An entire neighborhood in my District was shaken to the core by gun violence at a home in Encino, that had been repeatedly rented out for all-night parties. What saddens me most is that this act of violence was preventable. This is only the latest example that for-profit short-term rental platforms like Airbnb have no concern about ensuring the safety, security and livability of the neighborhoods they impact.
These enterprises have changed the face of many neighborhoods for the worse, and left unchecked, will continue to erode the threads of decency, community and togetherness that the City of Los Angeles was built upon. The people who use these short-term rentals to throw wild parties often do not care about the communities they disrupt. And when something like this happens, the disrupters vanish and leave behind victims and neighbors -- including scared children and families.
I cannot stand by and surrender the streets of my district to short term rentals, whether they're for irresponsible parties that attract violence, or for tourists who displace long-time residents of our communities. The City Council has been working on short-term rental restrictions for two years while these abusers continue to run amok, ruining people's quiet enjoyment of their homes and worsening our affordable rental housing shortage.
It's time to enforce the newly-enacted party house ordinance, and match it with meaningful, tough restrictions on Airbnb and the other short-term rental platforms. Our job is to protect our neighborhoods, not mindlessly promote so-called disruptive technologies. I hope my colleagues will recognize the extent of these negative impacts upon our communities, so we can all do what's necessary to restrict short-term rentals.
I’m hoping to introduce some legislation in the near future that will offer more protections, or to amend the currently proposed ordinance.
Playboy Mansion Gets Permanent Protections
Councilmember Koretz has announced a covenant to permanently protect the famous Charing Cross Rd. property, also known as the Playboy Mansion. Playboy Enterprises acquired the property in 1971, and the current owner, Darren Metropoulos, purchased the property in 2016 from Playboy Founder Hugh Hefner, allowing him to live out his life in the mansion.
Built in 1927, the Gothic-Tudor home was designed by Arthur R. Kelly, who also conceived of the Wilshire Country Club. It was built for Arthur Letts Jr., whose father founded the Broadway department store and later developed the community of Holmby Hills, where the home is located in Council District 5.
The Councilmember thanks both the Holmby Hills Homeowner Association for their support in protecting this important part of LA’s architectural history, and Mr. Metropoulos, who shares the vision of restoring the mansion to its original grandeur. “It's a win-win for historic preservation and the neighborhood,” said Councilmember Koretz.
A Boring Visit - Not So Boring
Councilmember Koretz toured CD5 constituent Elon Musk's SpaceX facility to be given a full briefing on the status of the Boring Company.
Councilmember Koretz has long been a proponent of the public transportation system PRT (Personal Rapid Transit), a lower cost, monorail-type technology featuring small automated vehicles that operate on a network of specially built guide ways. The original test track was built on the campus of the University of West Virginia in Morgantown, WV and has been in operation since the 1970s. Other systems have been built at Heathrow Airport in London, in Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, and in Suncheon, South Korea. Among its many advantages is that it makes no stops until reaching its destination and its very low cost.
The Boring Company has proposed a similar system across Los Angeles, but aims to build it underground and occasionally above ground. A test track is currently being built near SpaceX in Hawthorne, where the local Mayor Pro Tem Haidar Awad has helped the company through the permitting process.
While Councilmember Koretz is very interested in the proposal, he also wants to be certain that permitting and regulations are followed to protect both the users of the system and the people above ground. Additionally, he wants to be sure that the system will be available for the benefit of low income transit users. On the day Councilmember Koretz visited, Elon Musk announced that he overhauling the Boring Company concept to focus on mass transit which aligns with the PRT concept, as well.
Watch the video to see how it should work.
Rancho Park Odorant Leak Public Discussion
Councilmember Koretz joined the Westside Village Homeowners Association's discussion with the City's Petroleum Administrator, Uduak Ntuk, about the Mercaptan odorant leak on November 29, 2017, the leak originated from SoCalGas equipment on the Rancho Park drill site, and affected hundreds of nearby residents. Natural gas is produced as a by-product of oil drilling, and this site directs any natural gas directly into the SoCalGas system. Odorant is added onsite, so that if there is a natural gas leak, it can be traced via the smell. Despite the heavy odor, only a few gallons of the odorant spilled from malfunctioning equipment into a backup reservoir.
SoCalGas says that the odorant is harmless. However, due to the negative impacts experienced by residents, Councilmember Koretz has directed the Petroleum Administrator to report back on health implications along with information on infrastructure issues.
The Rancho Park drill site remains shut down since the night of the incident while SoCalGas manufactures a new part to replace the one that failed. At the meeting, Mr. Ntuk detailed the steps the City has taken to ensure that this type of problem will never occur again. The Council will hear an update in a few weeks on the motion that Councilmember Koretz introduced and the City Council rapidly approved, which will include the additional direction in this addendum motion. The report will include new protocols on Emergency Management communications, as directed in the motions, so that the problems people had finding out information in real time will be resolved. Also directed in the motion is that SoCalGas check its entire system for leaks or other infrastructure problems.
