Opinion Piece on the Overdevelopment of North Hollywood
The local group North Hollywood Community 4 Preservation answered questions on one of the major issues facing the North Hollywood neighborhood.
What is your organization all about?
North Hollywood Community 4 Preservation (NHC4P.com) is about engaging community with hopes of inspiring them to get more involved in what currently is happening in the neighborhoods of North Hollywood. The culture and history are being erased and CAN be prevented with the participation of the community.
Overdevelopment is swallowing whole what should be respectfully approached and considered when this type of change is imposed on a neighborhood. We also want to remind citizens that what’s going on isn’t just affecting things culturally and economically, but environmentally – the repercussions are irreversible….Not to mention the complete opposite direction of where we have been urged to go. More than a dozen of California Government Codes, Health & Safety Codes, Public Resources Codes are just to name a few where our local agencies are skimming right over. NHC4P is here to inform residents exactly what is going on and how. We’re hoping more and more will get on board to make it right.
What are some issues negatively affecting the arts district?
We see the character and uniqueness of the NoHo Arts District depleting. Rampant overdevelopment is moving in while the essential components that make the NoHo Arts District are being forced out.
It’s going on all over the city. Reckless behavior that seems to be based on impulse. A lack of enforcement when it comes to CEQA is taking its toll. Not only are land use decisions being made without community but they are being made illegally. Failure to provide substantial evidence for one project after the other, that lead agencies conclude as having no impact, is simply ridiculous. Combined with zero preservation efforts made; well – it’s a recipe for destruction. Planning choices are not being made with any regard or respect to the residents or local businesses that are established and have planted roots here. Not every community in the city has the same needs.
Our general plan: The North Hollywood – Valley Village Community Plan, which has not been updated since 1995 was intended to curtail adverse impacts. To preserve and enhance the positive characteristics of what currently exists. To make decisions that will have no negative impacts on our open space and to ensure that what is there not only stays there, but that whatever is proposed works with what is there. Its entire purpose is intended to be used as a guideline, having no authority over Municipal Codes. Although there is much discussion about making amendments to the current plan, community raises an excellent point when they have asked: “What would be the point of updating the plan if no one is following it the way it is now?”
From the Council file 95-0830, on page 2 towards the bottom, it states: 9-14-99- “Members of the Valley Village community have indicated that further protections are necessary.” Sixteen years ago – that is the last time those words were ever mentioned in a CD2 Council file. The community is of no importance anymore. Nor are we considered when land use decisions are being made. Decisions we are the ones who end up living with.
The 2013 Council District Economical Report shows our District (CD2) having the highest amount of building permit value at more than $383 million dollars. To put that in perspective, District 1 had $68 million. District 6 had $72 million.
Our good friends at saveValleyVillage.com remind us how Garcetti implemented a “Constituent Bill of Rights” which is supposed to ensure constituents are included in all land-use decisions in their neighborhood.
We are good enough to vote, good enough to pay for their jobs, pay for their staff, pay for everything they need to make it possible for them to carry out the decisions they make. . . but we have been painfully reminded how we are nothing but background noise. When noise gets to the point of being completely irritating, you will do anything to make it go away.
What are some ways to stop these negative issues?
Solutions and laws already exist that should have been enforced in the first place. There is still time – which is why it is absolutely necessary for the members of the community to get involved. In a sane world, concerned residents for starters would go to their Neighborhood Council and/or go straight to the source and go to their Council member.
Unfortunately, not all Council members are interested in their community (i.e., in a not so sane world). When it has been revealed that your Council member has no interest in helping you, and to your surprise has been actively engaging in efforts to hurt and oppose your community, you are left with hundreds/thousands of people who are now incredibly pissed off and have reached a point where they will do anything to get their voice heard. People are fed up. They have felt they have absolutely nowhere to go. Now they do – have a place to go. We may be on our own, but local groups are popping up all over the place. They may not care right now, but all these members in all of these groups – they sure add up to a lot of votes.
How can one get involved?
One can get involved by attending meetings, public hearings, writing letters, signing petitions, handing out flyers…You may find yourself surprised at what a little involvement can do for you. You wind up meeting people you otherwise would not meet and making a difference you didn’t think your efforts would make. Stay engaged – Learn about whats going on. You don’t have to be into politics take part in your community. Some people have this idea that they have to know certain things or have some type of knowledge they feel they do not have to participate. That is not the case. Anyone with a shred of dignity who doesn’t like being run over by a truck should be involved. It comes down to something as simple as morals.
Anyone who has ordered food to then be given the wrong thing would most likely send it back. It’s the same thing. You are simply requesting the attention of the person in charge of your area, reminding them what was said, what was agreed and what should have been done. When this is done collectively, there will be a noticeable difference.
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