interim Control Ordinance) advocated for by the Bel~Air Association passed in the LA City Planning and Land Use Committee and will be approved by the full LA City Council this week.

As previously communicated, the Bel-Air Association lobbied for a superior version of the ICO vs. the original version that did not do enough to get dirt haul trucks off our streets.
           
To illustrate why the Bel-Air Association demanded a better solution, and why the BAA did not blindly support the original ICO, we asked Councilmember Koretz's Office if the original ICO would have stopped the Somma Way project's thousands of dirt haul truck trips approved to travel up and down Stone Canyon.  The answer was "probably not."

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity with other community stakeholders to sit down with our Councilman Paul Koretz to discuss Bel~Air’s real issues and the fact that the law must address dirt haul truck trips directly, and not simply “grading.”

As a result, the ICO was revised as follows:

Bel Air. Notwithstanding any section of the LAMC, no building permit shall issue for a Project in Bel Air on a Hillside Area lot where the import and export of exempted graded earth exceeds 6,000 cubic yards.

Although this change is only a few words, the literal impact is substantial.

Most simply put, the ICO’s wording changed from limiting one category of exempted grading (i.e., excavating and/or filling dirt on a property) to limiting dirt import and export (i.e., trucking dirt to and from a property) under all exempted categories.

Of course, the ICO’s interplay with the rest of the LA building code erodes away some of the power behind its literal wording, yet this is a huge step forward as the Bel~Air Association has helped to redefine the law to finally focus on the devastating truck traffic that has been endangering our community.

So in conclusion, we are delighted to share:

  • The Bel~Air Association helped secure a revised ICO that will better protect our community by directly limiting dirt haul trucks on our streets.

  • In a world of increasing hostile behavior, the Bel~Air Association was still able to achieve this superior result through professionalism and respecting all of our community members and stakeholders.  

  • There is much more work to be done, and it should now be abundantly clear that the Bel~Air Association is still Bel~Air’s best advocate for positive change.
The Bel-Air Association has been representing the best interests of Bel-Air for 72 years, and we will continue to do so for the next 72 years.  

We greatly appreciate you and all of our Bel~Air Residents, and acknowledge that without your continued support, our amazing victory could never have been achieved.

Sincerely,

Ron Hudson
Bel-Air Association President

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Bel~Air Association ICO Update (March 11, 2015)


FROM THE BAA PRESIDENT & 
INFRASTRUCTURE COMMITTEE

To the Bel~Air Community:


The Bel~Air Association (BAA) is 100% supportive of an ICO (Interim Control Ordinance) that will immediately address the dangerous dirt haul and construction vehicle traffic in our community.


In this connection, BAA representatives, together with a handful of community stakeholders, met with our Councilman Paul Koretz yesterday afternoon in an effort to make the current ICO help our community.


In such meeting, we discussed the infuriating facts that:

(1) even if the ICO (as it is currently written) was passed TODAY, it would not have any impact for about a year (as it can only impact new projects, not those that are already approved), and

(2) the proposed ICO (as it is currently written) will, by its blunt nature, not do nearly enough to address our most pressing problem -- the dangerous and incessant flow of construction and dirt haul trucks on our narrow hillside streets.


To highlight the problem we are facing, we were stunned to learn from a civil engineer also attending the meeting yesterday that two of his planned projects in Bel~Air would have their dirt haul routes INCREASED if the current ICO were enacted!


Our Council’s Office indicated that their challenge was that the “ICO" process itself only allows for certain actions.  Nonetheless, the BAA suggested ways to word and analyze the ICO to work within its scope of authority that would actually HELP our community and address the dire problems we are facing.


The core of our problem is that Los Angeles Grading Regulations actually incentivize projects to haul dirt from project sites, by penalizing them for keeping "exempted" graded earth on the property.  

YES, YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY:  The Los Angeles Grading Regulations actually incentivize projects to haul dirt from project sites.


As such, the BAA has focused its efforts on flipping this regulation, as we seek an ICO that will require projects to keep as much dirt as possible on the project site itself -- which could SAVE LIVES by keeping more dangerous dirt haul trucks off our Bel~Air Roads.


Once again, the Bel~Air Association (BAA) seeks the immediate implementation of an ICO that will address the dangerous dirt haul and construction vehicle traffic in our community now, and we will not be satisfied by an ineffectual provision that most everyone agrees will do almost nothing to address our problems TODAY!

For any questions, please email president@belaironline.org.