Meeting Date: 06/28/06 06:30 PM
Meeting Type: Regular
Location: Universal City Nissan
3550 Cahuenga Blvd. West
Los Angeles, Ca 90068
Details: JOINT AREA 2 AND BUSINESS COMMITTEES MEETING of the HOLLYWOOD HILLS WEST NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL HHWNC.
The public is requested to fill out a “Speaker Card” to address any item on the Agenda prior to the committees taking an action. Comments from the public on Agenda items will be heard only when the respective item is being considered. Comments from the public on other matters not appearing on the agenda that is within the committees’ subject matter’s jurisdiction will be heard during the Public Comment period. Public Comment is limited to 3 minutes per speaker unless waived by the presiding chair of the meeting. Agendas posted for public review on bulletin boards at the top and bottom of Runyon Canyon Park and electronically on the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council website (www.hhwnc.org) and Department of Neighborhood Empowerment. As a covered entity under Title 11 of the American with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and upon request, will provide reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access to its programs, services and activities. Sign language interpreters, assistive listening devices, or other auxiliary aids and/or services may be provided upon request. To ensure availability of services, please make a request at least 3 business days (72 hours) prior to the meeting you wish to attend by contacting the Neighborhood Council Project Coordinator, Christine Jerian, at 213 485-1360, or 311, or email to
Agenda for Joint Area 2 and Business Committees Meeting:
1. Call to order and introductions.
2. Approval of May 3, 2006 Minutes.
3. Announcements – Club ICE
4. Stacey Marble, Field Deputy for Councilman Tom LaBonge, CD 4.
5. Report on the construction upgrade and widening of Highland Avenue at Franklin Avenue expected to commence mid-July and extend 5 months. Left turn signal arrows will also be installed at the following intersections: Highland/SMB, Highland/Sunset and Highland/Hollywood.
6. Discussion and Report by LAFD Chief Al Hernandez regarding the closure and relocation of Fire Station 76 to the Hollywood Knolls Community, on the other side of the Hollywood Freeway.
7. Discussion and possible Motion and Vote to remove Cahuenga Pass from the Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Toluca Lake and Cahuenga Pass Community Plan and into the Hollywood Community Plan.
8. Discussion, Motion and Vote on the Braille Institute (3450-3458 Cahuenga Blvd. West) 67 joint-live/work-townhome condominium development including the design and location of two landscaped medians. Presentation by owner’s representative, Renee Meshul.
9. Discussion, Motion and Vote on a zone change for 22 parcels in Cahuenga Pass. Involved streets include Bennett Drive, Barbara Court, Cadet Court, Dos Palos Drive and Oakcrest Drive. Per Section 12.32 of the LAMC, the request for Zone Changes from R3 to RD 1.5 is scheduled to go before the PLUM Plan Land Use Management Committee on July 27th.
10. Update on the Cahuenga Pass Merchants Association by Kevin McCarney.
11. Public Comments
PROCESS FOR RECONSIDERATION: The committees may reconsider and amend their action on items listed on the agenda if that reconsideration takes place immediately following the original action or at the next regular meeting. The committees, on either of these two days, shall: (1) Make a Motion for Reconsideration and, if approved, (2) Hear the matter and take an action. If the Motion to Reconsider an action is to be scheduled at the next meeting following the original action, then two items shall be placed on the agenda for that meeting: (1) A Motion for Reconsideration on the described matter and (2) a Proposed Action should the Motion to Reconsider be approved. A Motion for Reconsideration can only be made by a committee member who has previously voted on the prevailing side of the original action taken. If a Motion for Reconsideration is not made on the date the action was taken, then a committee member on the prevailing side of the action must submit a memorandum to the committee(s) chair(s) identifying the matter to be reconsidered and a brief description of the reason(s) for requesting reconsideration at the next regular meeting. The aforesaid shall all be in compliance with the Ralph M. Brown Act.
Joint Area 2 and Business Committees Meeting
Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council
Location: Universal City Nissan
3550 Cahuenga Blvd. West
June 28, 2006
1. Call to Order: 6:40 p.m. by Michael George, Vice President, Cahuenga Pass Neighborhood Association. Introduction of Joan Luchs, President of the Cahuenga Pass Neighborhood Association and Area 2 Chair of HHWNC. 60 people in attendance including HHWNC Board Member Thor Lee who was Co-Chairing the meeting.
