Encino Neighborhood Council general meeting took place Wednesday evening; the agenda covered a variety of ongoing and new issues of concern to the community.
Reports from City Officials
Kara Seward of Senator Pavley's office introduced herself and said that, due to staff changes, she is now covering Encino for the Senator. She said that the Senator remains committed to keeping open, and will be attending the Annual Easter Egg Hunt at the park from 1:30-2:30 p.m.
LAPD Senior Lead Officer Rob Trulik said that crime was dropping in Encino but that car and home break-ins remained the top two crimes in the city. He said that more criminals are breaking in through "doggie-doors."
Officer Trulik also said that, in the wake of "what happened in Florida" (seemingly a reference to the Trayvon Martin case), he has been cautioning local residents about their rights to defend themselves. "If you are going to arm yourself you are limiting your options," Officer Trulik said. "Keep your weapon concealed, then you're not fighting over that gun." If something happens, he said, "you will have to justify your actions."
An audience member asked Officer Trulik what the LAPD was doing about the homeless and crime; Officer Trulik took the opportunity to remind those gathered that being homeless was not a crime, but rather a social or civil concern.
Frank Bush, Assistant Chief for Code Enforcement, Department of Building and Safety, Code Enforcement
Frank Bush spoke about typical violations such as trash and debris, vacant buildings, illegal businesses running out of homes, noise complaints from pools, air conditioners, light complaints, illegal occupancies, construction without permits. To turn a complain into the Department of Building and Safety, call 311 or go to www.ladbs.org report a violation.
Louis Krokover, ENC President's Report
Speaking about the elections that would normally take place in April or May of this year, Krokover said that there have not been any updates from the City of Los Angeles. The postponement of elections until August, October or November or until 2013 or 2014 because of budget issues, he said, are all possible scenarios. The ENC also has the option of setting aside money to fund its own elections rather than going through through the City Clerk's Office.
On the subject of Sober Living facilities, Krokover reminded the ENC that the existence of Sober Living facilities was a State issue. He said that concerned residents should contact their City Councilman, Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield, State Senator Fran Pavley, or Reps. Howard Berman and Brad Sherman.
CD5 redistricting issues
Glen Bailey of the ENC said that all of Encino, not just its residents but its land, should all be included in CD5, rather than losing parts in the recent redistricting . Bailey said he'd ike the ENC to file a "community impact statement" to request that the redistricting be relooked at. Bailey proposed a motion, which was passed by the ENC, that said that the Committee will file his proposed impact statement.
Laurie Kelson, ENC Vice President's report: 405 project
There will be some 90-day closures on the 405, staring in May, according to Kelson. The Westbound Wilshire Blvd on-ramp to the North I-405 will be closed for 90 days beginning in early May as well as the Northbound I-405 off-ramp to Wilshire Blvd Westbound. Check with Metro.net for the details.
Proposed real estate development on Magnolia
Brad Rosenheim of Rosenheim and Associates talked about the proposed development of 17720 Magnolia (at the SW corner of Magnolia and White Oak). The owners of the property, said Rosenheim, are seeking to rezone the area back to its original use, going from RA zoning (single home or farm) to R3 (multi-residential).
Rosenheim said that the owners would like to develop a 50-unit apartment complex of two-bedroom units, some with dens, being marketed for "folks interested in scaling back, maybe moving down from the hills and living in Encino in a smaller home."
He said that traffic would be reduced in the area as traffic from Temple Ner Maarav and its pre-school was much greater than that which 50 apartments would be expected to produce.
An ENC board member asked what assurance his company could give that the finished product will look like the proposed plans. Rosenheim said that not only is his company giving "Our word," but, he said, "when our project gets approved by the City, we are supposed to build it in comformance with these plans."
Audience members expressed their concern about the parking provided by the building. Rosenheim said that the apartment complex will have ample parking: 100 parking spaces shared between the 50 units.
In the public comment section, Paul Kelson spoke in support of the project, saying that there would actually be less cars seeking parking spots than is the case currently, given that the site is currently occupied by Temple Ner Maarav.
Gerald Silver argued against the motion to support the zone change, asking: "why do we need apartments, why not owner occupied condominiums?" He suggested 20 condominiums rather than 50 apartments.
The ENC voted in support of the proposed development designs and rezoning request.