Also pictured is outgoing WVHA President, Brian Considine. Councilmember Koretz thanked him for his many years of serving the community with a presentation.
Bel Air-Beverly Crest’s Robin Greenberg Receives CD5’s 2018 Pioneer Woman Award
To celebrate International Women’s Day, the entire City Council honored Pioneer Women from each district. Councilmember Koretz was thrilled to recognize Bel Air – Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council President Robin Greenberg in City Council Chambers.
The Pioneer Women Award winners are selected each year by the Commission on the Status of Women and the Los Angeles City Council. Congratulations to Robin for receiving this well-deserved honor!
A Lesson on Homelessness for UCLA Luskin Students
Councilmember Koretz was proud to host more than a dozen public policy, social welfare and urban planning graduate students from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs at City Hall for a day. They worked together in teams to brainstorm solutions for the thousands of people currently experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. Each team met with and interviewed city and county leaders ranging from homeless advocates and leaders of charitable organizations, to a law enforcement officer and service providers for the homeless. The students will submit a written policy memorandum summarizing their findings and policy recommendations, and Councilmember Koretz looks forward to their insights, ideas and solutions.
There's a very dangerous proposal in Sacramento that would extend alcohol sales until 4 a.m. Councilmember Koretz strongly believes that SB 905 will directly lead to DUIs, injury, and death.
On behalf of his constituents, Councilmember Koretz testified in the State Senate Governmental Organization Committee to OPPOSE the bill. He was joined by the LA Police Protective League, which represents LAPD, in testifying in opposition.
It is imperative that you contact your state legislators to voice your opposition to this dangerous bill.
Weekend Road Closures:
Saturday, March 17 6 AM-6 PM full closure of Mulholland Dr,. from Roscomare Rd. to Longbow Dr. for cold plane and street resurfacing. The Bureau of Street Services recommends using Ventura Bl., Valley Vista Bl., or other alternate routes. Traffic traveling northbound on Roscomare Rd. will have eastbound access towards Beverly Glen Bl. with delays.
On Sunday March 18, the LA Marathon will take place. The route crosses many areas through our community including Santa Monica Blvd all the way from Beverly Hills/West Hollywood through Century City, Westwood, and West LA.
Find complete schedule and road closure info here. Street closures will begin as early as 2 AM.
And good luck and congratulations to all the runners!
|LOS ANGLES WANTS YOUR HELP|
Create a People St in Your Neighborhood
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation is hosting a neighborhood webinar about how to create a "People St" in your community. People St is a citywide program that partners with communities to create new public spaces in underutilized areas. The People St program provides eligible community organizations with a process to propose project locations, and the information and tools to partner with the city to complete these projects.
The online seminar will teach community members about the application process, and what's required to inaugurate a new plaza in their neighborhoods. People St will be accepting proposals for plazas, parklets, and bicycle corrals from community partners starting April 2. For more information, visit peoplest.lacity.org.
LAPD Operations Valley Bureau Multi-Faith Community Forum
Thursday, March 22, 6 pm - 8 pm at Valley Beth Shalom
15739 Ventura Blvd.
Encino, CA 91607
Join the LAPD Operations Valley Bureau, members of the faith community and community members for an open forum to discuss how the LAPD can continue to build better community relationships in the San Fernando Valley. Meet with LAPD and LAFD Command Staff in the San Fernando Valley to discuss your concerns and suggestions.
Guest speakers include LAPD Couterterrorism Deputy Chief Horace Frank, Dr. Arik Greenberg of the Institute For Religious Tolerance and Elena Meloni New Star Family Center and Muslim Outreach.
Dine and Discuss Diversity to Build Unity
For one week in April, the City of Los Angeles will host dinners throughout the city's 15 council districts to talk about race, diversity and ethnicity as part of a new citywide initiative called embRACE LA. 1000 Angelenos will gather in 100 homes for thoughtful dinner dialogues centered on one of the most important topics of our time: race.
You are invited to join in! Here's a few ways you can participate:
- Host a dinner. We are looking for a few more community members to open their homes to host a dinner. We provide everything (the meal, chairs, setup, etc). For more information on hosting, please open the Host Information Overview. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, March 14
- Sign up to participate. All residents of Los Angeles are welcome to apply. The application is short and simple. Applications are due April 1st.
Brush Clearance Season Has Begun
The Los Angeles Fire Department Brush Unit has started to send out their annual notices to property owners to begin clearing their brush. Property owners who live in LAFD’s very high fire hazard severity zone must clear their brush before inspections begin on May 1, 2018. You can read the notification mailer at http://www.lafd.org/fire-prevention/brush/2018-owner-notification-mailer
Owners of property located in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (VHFHSZ) shall maintain their property in accordance with the Fire Code (L.A.M.C. 57.322). Year-round compliance shall be maintained as described below on all native brush, weeds, grass, trees and hazardous vegetation within 200 feet of any structures/buildings, whether those structures are on the owner’s property or adjoining properties, and within 10 feet of any combustible fence or roadway/driveway used for vehicular travel.
