Meeting Date: 03/25/04 07:00 PM
Meeting Type: Regular
Location: Mulholland Tennis Club. The club is located at 2555 Crest View Drive. There is an excellent map and driving directions on the club’s website; it’s at www.themtc.org/locations.html.
Details: Agenda for the Meeting
1. Welcome, introductions and sign-in.
2. Review and approve minutes of prior meeting (vote)
3. General Meeting
a. Discuss/List Issues Specific to Area 9
i. The Laurel/Mulholland intersection construction project
ii. Project to remodel 8056 Mulholland – Report on public hearing at the Planning Department and an April 8th hearing at the South Valley Planning Commmission.
iii. The Woodstock/Yehuda Arviv houses – Reports on recent meetings with the new owner(s) and their representatives.
iv. Update on Bulwer Drive houses and road design project
v. Reports on construction projects on Willow Glen and Woodstock – 2611 Woodstock, 7963 Willow Glen and 8055 Willow Glen
vi. Report on the lot subdivision application for 2600 Woodstock/7685 Willow Glen.
vii. Update on other local developments
b. Discuss/List Issues Applicable to Entire Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council – Possible Votes.
i. Update on HHWNC’s discussions concerning various proposals to limit on-street parking by non-residents on streets around Runyon Canyon Park.
ii. Discuss the proposal pending with the city council to restrict the operation of “big-box” business, like Wal-Mart, in Los Angeles.
iii. Discuss what should be the priorities of the HHWNC for the next year.
iv Discuss upcoming elections for the HHWNC board, which are scheduled for June.
4. Public comment and any new business for the next meeting’s agenda
5. Plan and set next meeting’s time and place
The purpose of the meeting is to give everyone information and a voice regarding issues in the community in accordance with the Neighborhood Council’s by-laws. For more information, please contact Wendy Dytman @aol.com or Orrin Feldman at (323) 656-0440.
AREA 9 COMMITTEE, HOLLYWOOD HILLS WEST NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL
MEETING MINUTES FOR MARCH 26, 2004
In attendance: Orrin Feldman, Joe Leonard, Verna Cornelius, Jim Slack, Joe Beaver, David Thornton, Stephanie Warren, Ralph Elmer, Tim Braseth, Mimi Starret, Gabrielle Brill, Gail Natzler, Joe Perna, Mary Margaret Robinson, Alan Kishbaugh, Dr. Mel Remba, Ken Jones, Alan Fischer and Marc Leger.
The group met at the Mulholland Tennis Club at 2555 Crest View Drive. Orrin Feldman called the meeting to order at 7:10 pm. After introductions, baseball caps with the HHWNC logo were passed out.
Joe Leonard moved that the minutes from the last meeting (January 8, 2003) be approved, which was seconded by Marc Leger, and the minutes were approved.
The Laurel Canyon Blvd./Mulholland Drive intersection was the first substantive agenda item. Orrin announced that Michelle Fleenor had informed him that DOT and Councilmember LaBonge’s office had made several decisions for changes to improve the traffic flow at the intersection. For southbound traffic on Laurel Canyon, an arrowed traffic signal for left turning traffic to go eastbound on Mulholland was approved. For northbound traffic on Laurel Canyon, an arrowed turning signal for left turning traffic to go westbound on Mullholland was and still is an open issue. Eastbound traffic on Mullholland will be prohibited from right turning to go south on Laurel Canyon on red lights from 6 to 9am on Mondays through Fridays. DOT will put up new signage to clarify that southbound traffic in the right hand lane on Laurel Canyon must turn right to go westbound on Mulholland, except for the Dash bus service running on Laurel Canyon Blvd.
The Laurel Canyon Blvd./Mulholland Drive intersection has been designated as Council District 4’s top priority for traffic improvements. Due to budget constraints, it isn’t clear how soon DOT will implement any of these (or other) improvements. Also, mitigation efforts for Woodrow Wilson and Briar Summit accessing Mulholland Drive remain as open issues.
Mary Margaret Robinson discussed her current observations of how the intersection is (and isn’t) working, various recent accidents and violent incidents at the intersection, and her experiences working with different members of the Councilmember’s staff to obtain assistance on improving the intersection. A general discussion followed, and there was a consensus to remain vigilant, ask the LAPD’s traffic division for assistance, and continue monitoring the situation.
The next discussion topic was the owner of 8056 Mulholland Drive’s application to the Planning Department for an exemption request was discussed. The owner is asking for an exemption from the Mulholland Specific Plan’s height and side yard requirements in order to add a new bedroom and two decks to his house. The house predates the Mulholland Specific Plan, and it is in the inner(most) corridor adjacent to the Mulholland roadway. The house’s height already exceeds the specific plan’s height limit of 15 feet by a substantial amount, and the owner wants to go higher in his addition. Orrin and Joe Perna reported on a Planning Department hearing on February 27th, which considered the application. A South Valley Planning Commission meeting on April 8th will consider the hearing officer’s recommendation(s) on the application.
