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"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Margaret Mead

CITIES ARE FOR PEOPLE

 

 

This book is one of the best examples of how hard the City Of Los Angeles worked to create well planned communities throughout Los Angeles.  They knew how every choice they made back then would affect today. Strategic planning was done to ensure sustainable communities would stand the test of time.

WHAT DENSITY DOESN'T TELL US ABOUT SPRAWL

 

Planners are often quick to recommend increased density to combat congestion and make cities more livable, but LA shows us that simply chasing density, without thought as to where that density is, will not do much to help and might actually make things worse.  A must read.

MAKING THE
SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

 

A great book focusing on the rural elements of the San Fernando Valley.  Showing how planning was designed and intended to ensure they were well preserved.   The San Fernando Valley’s grassroots suburban conservatism manifested itself in social movements focused on the preservation of the Valleys rural landscapes.

THE FRAGMENTED METROPOLIS

 

 

This book is an excellent example that combines the efforts of the citizens working together with the city.   Community strove to recreate their cohesive communal life of their former farms & towns.  Combining the spirit of the good community with the substance of the great metropolis.


KNOW YOUR COUNCIL MEMBER!

For those of you who aren't familiar with how this works:  Los Angeles is divided into 15 different districts.  The Los Angeles City Council consists of 15 members elected to each of these districts.  A list of current officials can be viewed here.         To quote the cities own words:  "The average citizen's first thought when a problem arises is to write, telephone, or visit the Council Member.   The Council Member knows the district and its constituents with more intimate understanding than a more distantly elected representative, and a citizen can know the Council Member by visiting City Hall, and by attending public meetings.  The Los Angeles City Charter Code can explain in detail.

In 2009 there were 124,867 registered voters.

11,462  of them elected Paul Krekorian to represent District 2 - his first term.

 

In March of 2015 there were 124,508 registered voters. 

8,312 votes got him re-elected for term #2.  Voter turnout was 8.62%

His current term does not expire until December 2020.   By then - what will have become of Valley Village?


This is why we need to vote.  Every person that does not vote is a vote in itself.  

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More information on the election process, term information, registered voter numbers and previous election information can be found here.

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Los Angeles City Council members are the highest big-city council salaries in the United States at $184,610.


Each council member wields unusual power as the understood land development czar within their own district — a setup that, along with the pay, has distorted who runs for this seat and why. Council races draw legislators (salary $97,197) who move to L.A. just to run, along with loads of outside campaign money. The situation keeps sometimes superior and committed leaders from winning office in favor of interconnected inside players. One result is that the council votes unanimously about 99 percent of the time and serious public debate is rare.


Originally assuming Office in 2010 as District 2 City Councilmember, Paul Krekorian has held the title for demolishing more homes and buildings than any of his predecessors.


With the lowest amount of historically significant buildings than in any other district, an exceedingly high rate of illegal demolitions and construction, he has managed to alter the Valley Village Specific Plan, change Zoning to accommodate the needs of any project that comes before him and continue supporting the evictions of residents living in perfectly healthy sustainable communities to eliminate rent-control.

At the rate he is going, if he were to make it all the way to his term expiration date, Valley Village would have run out of buildings and there would be nothing left to demolish.   By then, the numbers indicate more of a housing issue in 5 years due to the loss of rent-control. Add up all of the density bonuses, decreasing open space requirements and chalking every project up as to having no impact, imagine Valley Village in five years.  Even two.  


There's no signs of it slowing down until we push back.   Get in touch with saveValleyVillage to see how you can help.  

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A Los Angeles city ethics commissioner, Burbank school board member, assemblyman having never articulated an adequate reason as to why it was time for him to leave his Assembly job and start something new -- other than that the council seat opened up.  

Get to know your Council member and his "goals" for the district he was elected to represent.

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1999:   Krekorian calling Holden's campaign violations "breathtaking in scope," and said they were "so negligent if not reckless, if not intentional, that extra punishment could have been in order."

 

2000:  Krekorian says "We are teaching people about political involvement who have never voted before, who have never registered to vote before,"

making calls as part of his campaign's effort to register new voters--particularly Armenians.


