MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE
WESTWOOD COMMUNITY COUNCIL, INC.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014 ▪ 7:00 p.m.
Held at Belmont Village Westwood ▪ Town Hall Community Room
10475 Wilshire Boulevard ▪ Westwood ▪ Los Angeles, CA 90024
1. Call to Order: Chair Steve Sann called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.
2. Reading of the Westwood Community Council Mission Statement from the Bylaws: by John Heidt, Westwood United Methodist Church and WCC Vice Chair.
3. Welcome and Introductions: The Chair welcomed everyone, and members of the Council present introduced themselves and identified their representative capacity, followed by guests and members of the public in attendance.
Voting Representatives: Steve Sann, Chair; John Heidt, Vice Chair; Dr. Jerry Brown, Treasurer; Wolfgang Veith, Corporate Secretary; Linda Blank, Cyrus Hekmat, David Hekmat, Donna Hermann, Nathan Khakshouri, Laura Lake, Mike Metcalfe, Clinton Schudy, Jason Somers, Adam Swart
Alternate Representatives: Sandy Brown (voting as the Zone 3 Representative), David Crew, Philip Gabriel (voting as the Service and Civic Groups/Recreation Organization Stakeholder Representative), Stephen Resnick
Non-Voting Members: Robert E. “Reg” Gipson, Legal Advisor; Charles Magnuson, Legal Counsel
Voting Representatives: Joyce Foster, Jackie Freedman, Gail Friedman, Carole Magnuson, Carol Spencer, Laura Winikow, Joseph Yoshitomi
Alternate Representatives: Rick Chancellor, Michelle Heilpern, Alvin Milder, Debbie Nussbaum, Jan Reichmann, Mark Rogo, Terry Tegnazian
Bruce Becket, Principal, Bruce Becket & Associates
Felicia Brannon, Executive Director, UCLA Community & Local Government Relations
Allen Diamot, community member
Carmen Healey, Assistant Director, UCLA Community & Local Government Relations
Katherine Hennigan, Economic Development Director, Office of Councilmember Paul Koretz
Christopher Koontz, Chief of Airport Planning, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA)
Jody Feerst Litvak, Regional Community Relations Manager, METRO
Omar Pulido, Capital Programming & Planning Group, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA)
Chris Ragsdale, Senior Lead Officer, LAPD West Los Angeles Community Police Station
Julia Raven, Reporter, UCLA Daily Bruin
Bruce Schwartz, Founder, Safety on Sunset
Byron Shah, community member
Melody Simnegar, Westwood homeowner
Lisa Trifiletti, Manager of Capital Programming & Planning Group, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA)
Tracy Thayer, General Manager, Palomino
4. Certification of Quorum: The Chair certified that a quorum was present.
5. Consideration of the Agenda: The agenda was approved as circulated.
6. Special Presentation by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and METRO on proposed LAX Intermodal Transit Facility (ITF) and transit options: Lisa Trifiletti and Christopher Koontz presented a PowerPoint presentation on the latest plans for LAX Ground Transportation, including new rail and bus access to Los Angeles International Airport, including a planned Automated People Mover (APM) and the integration with Metro Rail lines. Underscoring the challenge facing LAWA in moving so many passengers in and out of LAX, Lisa noted that LAX is the #3 airport in passenger volume in the U.S., #6 in the world, and the #1 “destination airport” (the busiest original destination airport in the world). A plan was presented whereby an Intermodal Transportation Facility and Consolidated Rental Car Facility will be developed to change the way how people get in and out of the Airport. The new system is designed to make the process more efficient and comfortable for airline passengers and reduce the present traffic congestion. The new People Mover would be new self-contained rail system on a fixed guideway that would connect the Metro light rail terminals, the new Consolidated Car Rental Facility, bus stops, parking structures and airline terminals. The new LAX People Mover system would be similar to systems at other airports in the country, such as Newark, Las Vegas, Dallas/Fort Worth, and many other U.S. airports. The planned People Mover would be elevated, not cross streets at ground level, and be separated from regular vehicle flow. In a year from today hopefully LAWA will be able to present a final plan for the new airport access system. Various variations and alternatives are taken also in consideration at this stage. Jody Litvak then presented various plans by METRO to integrate the Light Rail METRO Crenshaw Line and the METRO Green Line into the planed new airport passenger transportation system. Sandy Brown asked about the absolute passenger capacity at LAX. Lisa stated that LAX is capped at 78 million annual capacity and is currently at 63 million passengers. The Chair thanked Lisa, Chris, and Jody for their excellent presentations to the Council.