The Woodstock Road houses, also known as the Yehuda Arviv houses, were discussed next. Orrin and Mel spoke about their February meeting at the offices of Fred Fudacz with an attorney representing the new owner, Prosper Levy, and his development partner, the Judah Hertz Family Companies. Joe and David spoke about their conversation with two men, including possibly Prosper Levy, on Leicester Road on a recent weekend afternoon. These were “Two Tales of a Development”, with the downtown meeting emphasizing collegiality and how the developer partners were trying to figure out what they wanted to do on the hillside. On the other hand, the Leicester conversation emphasized the new owners’ wish to build many more new houses on that hillside, and the new owners’ concern about opposition from the Mt. Olympus Property Homeowners Association. A discussion followed as to what our strategies and options might be with regards to any further development on that hillside. The discussion included a hope that any environmental impact report which was developed would address the community’s concerns about the existing houses and any further development on that hillside. There was a strong consensus that the rest of the hillside should become public land. There was a very high degree of concern. There was interest in continuing discussions with Prosper Levy and the Judah Hertz Family Companies. There was a great interest in continuing to discuss this at our future meetings.
The Bulwer Drive houses and road design were discussed briefly. Orrin reported that Building and Safety’s geological and soils experts had drilled test holes at five spots along the dirt road, and that the engineers were ready to discuss their geological test findings and concerns with Gregg Vandergriff, the Building and Safety engineer for this area. According to an email which Renee Weistzer, our Councilman’s Planning Deputy, read to Orrin, Gregg had not found the time to meet with the geologists and other technical experts, but Gregg was working with the developer, Bulwer Drive LLC, to prepare a final road design and authorize construction. Orrin reported that he had written to both Renee, and Jeri Burge, a City Attorney, to ask them to direct Gregg to meet with the geologists and other technical experts, resolve their concerns and report on those technical issues to Renee and Jeri (and the other city attorneys involved in this) first and then meet and discuss those findings with us BEFORE authorizing any construction.
Reports on construction projects on Willow Glen and Woodstock followed. It seems that some of these projects did not have proper permits for the work being done. Reports on 2611 Woodstock, 7963 Willow Glen and 8055 Willow Glen were made. 8055 Willow Glen is a new house which we understand has a building permit, but it’s not clear whether it was submitted to or reviewed by the Mulholland Design Review Board.
The lot split application for 2600 Woodstock/7685 Willow Glen was discussed next. A hearing is scheduled on this lot split application for April 14th at City Hall downtown. In order to accommodate a second house on Willow Glen, much excavation, grading and haulage would be necessary. If the second house were added on that steep lot, it would be a huge massing of new houses. There was a consensus that it was inappropriate and unfair to present an application for a lot split so soon after being authorized by the Mulholland Design Review Board to build a large house up at the top of the lot; the developer should have disclosed the plans for both houses at the MDRB, or undertaken to resubmit the first house to the MDRB to be re-reviewed with plans for the second house if the lot split were to be approved. Alan Kishbaugh urged that there should be a large turnout of interested parties at the April 14th hearing in order to oppose this subdivision request as an end-run around the Planning Department’s and the MDRB’s review procedures.
Gabrielle asked about the “Sales Office” which opened on Laurel Canyon several months ago. It was noted that this was a sales office for a proposed new development of approximately 45 houses on the western Laurel Canyon hillside above that trailer sales office. The Laurel Canyon Homeowners Association and the appropriate council offices have more information on the proposal, and have been working against the proposed development.
A lengthy discussion about the proposal to remodel 2501 Zorada Drive followed. The gist was that the size of the existing house and the scope of the proposed changes had not been shared with the neighbors or the community until a Mulholland Design Review Board hearing a few weeks ago. At that MDRB meeting, the remodel story turned into a demolition of the existing house and the building of a much larger new house. The MDRB and the owner agreed to continue the consideration of the proposal to a future meeting, and the MDRB is scheduled to discuss the proposal on April 1st at a meeting at the Marvin Braude Constitutent Service Center, which is the Van Nuys City Hall. The meeting will begin at 6:30 pm, and all the neighbors were urged to attend.
Runyon Canyon was discussed next. Its various ongoing problems, including the efforts of nearby neighbors on the south side to restrict their street’s parking to residents only, were discussed.
Marc Leger led a brief discussion about various streets’ problems with lack of no-parking signs, parked and abandoned vehicles. Gail mentioned the need for brush clearance and the upcoming May 3rd brush inspection season’s beginning date.
There were several questions about septic tanks, water and sewer pipe hook-ups and related issues. No one knew the specific answers, and there was a consensus that we should ask DWP to send an expert who could address our neighborhood’s questions and concerns at a future meeting.
Orrin and Mel spoke about having a combined Areas 8 and 9 meeting in the future to discuss issues of mutual interest, such as the Yehuda Arviv houses and that hillside.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:03 pm. The date and the time of the next meeting were left to Orrin’s discretion.
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