WESTWOOD NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL MINUTES
FEBRUARY 11, 2015
WESTWOOD PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, 10822 WILSHIRE BLVD., LOS ANGELES, CA 90024
- CALL TO ORDER
President Jerry Brown called the meeting to order at 7:14 p.m. Board members in attendance were Connie Boukidis, Jerry Brown, Sandy Brown, Lisa Chapman, Roozbeh Farahanipour, Aurelia Friedman, Mitchell Keiter (arrived at 8:30 p.m.), Stephen Resnick, Marcello Robinson, Mark Rogo, Austin Velez, and Scott Whittle. Board members excused were Dean Abell, Angus Beverly, Jacob Finn, Armen Hadjimanoukian, Marjan Jamshidi, Eugene Tseng, and Laura Winikow. A quorum was present. There were 12 stakeholders and guests present.
- APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Scott Whittle moved to approve the minutes of the January 14, 2015 meeting. Lisa Chapman seconded the motion, which carried unanimously, with the exception of Jerry Brown, who was not eligible to vote.
- COMMENTS BY PUBLIC OFFICIALS
- California State Assemblymember for the 54th District Sebastian Ridley-Thomas introduced himself and talked about water pricing, water infrastructure, and the drought; and mentioned some other hot button issues such as vaccines. Board members brought up two issues of concern that need to be addressed in Sacramento: the abuse of handicapped parking placards and the SB1818 bill.
- Congressman Ted Lieu’s representative Janet Turner reported on the new master plan for the West L.A. Veterans Administration property and asked for a board member to be designated as her point person for this issue. Marcello Robinson volunteered. Another issue being worked on is the post office. Board members advised her that now that the sorting and mail delivery is done out of the Brentwood post office instead of the Federal Building, chaos has ensued. More comments on this were requested via homeowners associations. The Congressional Institute sponsors an art contest for high school students to be judged in the spring, and Connie Boukidis volunteered to be the point person for information about the contest.
- Mayor Garcetti’s representative Daniel Tamm reported that the Mayor signed his business tax cut into law and has gotten support for a minimum wage hike. He thanked WWNC for participating in the homeless count. Due to the VA lawsuit settlement, the West L. A. VA property will provide housing for veterans. On February 23rd the Mayor will have a briefing at City Hall on his plans to house homeless veterans by the end of 2015.
- CD5 Field Deputy Jeff Ebenstein announced that the DWP is having a customer service day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sepulveda office on February 14th. A Great Streets walk-through will take place on either March 2nd or 9th from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
- PUBLIC COMMENT
There was no public comment.
- STANDING COMMITTEE STATUS REPORTS
- Executive Committee—There was no report.
Lisa Chapman listed the monthly expenditures for approval: $100 for room rental, $75 for room setup, and $79.13 for copies. Scott Whittle moved to approve the expenditures, seconded by Connie Boukidis. The motion carried unanimously except for Mark Rogo, who was ineligible to vote. Lisa reported that WOMP, which usually gets a $7,000 grant from WWNC, has been cancelled for this year, so the $7,000 should be moved from the community budget into the budget for Neighborhood Purpose Grants. Lisa so moved, seconded by Marcello Robinson, and the motion carried unanimously.
- Land Use
Chair Connie Boukidis had no report.
- Outreach & Communications
- Board Training
Chair Lisa Chapman announced that all board members except for one have done the ethics and funding training. Everyone must sign the Code of Conduct by April 3, 2015.
Board members who have not done the training must recuse themselves from voting and leave the room during the vote.
- Homeless Count
The homeless count was a success, with a large turnout of volunteers. Training was done from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. and then the volunteers went out and did the count. The homeless count may be done every year instead of biannually as it is currently done.
- Public Safety—There was no report.
- Traffic—There was no report.
WRAC representative Sandy Brown reported that she is looking at a new direction for WRAC, as she does not feel it is currently very effective.
- CONDITION COMPLIANCE UNIT
- Discussion, motion to support Community Impact Statement CF 13-0046
Sandy Brown reported that the City doesn’t monitor any of the conditions that developers agree to on building projects. If the City imposes conditions, it should be responsible for enforcing them, not the residents affected. Sandy moved to support Community Impact Statement CF 13-0046, seconded by Marcello Robinson. The motion carried unanimously.
- BROXTON GARAGE
- Introduction of motion
Sandy Brown made the following motion:
MOTION REGARDING PARKING REQUIREMENTS IN THE BROXTON GARAGE Whereas the Broxton city-owned parking garage is located in Westwood Village; Whereas available on-street parking is limited due to 42% of the spaces used by vehicles with handicapped placards; Whereas Westwood Village has many historic buildings with very limited parking; Whereas Westwood Village, in order that it remain a tourist destination and a neighborhood retail area, needs available free parking and reduced rate parking to accommodate customers; Whereas the City of Los Angeles owns and supervises the Broxton Garage; BE IT RESOLVED, the Broxton Garage shall not be used as parking garage to accommodate
parking required by the City of Los Angeles Municipal Code for any use or leased to monthly parkers for any reason. Marcello Robinson seconded, and the motion carried unanimously.
