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Los Feliz Ledger Vol 4. No. 4 Serving the Greater Los Feliz, Silver Lake & Hollywood Hills Area | Distribution 34,500 GGPNC Approves Autry Expansion With Conditions Historic Status Denied for Glen View Garden Apartments Site To Be Razed for Condos By Rachel Heller Ledger Contributing Writer LOS FELIZ—The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission has denied HistoricCultural Monument status to a 1930s-era, rent-controlled Los Feliz apartment building, allowing developers to move forward with a plan to raze the site and build a condominium complex in its place that could be twice as large. Members of the commission on Sept. 18th were split 2 to 2 over an application—submitted by the Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council (GGPNC) in June—to grant the protective status to the Glen View Garden Apartments at 1801-1817 N. New Hampshire Ave. With the fifth member of the commission absent, the motion failed. “This was a difficult issue,” said Ken Bernstein, manager of the Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources. “It’s clearly a lovely building with a great historic character. I’m sure the commission would love to see it preserved—especially because it’s threatened—but the issue is whether the building rises to the level of significance necessary for Historic-Cultural Monument status. That bar is significantly higher than it just being a lovely historic building.” The GGPNC board had sought the designation as a way to protect the two-story, 22-unit apartment building from demolition. The site’s owner in November proposed constructing a four-story, 34-unit condominium development on the property, which was later upgraded to a five-story building with 44 for-sale units. The new project’s size would be allowed due to a density bonus through Senate Bill 1818, the State Density Bonus Law, for setting aside four of the units as very low income housing. The 2005 state law allows developers to build denser and taller buildings than otherwise allowed by zoning codes in exchange for including affordable units in their plans. October 2008 By Rachel Heller Ledger Contributing Writer WELCOMING FALL—Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge and 40 walking enthusiasts enjoyed the councilmember’s annual Griffith Park Fall Equinox hike Sept. 23rd to mark the coming of fall. The walk started at the Observatory and ended at Mount Hollywood. This photo was taken looking west from the Charlie Turner Trail. Photo credit: Marie Chao “Affordable housing was are low-income,” Owen said. borhood,” Owen said. “Zoning the issue for us—we thought “This takes 22 rent-controlled should be a local issue. Increased it would greatly help the area,” units and turns them into 44 density translates into increased said Bruce Arefi, manager of condos at market rate— exparking problems in areas that New Hampshire Heights, LLC, cept the few that would be afalready have parking problems. who proposed the project with fordable. We’re going to have a There is a lot of cost to the comseveral planning munity.” “Replacing the rent-controlled units with condos consultants. Arefi said that would mostly be sold at market rate would But replache and his coning the rentresult in an overall loss of affordable housing,” sultants are now controlled units rethinking the said Kenneth Owen, GGPNC with condos project’s scale due that would mostly be sold at net loss of affordable units.” to local concern. “Because of market rate would result in an The GGPNC is among a the objection from the neighoverall loss of affordable houscrowd of community groups borhood, we are trying to reing, said Kenneth Owen, chair that have opposed SB1818, duce the size of the building,” of the GGPNC’s Planning, saying state-mandated density he said, adding that his team is Zoning and Historic Preservabonuses promote a loss of afworking on designs that might tion Committee. fordable housing, override lolower the density by ten or “We have 22 existing cal zoning laws and destroy the twelve units. “At the end of the units of affordable housing, character of neighborhoods. day, when this development is rented to a stable population of “Zoning laws were put in for built, I am sure we will receive people in our community who a purpose—to protect the neigha lot of compliments.” Big Political Drama In Little Atwater By Heather Downie, Ledger Contributing Writer Over the past year, an all too of 2005. But each had differfamiliar political neighborhood ent visions of how the chamdrama—the “new guard” oustber should adapt to an evolving the “old guard”—has been ing Atwater. playing out in Atwater Village. Things came to a head in Betty Bartlotta, owner August, when an almost enof Club Tee Gee and Atwatirely new board of directors ter resident for more than 50 was elected. Newman-Kuzel years and Mark Newmanand 11 others, who called Kuzel, owner of Maid in the themselves the “Vibrant VilUSA, who moved to Atwater lage,” defeated four incumthree years ago, have been at bents, including reigning the heart of struggle—of genchamber president Bartlotta. trification; of new ideas versus “It was time for a shakeold ideas; of out with the old up,” said Newman-Kuzel, and in with the new. who is now the new chamber Barlotta and Newmanpresident. Kuzel have sat on the Atwater While the election was Village Chamber Board of Diwon fairly, some ousted memrectors together since August bers expressed mixed feelings about Newman-Kuzel passing out bright yellow “who you should vote for” guides on Election Day. “There was never campaigning in elections past,” said Bartlotta. “We’re a little organization.” Bartlotta, a member of the chamber for almost 30 years, and three incumbents were left off Newman-Kuzel’s slate. They said they were unaware the “Vibrant Village” was organizing, which left some of them blind-sided when their terms ended abruptly. “It was an embarrassment to all of us. Things at the elecsee Atwater page 14 LOS FELIZ—After two hours of discussion, board members of the Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council (GGPNC) voted Sept. 16th to support a “limited expansion” of the Autry National Center— if Autry officials agree to a lengthy list of restrictions on the project. The decision follows more than a year of consideration by several committees of the GGPNC, which began studying the impact of the Autry’s proposed 129,000 square-foot expansion when museum officials announced their plans to the council in 2007. “We do not oppose the Autry being in Griffith Park,” said Bernadette Soter, chair of the Parks, River and Open Space Committee. But, she added, “what has been proposed is excessive and would promote the commercialization and urbanization of the park.” Several board members and stakeholders at the meeting voiced concerns over increased signage, an underground parking structure and a height variance the Autry has requested as part of its expansion plans. One stakeholder called the size of the structural additions “unnecessary and damaging” to the museum’s setting in Griffith Park. “I love the Autry, but would not want to see it expand at the expense of Griffith Park,” he said. Others said they felt the museum’s growth would benefit Los Angeles residents. Los Feliz resident and active GGPNC participant Barbara Ferris said the Autry is a valuable cultural institution that enriches the community and has shown respect for the environment. “The Autry has been a good steward of its location,” Ferris said. “It has conducted itself in a dignified and honorsee Autry page 5

October 2008

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