For further details about clearance requirements, the inspection process, vendors and/or reporting homeless encampments in the hillside fire zones, go to www.lafd.org/fire-prevention/brush
What Goes In Your Blue Bin?
When it comes to recycling, are you a beginner or a seasoned expert. Either way, there's always more to learn and items you may have questions about. Consider printing this handy flyer to help you keep track of what you can recycle.
Also, the LA Department of Sanitation wants to remind commercial customers and residents in multi-family units that the more you recycle, the less you will pay for trash collection services. Also, those customers might consider getting a waste assessment to ensure that your service matches your need.
Meet Jonathan from RecycLA, he’ll show you which everyday items that go in the blue bin:
Planning 101 Trainings
The Department of City Planning and the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment will be hosting a series of Planning 101 Trainings throughout the month of April. The trainings will take place across seven regions with the intent of providing an overview of the basic elements of planning, land use, and zoning, with a focus on the project planning process.
We invite community members, new to the planning process, or would like a refresher course, to please join us at one of the following trainings:
5th Anniversary of LA’s Good Food Purchasing Policy
Councilmember Koretz joined the LA Food Policy Council in the Garden at Redbird to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the City's Good Food Purchasing Policy.
The Good Food Purchasing Policy was introduced by Councilmember Koretz back in 2012, and, through a partnership with the then-fledgling LA Good Food Policy Council, it turned into a groundbreaking policy that uses the City's substantial purchasing power to change the food system for the better. Departments receive points by following guidelines to actively promote health and well-being in our diets, protect our farming workforce, support local economies, provide humane conditions for livestock, and spread environmentally-sustainable principles far and wide. Los Angeles Unified School District, the largest purchaser of food in the region, has also adopted the policy, as well as the cities of Chicago and Austin, and the school districts of San Francisco and Oakland, along with 24 other agencies and 12 cities in the process. As Councilmember Koretz likes to say, "What happens in Los Angeles, doesn't stay in Los Angeles..."
Westwood Neighborhood Greenway Steering Committee Celebration
Councilmember Koretz attended the Westwood Neighborhood Greenway Steering Committee event celebrating his accomplishment in successfully funding it as a Proposition O, clean water project.
The Westwood Neighborhood Greenway will clean and conserve water before it flows into Santa Monica Bay while providing an island of native habitat for birds, butterflies, and other animals next to the Expo line, one of the busiest light rail lines in the nation.
Councilmember Koretz Visited Palms Neighborhood Council and the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils
Councilmember Koretz attended the Palms Neighborhood Council's board meeting this month. He shared his concerns about SB 827 and SB905, two bills introduced by Senator Scott Weiner from San Francisco that will have extraordinarily deleterious affects on Los Angeles neighborhoods. He also discussed improvements on Venice Blvd., and answered questions from residents of the Palms community.
Encino Chamber of Commerce Clean Up
Thank you to the thirty volunteers who joined in this year’s annual Encino Chamber of Commerce clean-up of Louise Ave from Oxnard to Burbank Blvd. The clean up included trash pickup, debris collection and reporting bulky items to the Council office.
The Councilmember was gratified by this year’s many sponsors, including the West Valley Alliance ,who provided supplies for the cleanup, and to the Department of Sanitation for picking up the bags. It was a great joint effort and the Chamber office wants to continue clean up projects in Encino.
Adopt Some Love
Los Angeles Animal Services has rescued approximately 193 rabbits this week from an unfortunate overcrowding situation. If you've been thinking about adding a furry friend to your home, rabbits make wonderful indoor companions--and can be litter-trained, just like cats! Adoptable rabbits are located at East Valley, Harbor, North Central, West LA and West Valley Animal Shelters. We encourage you to visit our shelters today to speak to our staff and volunteers about the care and maintenance required to keep a bunny happy and healthy throughout its lifetime.
All rabbits were evaluated by LAAS Veterinary staff and appear to be healthy. The adults will all be available for adoption immediately! All bunnies will be spay/neutered and microchipped before going to their new homes. The unweaned, underweight bunnies will beavailable for our New Hope rescue partners only.
The maximum cost to adopt a rabbit is $71. Adoption fees include vaccinations, spaying/neutering and microchipping. To find a shelter near you, please visit: http://www.laanimalservices.com/shelters/
Los Angeles Department of Animal Services is one of the largest municipal shelter systems in the United States with six shelters serving approximately 60,000 animals annually and responding to 20,000 emergency calls involving an animal or person in danger. LA Animal Services promotes and protects the health, safety and welfare of animals and people.