- PLANNING DEPARTMENT POLICY REGARDING OFFSITE PARKING
- Introduction of motion
Sandy Brown introduced the following motion, which came from WRAC, and is necessary to prevent the leasing out of the same parking spots to different businesses. Scott Whittle moved to approve the motion, seconded by Stephen Resnick. The motion carried unanimously.
PLANNING DEPARTMENT POLICY FOR OFFSITE PARKING
Resolved, that the Westwood Neighborhood Council requests that the City Council investigate the Planning Department practice of circumventing the L. A. Municipal Code by allowing offsite parking with only a lease agreement rather than a required written covenant agreement or zone variance.
- SIDEWALK VENDING ORDINANCE
- Introduction of motion
Sandy Brown introduced the motion, and requested that it be submitted as a Community Impact Statement. The original motion included a request for an opt-out procedure but Sandy Brown moved to amend the motion to request an opt-in procedure instead. This was seconded by Connie Boukidis, and the motion to amend carried unanimously. Connie Boukidis then moved to approve the amended motion below, seconded by Roozbeh Farahanipour. The motion carried unanimously.
PROPOSED SIDEWALK VENDING ORDINANCE
Resolved, that the Westwood Neighborhood Council expresses deep concerns regarding the Chief Legislative Analyst Report 114-05-0361, dated May 13, 2014, relative to various recommendations relating to the City’s Street Vending Policy. The WWNC believes the following issues must be resolved before any new ordinance moves forward: Overlapping regulatory responsibility and possible gaps in enforcement requirements; liability; trash, locations and/or zones where permitted; resources for permit compliance given the mobility aspects of these carts; allocation of scarce sidewalk space, whereas other uses must be permitted to use the public right of way; ADA compliance/obstruction of the public right of way; noise, odors, and hours of operation; sanitary conditions for food vendors including hot water, hand washing, etc.; impacts upon brick and mortar stores and jobs; Business Improvement Districts (BID) have to pay for services and sidewalk vendors pay nothing; sales taxes are not necessarily collected; finally, the WWNC also requests an opt-in procedure, where communities are excluded from the ordinance until they affirmatively opt in.
- PARKING LINE
Aurelia Friedman asked CD5 Field Deputy Jeff Ebenstein about the parking lines that were requested on Gayley and Veteran Avenues in the North Village since she had not heard anything about them. Jeff invited her to come to the Great Streets Initiative walk-through in March and discuss it there.
- DESIGN REVIEW BOARD APPOINTMENTS
Sandy Brown said that CD5 appointed a disappointing representative to the Design Review Board, someone with no historical or architectural experience. None of the candidates whose names were submitted to CD5 were contacted, though Jerry Brown had a meeting with CD5 on December 22, 2014 about the process.
Marcello Robinson moved, The Westwood Neighborhood Council, as an advisory body to the Council member, strongly objects that an appointment was made to the Design Review Board without interviewing the qualified candidates suggested by the WWNC. The WWNC asks that future appointees have a background in architecture or proper qualifications in accordance with the L. A. Municipal Code 16.50.D.3 (c).
Roozbeh Farahanipour seconded, and the motion carried unanimously, with the exception of Mark Rogo, who was ineligible to vote.
- DIGITAL BILLBOARD AT iPIC THEATER
This topic was tabled until next month.
- WEST L. A. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SURVEY
A survey was emailed to the board by Roozbeh Farahanipour, who requested a Neighborhood Council vote on the survey questions. Only one of the three questions applied specifically to Westwood, which was:
Typically, Los Angeles has created bike lanes by eliminating a vehicle lane.
- Do you want the City to create more bike lanes using this method?
Connie Boukidis moved to answer “no” to this question, stipulating that it only applies within Westwood’s boundaries, seconded by Lisa Chapman. The motion carried unanimously with the exception of Mark Rogo, who was ineligible to vote, and Aurelia Friedman, who left before the vote.
- BICYCLE LANE COMMITTEE
Sandy Brown reported that Ryan Snyder’s bike plan has incorrect numbers and she will hold a meeting on February 17th to work out the correct numbers and form a position. Westwood Blvd. from Exposition Blvd. to Sunset Blvd. will be looked at.
- BYLAW CHANGES
Sandy Brown spoke with Tom Soong and Darren Martinez at DONE and asked specific questions about what it is possible to do with the bylaws so that there will be no waste of time when formulating changes.
- WESTWOOD FLYAWAY
Stephen Resnick had a conference call with Los Angeles World Airports representatives about Corinthian, the Flyaway contractor. On-time service has improved, two new buses were added, there are new logos, and driver training has taken place. Random anonymous checks were done and service was found to have definitely improved.
- IMPACT OF NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCILS
- Discussion of how to assess the impact/success (or lack thereof) of Neighborhood Councils and the Neighborhood Council System Though this topic was not discussed, it was implied throughout the meeting.
President Jerry Brown adjourned the meeting at 9:40 p.m.