2. Announcements: Joan Luchs made opening announcements regarding: stakeholder registration forms, speaker cards, and issued a “thank you” to Universal Nissan General Manager Bob Bailey. She introduced the dignitaries present including L.A. City Planner Kevin Keller, Stacey Marble, CD4 Field Deputy for Councilmember Tom LaBonge, Saba Engineer, Project Manager at the City of L.A. Bureau of Engineering and Ina Van der Laan, Transportation Engineer for the Department of Transportation. Laurie Fretag talked about the CERT training: a seven – week training, 2 – hours per week, designed to provide stakeholders and homeowners with emergency training. It will be taught by the L.A. Fire Dept at Universal Nissan. (For more info email: [email protected] or go to: www.cert-la.com).
3. Stacey Marble, CD4 Field Deputy Update: Stacey introduced Steven Markowitz, an intern at the Councilmember’s office. Steven presented Bob Bailey with a certificate of appreciation for Universal City Nissan’s involvement with the community.
Joan referred to the Councilmember’s bill limiting mansionization – this bill would restrict the size of homes on small lots in the area.
4. Approval of Minutes of May 3, 2006: After stakeholders reviewed the May 3, 2006 Area 2 meeting minutes, Kevin McCarney, president of the Cahuenga Pass Merchants Association moved to accept the minutes. (Michael George seconded). The motion carried and minutes were approved.
5. Presentation: Report on the Highland Ave. Construction Upgrade/Widening Project: Joan explained that Highland Avenue is scheduled to be widened and upgraded at the intersection of Franklin Avenue beginning in mid – July. The construction project is expected to extend for five months. Left turn arrow signals will be installed at the intersections Highland & Santa Monica Blvd.- Highland & Sunset Blvd. and Highland & Hollywood Blvd. Saba Engineer, Project Manager of the street improvement project for the City of L.A.’s Bureau of Engineering presented an overview of the project: The construction will begin at Yucca Street and will involve the east and west leg of Franklin Ave. Right turn pockets will be constructed on each direction at that intersection, 45 new street lights, 30 pedestrian lights, and new traffic signals will be installed, and 29 palm trees will be planted. The cost for the project will be about $3 million.
From July to November, motorists can expect delays during peak hours (6:00 a.m. to 9:00a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.) as one lane will be diminished during construction. Ina Van Der Laan, DOT, Transportation Engineer added that the contractor will be posting signs soon to alert motorists of the upcoming construction. (For more info for go: http://eng.lacity.org/projects/highland). Construction hours will be from 9 AM to 3:30 PM six days a week up to Thanksgiving.
6. Discussion/Presentation: Hollywood Community Plan: Joan explained that many people in the Cahuenga Pass community want to be located within the Hollywood Community Plan, rather than the current Sherman Oaks/Studio City/Toluca Lake/Cahuenga Pass Community Plan area. Arguments in favor include:
Most Cahuenga Pass residences have 323 area codes, rather than 818 Cahuenga Pass’s zip code for the most part is 90068 which is Hollywood. The area post office is located in Hollywood on Wilcox Cahuenga Pass is part of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council Cahuenga Pass is one of two communities in HHWNC (out of nine areas) not located in the Hollywood Community Plan Most residents prefer association with Hollywood rather than with the Valley an identify more with Hollywood community wise. The architecture, design, and topography of the Cahuenga Pass is more like Hollywood than the Valley Universal City calls itself “Hollywood” and it generates 40% of the traffic on Cahuenga Blvd. (according to a study done in 1996) Kevin Keller, City Planner with the Hollywood Community Plan reported on the Hollywood Community Plan: Mulholland has always been used as the dividing line between the City and the Valley. Lankershim and Cahuenga Blvd. West. is the northern border, Mulholland is the southern. There are 35 Community Plans in L.A. under the General Plan. The Community Plan is the building block for other City geography plans and will affect decisions about policy points, zoning and administration, upzoning, sewer service, street service, and decisions on whether to encourage density or maintain the character of the community. Currently, they are doing an update to the Hollywood Community plan.
The last community plan was created in the ’70s; the new one will be in affect until 2025. In a survey conducted by the Cahuenga Pass Property Owners Association CPPOA, it was found that 93% wanted to be in the Hollywood Community Plan rather than the Sherman Oaks/Studio City/Toluca Lake Community Plan.
