August 31, 2010

In this issue:

Water Conservation Ordinance

A Community Solution

Administrative Code Enforcement

Rapid Response

Hillcrest Country Club

Congratulations, Joan!


Contact Information

West LA Office
822 S. Robertson Blvd.
Suite 102
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 289-0353

Valley Office
15760 Ventura Blvd.
Suite 1020
Encino, CA 91436
(818) 971-3088

City Hall
200 North Spring Street
Room 440
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 473-7005


UPCOMING EVENTS

Fire Station 88 in Sherman Oaks will host a 9/11 Remebrance on Saturday, September 11 at the 9/11 Memorial Fountain in front of the station. All are welcome. Call 818-406-8013 for details.

The Encino-Tarzana Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library is presenting a series of programs titled "Opera for Beginners." The next meeting is Tuesday, September 21 at 6:30 p.m. All ages are welcome. Encino-Tarzana Branch 18231 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana, CA 91356 (818) 343-1983.

On Wednesday, September 22, the Arts & Cultural Affairs Council of the Century City Chamber of Commerce will hold a luncheon event discussion on contemporary art: What "Good" is Art? What is "Good" Art? Click HERE for details.


Don't forget! Found Animals, an animal adoption advocacy group, is partnering with Los Angeles Animal Services to present the Summer Buddies program. Now through September 30th if you adopt one cat Found Animals will pay the adoption fees for a second cat. If you have always wanted a cat, the Summer Buddies program provides an excellent opportunity to get two for the price of one.


Send us your news and events!
If you or your community group have any upcoming events that you would like to see featured in our next newsletter or on my website, please e-mail me at paul.koretz@lacity.org.

Please feel free to send this newsletter along to your friends and neighbors and tell them to visit the CD 5 website at http://cd5.lacity.org to sign up for this newsletter.

New Water Conservation Measures



The new water conservation ordinance finally went into effect last week. The watering schedule was of great concern to a lot of CD 5 constituents. Council Member Koretz successfully sought an increase in watering days from 2 days to 3 (with less time for the watering session). By spreading the watering out, this change should reduce the pressure on pipes, hopefully helping to protect our infrastructure. Odd-numbered street addresses will be able to do their landscape irrigation on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; even numbered street addresses will do it on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. It may sound a little confusing at first, but the DWP has a helpful Fact Sheet and Frequently Asked Questions to assist residents as we do our part to conserve a precious resource.

Originally even numbered street addresses were going to have Saturday as one of their days, but the Councilmember asked for this to be changed to Sunday in order to make it "Shabbat friendly," because, otherwise, many observant Jews would not be able to water on one of the designated days.

If you use non-conserving nozzles (spray head sprinklers and bubblers), you’ll be allowed no more than 8 minutes per watering day per station for a total of 24 minutes per week.  Those who use conserving nozzles (standard rotors and multi-stream rotary heads) will be allowed more time -- no more than 15 minutes per cycle and up to 2 cycles per watering day per station for a total of 90 minutes per week.


  What’s Best for the Community...


Some of the historic homes along Kelton Avenue.

Many of the City's planning documents are desperately out of date and provide inadequate quality of life protections for communities. This is why the City Council has supported updating and enhancing the Community Plans throughout the City. While that work is ongoing, development proposals still come forward and Councilmember Koretz works with neighbors and communities to make sure out-of-scale or inappropriate developments do not get built.

For example, earlier this year a developer proposed a six-unit condominium building at 1862 Kelton Avenue. Six units were allowed by the zoning in this location and no variances were requested. The problem was that a 45 foot box was not appropriate for the 1800 block of Kelton which is lined with restored historic buildings from West Los Angeles' early development by the Janns family during the 1930s. In fact there are three city historic-cultural monument structures on this block of Kelton alone.

The property owner did have certain rights under the existing zoning but Councilmember Koretz and his staff worked with the neighbors, local homeowners association and the property owner to forge a compromise solution. What will now be built on Kelton is not a giant box but rather a tasteful piece of architecture, with the top floor set back fifteen feet from the rest of the building to better blend in with the bulk and height found on the street. The condos will provide a break in color and materials between the second and third story to provide articulation and depth, a circular element also set back to provide the asymmetry found in authentic Spanish-Revival architecture, and protections that the balconies will not be oversized or overbearing.

Ultimately the developer was happy with the project because it was more attractive; the neighbors were happy because the new building will be complimentary to their homes and other buildings on the block; and the planning and development process was able to move forward. Councilmember Koretz salutes developer Anatoly Shamisou, local resident and activist Kia McInerny and the neighbors of the 1800 block of Kelton, and the Westwood South of Santa Monica Home Owners Association and its president, Barbara Broide, for working together so effectively to protect and improve their community.



Administrative Code Enforcement Faces its First Hearing

Sometimes it takes time to reform and improve City Hall, but it is well worth the time and effort.

Back in January, Councilmember Koretz proposed reforms to the City's code enforcement program. Unlike other cities, Los Angeles has to pursue code enforcement violators through the criminal justice process. While illegal construction and signage are huge quality of life issues, it’s not currently a cost-effective or efficient path to take these violations to criminal court, because such violations too often are ignored by a court system addressing gang murders and other serious violent crimes.