2000:  His now Chief Of Staff Areen Ibranossian, (whose daughter is also employed by this office) has been working for Krekorian since 2000, "to empower the Armenian people."

 

2005:  Krekorian says "any unclaimed money will be distributed to Armenian charities." 


2008:  Krekorian says he "will continue to lead bipartisan legislators working on the issues of renewable energy and lowering greenhouse gases."


2008:  Krekorian states how he is "proud on having bills signed by the Governor including ocean pollution and carbon emissions"


2009:  Krekorian sends voters campaign fliers asking "Which is the better use of our tax dollars?aiming to lend $30 million to a venture bringing the Cirque du Soleil to Hollywood.  Commissioner Chris Essel states:  "Either Mr. Krekorian doesn't understand that these federal loan dollars cannot legally be used to hire firefighters or he is intentionally deceiving voters to earn political points."


2009:  Krekorian is criticized for "carpetbagging" -- moving a short distance into the district to be eligible to run.  Voters in the 2nd District can do better. says the LA Times.


2010:  Krekorian voted against Garcetti's motion who said the proposal to impose a four-month moratorium on rent increases at buildings constructed before 1978, would be wiser for the council to wait and tackle the broader rent control reforms instead of addressing the issue with a piecemeal freeze.

 

2010:  Krekorian: "My constituents should have immediate access to information about the government they pay for.  We felt that we should just make it easier for people.  Launching a policy blog and publishing on his website interactive maps of interactive maps of road construction." — his intention is not to exclude any constituents from the political process.


2010:  It takes a 12 year old girls death for Krekorian to respond to communities constant request for a traffic light at an intersection that had caused 4 collisions in one year.   


2012:  Krekorian, who heads the City Council Budget and Finance Committee, agreed to pay $6.6 million to the family of a woman killed by a speeding LAPD patrol car. It’s one of the largest settlements ever involving an LAPD crash.


2015: Krekorian has collected thousands of dollars from lobbyists, who are barred from contributing to city officeholders. Yet Krekorian, who helps control the city's purse strings as chairman of the City Council's budget committee, has accepted $5,000 each from the firefighters union and the police officers union, $4,000 from a trash company now bidding on a city contract, $2,000 from a development company with projects in his district and several thousand dollars from half a dozen registered lobbyists.   Since he was elected to the council in December 2009, Krekorian has raised more than $80,000 to help pay down about $100,000 in personal loans he made to the campaign committee, which was opened in 2000 when he ran unsuccessfully for the Assembly.


2015:  Krekorian releases a motion asking the city to develop standards for home gray-water treatment systems that would allow wider use. The motion also calls for city departments to recommend revisions to the Green Building Code that would require gray-water systems for new construction and in any other "applicable circumstances."

(Not covered in this article is where Krekorian has approved HIGH FLOW water systems requested by developers.  He had "no comment" when asked about the severe impact occurring from the rise in water usage from overdevelopment occurring in neighborhoods where a suppositional conclusion was drawn as having no impact). 


2015:  Krekorian said "many blame Waze and other mobile apps because they divert drivers from major avenues onto small residential streets that aren't designed to accommodate them, resulting in far greater congestion and traffic for residential neighborhoods.

He introduced a motion to "reduce the impact of cut-through traffic that results from use of Waze," and suggested that the app company could control traffic by regulating "the number of added daily trips" for some streets.


2015:  Krekorian states "it's our responsibility to make sure that every person is safe and is treated with dignity.”


2015:  Krekorian says "At a series of community meetings this summer, residents have voiced concerns and questions about the proposal. How to define commercial properties financially responsible for repairs is "one of the many challenging issues we heard about"

(Does anyone remember attending a meeting where this was discussed? ) 


2015:  Krekorian is pressing for their drivers to undergo FBI background checks.


2015:  Krekorian wrote,  such a move would give neighborhoods more control over how digital signs are approved while generating tens of millions of dollars for the city.


2015:  Krekorian signed on to the idea of spending up to $100 million to reduce homelessness. But he sounded hesitant about relying so much on the city's fund for emergencies.