Kevin suggested that anyone with concerns should contact and voice their support to both the new L.A. City Planning Department Director Gail Goldberg at: [email protected] and Councilmember LaBonge who will be making the motion. Kevin can be reached at: [email protected] or (213) 978-1211. (For more info go to: www.lacity.org/pln).
Daniel Bernstein explained that one of the benefits of being a part of the Hollywood Community Plan would be to protect the area from development; Hollywood encourages more dense development in the center of Hollywood, which takes away the pressure to develop the Pass. Whereas, the Studio City/Sherman Oaks/Toluca Lake plan would
potentially create more density in the Cahuenga Pass area. In order to change the Community Plan, Councilman LaBonge needs to make a motion to remove the Cahuenga Pass from the existing Sherman Oaks/Studio City/Toluca Lake/Cahuenga Pass Community Plan and request that Cahuenga Pass be moved into the Hollywood Community Plan. The final decision will come from Planning Director Gail Goldberg who is now going through the revision of the city’s Community Plans. The way the process works is the Councilman will make a motion to City Council to remove
Cahuenga Pass from the Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Toluca Lake and Cahuenga Pass Community Plan and relocated our community into the Hollywood Community Plan and then the motion will be referred to the Plan Land Use Committee PLUM and eventually come back to City Council for final approval.
Kevin McCarney, Cahuenga Pass Merchants Association and owner of Poquito Mas, spoke further about the reasons merchants would benefit. He mentioned the history of the Cahuenga Pass and how it deserves recognition and its own identity. That why we want to change our street name from Cahuenga Blvd. West to Cahuenga Pass. Councilman LaBonge has already made that motion to City Council which was sent to committee.
Daniel Bernstein made the motion seconded by Thor Lee to remove Cahuenga Pass from the Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Toluca Lake and Cahuenga Pass Community Plans and relocate Cahuenga Pass into the Hollywood Community Plan:
“The Area 2 Committee of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council requests and moves that the Cahuenga Pass area be removed from the Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Toluca Lake and Cahuenga Pass Community Plans and be made a part of the Hollywood Community Plan as these Community Plans were established over 40 years ago through Census Tracts and although Cahuenga Pass is north of Mulholland, times have changed and because we are located within the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council (yet only one of two Areas out of nine within HHWNC) that is not part of the Hollywood Community Plan. Our area code is (323)- our zip code is 90068 and our post office is located on Wilcox. All of these designations are located in Hollywood. We therefore feel we belong within the Hollywood Community Plan where our neighborhood will best be represented.” The motion carried: 50 – 1- 0.
7. Discussion: Possible closure and relocation of Fire Station 76: Joan reported that Councilmember LaBonge has proposed to close Fire Station 76, moving it across the freeway to the Hollywood Knolls Community. Timewise, if approved, this would be 3 – 5 years in the making. She stated that, if the fire station is moved, it would cause delays in response time. L.A. Fire Chief Al Hernandez was scheduled to address this issue but cancelled. No representatives for the fire station were present at the meeting.
Joan stated that HHWNC Board Member Paul Ramsey (Chair Area 1) had made a motion to support the construction of a Regional Fire Station in the Hollywood Knolls area. He made this motion at the May 25th HHWNC Board Meeting. Joan opposed including construction of a new Fire Station in his motion and successfully had it deleted before the HHWNC Board voted on the remainder of the motion which included support for leaving the rest of that area open space. If the HHWNC Board had passed his original motion to approve the construction of a new Regional Fire Station in the Hollywood Knolls community, she said it would automatically have sealed the fate of closing Fire Station 76 on Cahuenga Blvd West.
Daniel Savage, President of Hollywood Knolls Community Club said that Paul Ramsey has no affiliation with his group and furthermore, did not make that motion with their input; that he made his original motion before the Area 1 Committee of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council which has no affiliation with the Hollywood Knolls Community Club. Arthur Pollyea, also of Hollywood Knolls, said that Hollywood Knolls stakeholders were not even aware of the motion presented by Mr. Ramsey.
Daniel Bernstein asked that this item be tabled until the Fire Station Captain or Fire Chief can attend the meeting.