That is why an Administrative Code Enforcement (ACE) program was proposed by Councilmember Koretz – to provide a mechanism through which expeditious and appropriate code enforcement will finally become a reality, so that the City can do a much better job of protecting the quality of life in our local neighborhoods.

Over the last several months Councilmember Koretz worked hand-in-hand with City Attorney Carmen Trutanich (at right) to develop the ACE program. Not unlike a parking ticket, the new ACE program will result in escalating fines and penalties for code violations, will provide greater review and due process protections for the accused and will allow the City to cover more of its costs. The cost savings from ACE will be used to increase enforcement and compliance throughout the City. The goal is to have a code enforcement program that deters illegal activity and compels violators to bring their property into compliance.

The City Council Budget and Finance Committee held its first hearing about ACE on August 16th. The hearing included an overview of the program from the City Attorney.  Representatives of homeowners associations and the Department of Building and Safety also spoke in favor of the program. The members of the committee (Councilmembers Parks, Smith, Huizar, Rosendahl and Koretz) each asked questions regarding the program and expressed support for greater enforcement of the City's rules and regulations.

In the end the committee asked the City Administrative Officer for a financial report on the proposed program. The new program will utilize existing inspectors as well as existing staff from the City Attorney's Office. No new staff or costs are proposed for this program; in fact it is expected that the program will actually save the City money over time. That report and a vote on the program are expected back in the Budget and Finance Committee on September 27, 2010. Expressions of support by neighborhood activists and community organizations could make a big difference in moving this proposed program forward. For more information about the program or to submit letters of support please contact Christopher Koontz on Councilmember Koretz's staff at (213) 473-7005 or chris.koontz@lacity.org.


Rapid Response!



On August 31, at the corner of Haskell and Ventura, a car that was rear-ended in a two car collision was sent sprawling into a fire hydrant, knocking it over: water immediately plumed 30 feet into the air. The Fire Department (Fire Station 88) got to the scene within 4 to 5 minutes and quickly turned the spouting off. The Department of Transportation was there to block off the street while this happened, and the Los Angeles Police Department was also speedily on site regarding the accident. Thanks go to all for such swift responses. Luckily, nobody was seriously hurt in the traffic mishap; several cars got a good washing.


A Tremendous Legacy of Good Deeds and Fine Wit


Councilmember Koretz is flanked by (l-r) Dr. William W. Brien, President of the Hillcrest Country Club Board and Beverly Hills City Councilmember, and Ron Rosen, distinguished club member whose invaluable work made for a great event.

On Sunday, August 28, 2010, Hillcrest Country Club celebrated its 90th Anniversary, and Councilmember Koretz was pleased to salute Hillcrest on behalf of the City of Los Angeles. Hillcrest Country Club has played a unique role in business, industry and the entertainment arts, and has been essential to the community and cultural fabric of Jewish Los Angeles and the entire City.

Hillcrest Country Club was founded in 1920, and since then has been a major participant in countless charitable and humanitarian endeavors while becoming famous worldwide for the celebrities who have helped fill its membership ranks.

An endless array of superbly talented and unique personalities, including some of the most famous studio heads, comedians, musicians and stars of motion pictures and television, has made Hillcrest their home away from home. Here are just a few of the legends who have belonged:  Irving Berlin, Al Jolson, Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Berry Gordy, Dinah Shore, Jack Benny, Steve Lawrence and Edie Gorme, George Burns, the Marx Brothers, Danny Kaye, Milton Berle, Danny Thomas, Jack Lemmon and Kirk Douglas.

But what matters most is that Hillcrest members have championed a vast variety of charitable institutions and vital causes, involving education, medical research, art, culture, science, disaster relief… the list goes on and on. One of the major institutions supported by the Club is Cedars Sinai Hospital, where all of the Chairpersons and the Board of Directors have been members of Hillcrest, as has 80% of the Chairs of its Board of Governors.

Los Angeles and the 5th Council District have every reason to be proud of the great friendships, sensational wit, splendid humanitarianism and determined community and worldly leadership associated with Hillcrest for these past nine decades. Happy 90th Anniversary, Hillcrest!


Congratulations, Joan!



Joan Pelico is a longtime trusted friend and ally for countless 5th Council District residents – and now she’s your District Director!

On August 31st, Joan celebrated her 5th Anniversary of service for CD 5. She joined the office as a field deputy then became senior field deputy for the Valley Office before her recent promotion. She has excelled at bringing city personnel and city services face-to-face with constituents, while always trying to create alliances that can help our communities.

Throughout both her professional career and her years of volunteer activism, Joan has been a significant force for many community causes. She has been president of the Sherman Oaks Parents’ Association and director of development for the Sherman Oaks Elementary School. Indeed, she has worked collaboratively with people all her life, listening to people’s needs and creating solutions while instituting a team-approach to problem solving.

She says, “I’m so thrilled and honored to be able to assist constituents in this new capacity, and I look forward to the challenges and blessings that I’m sure to encounter in the years to come.” Congratulations, Joan!

Joan has big shoes to fill. Miriam Jaffe, her predecessor, has joined the office of the City Controller, Wendy Greuel. CD 5 thanks Miriam for her great leadership and wishes her the best in her new role.

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This message was sent to  by:

Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz
200 N. Spring Street, Rm. 440
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 473-7005