7. Reports from Government and Public Agency Liaisons:
A. Office of Councilmember Paul Koretz: Katherine Hennigan, Economic Development Director reported that the Council Office is exploring the possibility of establishing a Business Improvement District for Westwood Boulevard south of Wilshire and is having meetings with local property owner and business owner stakeholders. She reported that the Council Office was able to eliminate a proposed bicycle lane on Westwood Boulevard between Pico Boulevard and the UCLA campus. The artificial turf soccer field is being installed at Westwood Park. The Council Office was very happy with the success of the Hammer Museum’s Arts ReSTORE LA project in Westwood Village in November of last year. The situation at West L.A. Little League, with a growing homeless encampment problem is being addressed with L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks and Caltrans. Katherine also reported on the progress of art project on the new 405 freeway walls. She also mentioned that the Council Office is engaged with the City Attorney regarding CUB conditions in conjunction with the issue of alcohol licenses. She reported that the City Planning Department will no longer issue any conditions dealing with the sale of alcoholic beverages. The Council Office also is working with the community to name the children’s recreation area of Holmby Park after Zev Yaroslavsky. She will look into the availability of Quimby Funds for Westwood Library Gardens park improvements, and she forwarded the Council Office’s congratulations to Chair Steve Sann for his upcoming honor by the Westwood Village Rotary on January 23rd.
B. Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti: Daniel Tamm, Westside Area Representative/Chief Service Officer for the Mayor’s Office was not able to be present, but asked the Chair to report on three items: 1. That a Mayor’s Budget Summit will be held at Mar Vista Recreation Center on Wednesday, February 26. He emphasized that the City of Los Angeles’ “Promise Zones” give Los Angeles priority in federal funding projects. 2. The Mayor has partnered with Dr. Lucile Jones from the USGS survey on earthquake preparedness. 3. Crime rates in the city of Los Angeles are at their historic lowest since 1966.
C. UCLA Community and Local Government Relations: Carmen Healey, Assistant Director responded to questions submitted by board members in advance. Enrollment in 2013-14 is up by approximately 800 students from the previous year. Total student enrollment is 42,190 along with approximately 30,000 staff and faculty. Regarding UCLA’s plans to acquire more property in Westwood, specifically in the North Village: UCLA will continue to look to buy properties to house faculty and staff as well as undergraduates and graduate students. UCLA is in the process of retrofitting buildings they use on the Veteran’s administration for earthquake safety; it was noted that the Bank of America building in the Village, recently purchased by the Regents, was retrofitted in the 1980s. On the question of tree replacement, Carmen reiterated UCLA’s policy of replacing removed trees 1-for-1 or 2-for-1. Efforts are made to replace mature trees with trees of similar size. Another question was raise why UCLA would solicit Chick-fil-A business when it is known that their administration takes very controversial political positions with regard to the gay community. The Chair noted that the lease for Chick-fil-A was fully executed two months before UCLA acquired the Bank of America building. Regarding the construction yard at the corner of Gayley Avenue and Le Conte Avenue, Carmen stated that that there is litigation in process involving that part of the campus that used to be a green park and therefore she cannot comment on it. Carmen noted that the Volunteer Center is working with the community on WOMP on Saturday, May 3. Regarding future bicycle lanes to and from campus, UCLA has not taken a position on those bike lanes. UCLA understands the problems associated with bicycle lanes along Westwood Boulevard and is looking for alternative solutions. UCLA will work with the Council Office and the bicycle community to find acceptable solutions.
D. LAPD West los Angeles Community Police Station: Senior Lead Officer Christopher Ragsdale reported on recent crime trends and statistics in Westwood. He warned against scam artists posing in the community.
8. Adoption of the Minutes of the previous meeting: this item was deferred until later in the meeting.
9. Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer’s Report:
A. The draft 2014 annual budget was presented and discussed. It is virtually identical to the budget for the previous two years. On a motion by Laura Lake, seconded by Clinton Schudy, the 2014 annual budget was adopted as circulated by unanimous consent.
B. The Chair reminded everyone that 2014 Voluntary Dues may be submitted. It was suggested that members may bring their dues to the March 18 meeting.
10. Announcements and Concerns from Board Members:
A. The 2014 WCC meeting schedule was distributed.
B. The Chair reported on the request of public input to the L.A. City Planning Department Office of Historic Resources effort to update the inventory of all Westwood historic resources. Sandy Brown reported on the progress of forming a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone in Holmby-Westwood. The Chair noted that the 1980s survey of historic resources in the North Village needs to be included in the L.A. City Historic Survey.
C. The Chair reported on the success of the Art ReSTORE LA project in the Village, in November.
D. The Chair reminded everyone of upcoming meetings by the DRB, WRAC, and the Westwood BID.
E. John Heidt announced that Steve Sann will be honored by the Westwood Village Rotary Club, Thursday, January 23 with Rotary’s highest honor as a Paul Harris Fellow, recognizing him as Westwood’s non-Rotarian “Volunteer of the Year” and as the “unofficial mayor of Westwood.” All are invited to attend this luncheon.