8. Discussion and Motion on “Braille Institute:” Developer of the “Braille Institute” Steve Erdman, President of Cahuenga Pass Development, LLC gave a presentation on his 67 unit, townhouse project for 3450 – 3458 Cahuenga Pass West. The development would consist of nine buildings with a total of 67 units, 45′ high at the corner of Universal City Drive and Cahuenga Pass West next to the Armenian Church. The developer has completed the required traffic study, a condition required for Los Angeles Department of Transportation LADOT. While the project was approved in February, two landscape medians were approved in concept, but not in design. After showing architectural renderings of the design plan and landscaping, Mr. Erdman added that the average size or each unit would be about 1,500 sq. feet and would sell for around $800,000. The projected start date for construction is mid – July and it will last for 18 months.
Thor Lee made a motion seconded by Dan Bernstein to approve the project currently known as the “Braille Institutive:”
“The Area 2 Committee of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council requests and moves approval of a 67 live/work town home condominium development including the design and location of two landscaped medians, increased front yard setbacks averaging 15 feet, further recessing of the upper two floors facing Cahuenga Blvd. West, increased landscaping, especially in the front of the building facing Cahuenga Blvd. West and the east side of the building facing Universal Center Drive Bridge, removal of the steel frame facing Cahuenga Blvd. West and replacing it with wood and other stone materials, increased parking totaling 183 parking spaces, smaller skylights, incorporation of a curved recessed curb at the
intersection of Cahuenga Blvd. West and Universal Center Drive Bridge and one approximate 25 square foot monument sign incorporating the name ‘Cahuenga Pass’ and the address of 3450-3458 Cahuenga Blvd. West currently known as the Braille Institute, DIR 2005-8156-DRB-SPP.” The motion carried: 23 -1 -1.
9. Discussion/Motion on a Zone Change for 22 parcels in Cahuenga Pass from R3 to RD1.5: Joan explained if RD1.5 is approved that this zoning change would allow structures to be built 45′ tall next to or near single and two story single family residences, while the current R3 zoning limits the height to 36′. She said that existing multiple unit properties in Cahuenga Pass are currently developed with a maximum height of 30′ and include the following 22 lots zoned R3: Bennett Drive, Dos Palos Drive, Cadet Court, Barbara Court and Oakcrest Drive. The City says that the proposed Zoning Change to RD1.5 would reduce the number of units that these 22 lots currently have but increase the height from what currently exists at 30 feet to a maximum height of 45 feet next to or near single story, single family residences. But if you take this one property owner who is the largest within the proposal, Jim Wynn, who owns 18 units on a 33,000 square foot lot and divide 1500 square feet of land per unit, it will permit 22 units with a zone of RD1.5 which is more than the 18 units he currently has and therefore is contrary to what the City is saying would be achieved by reducing the density if RD1.5 is approved. We therefore make the following motion to permit what currently exists to stay but not to allow more density or higher buildings to be built. The hearing for this Zone Change request is scheduled to go before the City Planning Commission hearing on July 27, 2006.
Stakeholder Aldwyn Hewitt made the motion (seconded by Vickie Broadnax) on CASE NO. CPC 2005-4972-GPA-ZC, requesting the current zone of R3 remain with an amendment to restrict the height to a maximum of 30′ instead of the City’s proposal to change the zoning to RD1.5, which permits a height of 45,’ for the following streets in Cahuenga Pass: Bennett Drive, Barbara Court, Dos Palos Drive, Cadet Court, and Oakcrest Drive:
“Regarding CASE NO. CPC 2005-4972-GPA-ZC, the Area 2 Committee of Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council requests and moves approval of a Zone Change for 22 lots in Cahuenga Pass involving Bennett Drive, Barbara Court, Dos Palos Drive, Cadet Court and Oakcrest Drive to either remain at R3 with an amendment to restrict the height to a maximum of 30 feet VERSUS the RD1.5 (with a height of 45 feet) per the City’s proposal pursuant to Section 11.5.6 and Section 12.32 of the LAMC, OR requests that the current R3 Zone remain, with an amendment to add a ‘Q’ condition restricting the height to a maximum of 30 feet which is what currently exists on these lots today. The Area 2 Committee requests the President or her designee to represent the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council at the City PlanningCommission hearing where this case is currently scheduled for July 27, 2006.”
The motion carried: 22 – 0 – 0.
10. Meeting Adjourned: 9:00 p.m.
– Minutes prepared by Pat Kramer, Apple One –