2015:  Krekorian says "If the state doesn't create the uniform standards we need to protect the public, then we will," 


So while McMansions are illegally erected, residents homes are being demolished, evictions continue to increase, mature trees cut down on a weekly basis, the culture and heart of Valley Village disappearing like smoke, Council member Krekorian has bigger fish to fry tending to Uber and digital signs.

KNOW YOUR CITY COUNCIL

Check out the Rules of the Los Angeles City Council.  Page 12 will explain the voting rules.  

Notice a member is allowed to change his or her vote ONLY if such change does not affect the outcome of the vote.


Supposedly, the Rules of the Los Angeles City Council  detail the procedural rules that are adopted, 

pursuant to authority set forth in Charter Section 242.  The problem is - Charter Section 242 is nowhere to be found!

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WHAT THEY DONT WANT YOU TO KNOW

Buried and tucked away on the Cities Department Of Planning website are all of the plans and records you have the right to read.  You also have the right to participate in the review and editing process.   Your Councilmember and his staff should be more than willing to meet with you and your neighbors to have these plans explained; what they mean, and how they affect you and your neighborhood.

The Valley Village Specific Plan has not been updated since 1993.  

Its sister, the North Hollywood Community Plan, was last updated in 1996.


Recently discovered was this memo from the Planning Department Executive Office.  It is addressed to consultants, developers engineers and surveyors.  The Public is nowhere to be found.  

Briefly explained, this memo is informing developers that their requests to amend the General Plan have been received.  That because their project does not comply with the General Plan, the Planning Department will consider amending the plan to suit their needs.  That Planning will convene an "internal meeting" to review the General Plan Amendment request.  

This means they are changing the plans for whomever they want, whenever they want, there are no records of these changes and the public has no participation.   This should the 'how is this happening' question. 

city planning

The LOS ANGELES CITY CHARTER AND ADMINISTRATIVE CODE   contains everything you need to know about the duties and responsibilities of our elected officials.  SECTION 430, 431 of the Charter explains how WE THE PUBLIC have every right at ANY TIME to recall any elected official that we feel is hurting us more than helping us.  WE voted them in - WE vote them out.



What do you do when the City ignores their own rules?

 

Council File: 14-0268-S4

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Another article from 1980 responding to the cities housing crisis plea.
If you haven't figured out by now that the city has lived in a permanent state of believing there is a housing crisis, just walk in to any of the newly developed buildings and ask them the percentage of units that are occupied.  

Also take note of the 300% increase in evictions.

Chapter 5 of a document called 

THE CITYWIDE GENERAL PLAN FRAMEWORK AN ELEMENT OF  THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES GENERAL PLAN 

says the following:


Los Angeles is a city of culturally and physically diverse neighborhoods - the fundamental building blocks that comprise the physical City and define its form and character. Since residents spend a great deal of time in their individual neighborhoods and often identify more strongly with those areas than with the City as a whole, the physical design of these individual communities determines, to a rather considerable extent, residents' quality of life. 

Policy 5.6.1 

Revise community plan designations as necessary to conserve the existing urban form and community character of areas not designated as centers, districts, or mixed-use boulevards.



LIVEABLE NEIGHBORHOODS
As discussed previously, the definition of the City's current form and character resides largely in its neighborhoods. Neighborhoods should therefore be the focus of the City's planning efforts with respect to urban form and community character.

Citywide
All neighborhoods in the City deserve to have well designed buildings and a safe, secure, and attractive public realm.


 


A document known as:

IV.K.4RECREATION AND PARKS

is yet another source of information listing page after page the standards developed by the City to ensure protection of our existing neighborhoods and natural resources.  



The current solution does not require anything that is not already there...  The solution and what continues to be of flagrant disregard are the current laws, standards and regulations that are already there, but violated.


So what do you do when you have hundreds of communities all experiencing the exact same thing..

 

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Maybe you've called and called your Council office and believed them when they said they would call you back.


Maybe you've gone to the Neighborhood Council meetings and leave there more frustrated then when you got there.


Maybe you've spoken to your neighbors and you can't help but notice these are the same issues everyone keeps talking about.

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You Join Forces!

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Any involvement with saveValleyVillage is kept strictly confidential.  Members, support, or personal information will never be disclosed - to anyone.