F. Sandy Brown suggested that Steve Sann’s photographic presentation on historic Westwood that he will present at the Rotary Club be made available for all interested parties in CD, DVD, or other format.
11. Reports from Standing and Ad-Hoc Committees/Liaisons:
The Chair noted that the WCC Planning and Land Use Committee will meet in January to discuss the latest plans by Elysee Café and Bakery to remodel and their requested CUB application for beer and wine.
12. Old Business: there was none.
13. New Business
A. Election of Officers: On behalf of Carole Magnuson, Chair of the Nominations Committee, Legal Advisor Robert Gipson presented the slate of recommended WCC officers for 2014: Steve Sann, Chair; John Heidt, Vice Chair; Dr. Jerry Brown, Treasurer; Wolfgang Veith, Corporate Secretary. With no other candidates names suggested for any of the four offices, Reg Gipson moved, and Clinton Schudy seconded, that the slate as presented be elected by acclamation. The motion was carried by unanimous consent.
B. Safety on Sunset: Bruce Schwarz from the Pacific Palisades Community Council presented background and photos of this traffic safety campaign, which began in Pacifica Palisades on Sunset Boulevard east from the Pacific Ocean, and which has now spread to Brentwood to just west of the 405 Freeway. With the support of the Pacific Palisades Community Council and Brentwood Community Council, banners have been installed at key locations and strategic intersections along Sunset Boulevard promoting the message of “Safety on Sunset” to discourage drivers from using a cell phone or texting while driving, or engaging in other dangerous behavior, and to promote safety awareness by pedestrians. The Pacific Palisades and Brentwood Community Councils are now requesting support from the Westwood Community Council to extend this public service safety campaign east of the 405 Freeway into Westwood, to the Beverly Hills City border. On a motion by Adam Swart, seconded by Mike Metcalfe, the following resolution was adopted by unanimous consent:
Resolved, that the Westwood Community Council endorses the “Safety on Sunset” public awareness campaign, supports the installation of light pole banners at key traffic safety locations on Sunset Boulevard east of the 405 Freeway to the Beverly Hills City Limit, and calls on Councilmember Koretz and the Los Angeles City Council to waive the usual city fees and the 90-day limit on the display of such light pole banners, to allow such traffic safety banners to remain in place for an extended period of time.
C. WCC Bylaws: On behalf of Carole Magnuson, the Chair distributed proposed amendments to the WCC Bylaws. This draft was presented to the Board as an informational item only. Pursuant to the WCC Bylaws, action on this item will be taken at the next regular WCC meeting, scheduled for March 18, 2014.
D. WRAC Resolution on Transit to LAX: The Chair provided background on this Resolution which was recommended by the WRAC Board of Directors for consideration by all 13 member councils of the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils. Sandy Brown noted that out of respect for the position of the Neighborhood Council of Westchester-Playa, which represents the residential areas immediately affected by LAX and its related traffic, the WCC should only support this motion if the Neighborhood Council of Westchester-Playa also is on record supporting it. On a motion by Wolfgang Veith, seconded by John Heidt, the following Resolution was adopted by unanimous consent:
Subject to the support of the Neighborhood Council of Westchester-Playa, resolved that the Westwood Community Council supports a MetroRail station on the Crenshaw Line at the Intermodal Transit Facility (ITF) proposed for LAX, which station also could serve as an additional station for the Green Line.
E. WRAC Resolution on SB1818: The Chair provided background on this Resolution which was recommended by the WRAC Board of Directors for consideration by all 13 member councils of the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils. On a motion by Wolfgang Veith, seconded by John Heidt, the following Resolution was adopted by unanimous consent:
Resolved that the Westwood Community Council requests the City Controller, Housing Department and Los Angeles City Council to inventory all income restricted units built under SB1818 and RSO (Rent Stabilization Ordinance) units and buildings that have replaced pre-1978 multi-family buildings.
8. (continued) Adoption of the Minutes of the previous meeting: On a motion by John Heidt, seconded by Clinton Schudy, the Minutes of the WCC meeting of September 17, 2013 were adopted as circulated by unanimous consent.
14. General Public Comment: there was none.
15. Next Regular WCC Meeting: The Chair announced the next WCC meeting would be Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 7 p.m., Belmont Village Westwood, Town Hall community room, 10475 Wilshire Boulevard.
16. Motion to Adjourn: There being no further business to discuss, it was moved by Wolfgang Veith, seconded by Adam Swart, and approved by unanimous consent to adjourn at 9:12 p.m.
Minutes respectively submitted by Wolfgang Veith, WCC Corporate Secretary.
By my hand below, I certify that on ____________________, 2014, these Minutes of the WCC Meeting of Tuesday, January 21, 2014 were approved by the Westwood Community Council.
Wolfgang Veith, Corporate Secretary Date
Westwood Community Council, Inc.