Friday, May 8, 2009

City Planning Revising "Hillside Area" Definition: Community Meeting May 13

Photo: Diane Edwardson August 6, 2008. City Planning wants to remove Allesandro Elementary School from the "Hillside Area." (Click on photo to enlarge.)

City Planning is making code amendments affecting Hillside Neighborhoods with minimal public outreach and review. It is removing certain areas from the Hillside Area to enable parts of the Hillside Mansionization Ordinance. However, the lots removed from the Hillside Area appear to be carved with a scalpel at the behest of developers' and LAUSD lobbyists.

Why should you care about City Planning esoterica?
It might affect your views and increase density in your neighborhood.

In the Red Car Property Neighborhood, City Planning wants to remove Allesandro Elementary School from the Hillside Area. City Planning argues the school property is a big flat site, fronting on Riverside Drive. Ivanhoe Elementary is also on a flat lot, but Ivanhoe is not being removed from the Hillside Area.

Allesandro Elementary is bordered on 3 sides by substandard Hillside Streets. Glen Eden is the only access road to this very dense neighborhood (with lot sizes as small as 800 sq ft). Many of the neighborhood streets are subject to Red Flag No Parking Days. The entire neighborhood between the Red Car Property and Allesandro Elementary already feels the burden of parents commandeering the neighborhood streets, while dropping off and picking up their kids. If you live on India, Riverside Place, Riverside Terrace, and Silver Lake Ave., you should be concerned.

If you live on parts of Lake View Ave. overlooking Allesandro Elementary, you should be concerned too. Your views could be affected.

LAUSD recently submitted plans to build housing on site of a Glassell Park school. Removing Allesandro Elementary from Hillside would make it easier for LAUSD to gain extra units, build taller and reduce parking for any new residential construction.

Removing the Hillside designation would also raise the threshold for number of units triggering a site plan review by the public, further reducing pubic input on development proposals.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, 2004. Glendale Blvd., as seen from Waverly, is slated for removal from designated Hillside Area. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Residents of Lake View Ave. and Silver Ridge Ave. who have a view of Silver Lake Reservoir should be concerned. Parts of Glendale Blvd roughly between Silver Lake Blvd and Fletcher are slated for removal from Hillside designation. Again, increased density, increased building height, reduced parking and loss of views are potential impacts on the neighborhood.

In response to Eastside community activists outcry over the lack of public outreach by City Planning, City Councilmember Eric Garcetti's staff (CD13) requested City Planning hold an community meeting on this side of town, at a reasonable time for the public to attend.

Hillside Code Amendments Follow-up Meeting

Wednesday, May 13, 2009
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Glassell Park Community/Senior Center/CD13 Field Office

(In the Public Storage Building)
3750 Verdugo Road.

Glassell Park

Directions from the Red Car Property Neighborhood: Take the 2 Freeway North to Verdugo Rd. exit - go straight off the exit, into the Public Storage Parking Lot - parking in rear. Do not attempt to drive around the block.

City Planning has been quietly revising all manner of codes with minimal public review. See "Jane Usher Slams Gail Goldberg," by Steven Leigh Morris, in the April 29, LA Weekly.

Silver Lake Neighborhood Council's Urban Design & Preservation Advisory Committee (SLNC UD&PAC) will be attending this meeting, rather than their regularly scheduled committee meeting.