The Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council

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The Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council

Agenda for Wednesday, February 13, GWNC Board Meeting

Submitted by lizfuller on Fri, 02/08/2013 - 17:23.

The Ebell of Los Angeles
4400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 90005
Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 7:00 p.m.

Parking Notice: Beginning with this meeting and from this date on, as a safety precaution, our Ebell hosts have requested that all GWNC meeting attendees please use the Ebell’s porte cochere entrance off of the parking lot on the west side of the clubhouse. This lot will be open for parking as well, and is accessible from 8th Street, at the south end of the Ebell complex. The porte cochere entrance is the northern-most entrance off the west parking lot.
PUBLIC Comment: The public is requested to fill out a Speaker Card to address the Board on any item on the agenda. Comments from the public on the agenda items will be heard only when that item is being considered. Comments from the public on other matters, not appearing on the agenda but within the Board’s subject matter jurisdiction, will be heard during the Community Concerns and Public Comment periods. Public comment is limited to two (2) minutes per speaker, unless waived by the presiding officer of the Board.

1. Call to Order (Owen Smith)

2. Roll Call (Jeffry Carpenter)

3. Reading of the Minutes (Jeffry Carpenter) (5 mins)*

A. Approval of the Minutes of the January 9, 2013 General Meeting.

4. President’s Report (Owen Smith) (15 mins)

   A. Board Vacancies*

      Alternates needed for:
      Area 1 (Brookside)
      Area 2 (Citrus Square)
      Area 6 (La Brea-Hancock)
      Area 9 (Oakwood-Maplewood-St. Andrews)
      Area 12 (We-Wil)
      Other Non-Profit

   B. Confirmation of candidate for Business Alternate: John Winther*

C. Ethics Training –

All new board members and alternates (along with returning board members whose certification is more than two years old) must complete the course at

5. Local Government Updates (10 mins)

   A. CD4 Update (Ben Seinfeld)
   B. CD5 Update (John Darnell)

6. Treasurer’s Report & Budget Items (Patti Carroll) (10 mins)*
   A. Monthly Budget Report/Approval*
   B. YTD Budget Review
   C. Proposed Motion: Reallocate $750 from Administrative Assistant to Event Sponsorship and authorize payments for Mayoral Candidate Forum expenses.*
   D. Proposed motion: Reallocate $4,250 from Administrative Assistant to Community Projects and reopen call for Neighborhood Purposes Grant applications, to be reviewed at the GWNC’s March meeting (in time for fiscal year-end paperwork).*

7. Community Concerns/Public Comments (15 mins.)

    A. Request for support for Windsor Square letter regarding uses of Getty House* (Moser)
   B. Naming petition for Peru Village*
   C. Beverly and Norton streetlight banners*

8. DWP Oversight (Jack Humphreville) (5 mins)*

9. City Budget Issues (Humphreville) (5 mins)*

   A. Mayor’s Budget Survey – All board members, alternates and stakeholders are urged to take the survey at

10. Old Business (5 mins.)

11. New Business (5 mins.)

12. Transportation Committee (Gerda McDonough) (5 mins.)

13. Outreach Committee (Fred Mariscal) (5 mins.)*

   A. Mayoral Candidate Forum wrap-up
   B. Inviting City Attorney and City Controller candidates as guest speakers in March/April
   C. Presentation of GWNC Citizen Recognition Award to Elizabeth Fuller

14. Board Member Comments (5 mins)

   A. NC Plan Review and Reform Initiative (Jeffry Carpenter)

15. Public Comments (5 mins)

16. Land Use Committee (James Wolf) (30 mins)

   A. Legalizing unpermitted garage conversion by previous owner (317 N. Van Ness)*

   Issue: Applicants recently purchased a house without the required two covered parking spaces. The house has a garage structure in the rear that was fitted as a home office, but access is blocked by a deck built over a decade ago and by a pool excavation made by the current owners and permitted by the City. The applicants requested a variance allowing them to satisfy parking requirements by placing one parking space under their porte cochere and another in front of the porte cochere but behind their driveway gate. Because the driveway gate and hedges appeared to be over-in-height fences in the required front yard, this second proposed parking space would appear to encroach on the building line, which is not permitted by code. Committee members’ discussion acknowledged the hardship to the owners if the garage/office application is not approved but also pointed out a need to officially deal with the over-height fence issues.

   1. That the GWNC Board support the Zoning Adjustment application for the project at 317 N. Van Ness with the condition that the tandem parking spaces be located to the west of the existing 35-foot building line, and based upon the circumstance that existing conditions of the property do not have a garage and that an excavation is moving forward for a swimming pool that was approved by the City.

   2. That the GWNC Board support the Zoning Adjustment application for the project at 317 N. Van Ness with the condition that the owners will seek a Variance for the front yard over-height fence and gates.

   B. Master sign program at Wilshire/La Brea development (5200 Wilshire)*

   Issue: Applicant BRE seeks approval for a sign program for the mixed-use development at Wilshire and La Brea. The materials distributed to the Land Use Committee lacked sufficient clarity for the Committee to discuss the sign program: colors-codes were used inconsistently, dimensions were ambiguous, sign size limits were unclear, and awnings appeared to obstruct projecting signs. Also, there was no indication of how the proposed signs do or do not fit in with guidelines for the Miracle Mile Community Design Overlay zone. [Note: The applicant will present a revised proposal document at the February 26th Land Use Committee meeting.]

   Recommendation: Whereas the application as presented is incomplete and contradictory, the Land Use Committee recommends not supporting the signage program as presented.

   C. Waiver of public hearing for garage adjustment at 358 S. Mansfield*

   Issue: The applicant seeks an adjustment to build a zero-setback two-story garage over the footprint of the original one-story garage. After the applicant garnered support from neighboring property owners, Renee Weitzer from Council District 4 requested that the Zoning Administrator waive the public hearing pursuant to relevant Zoning Code provisions. The second story of the proposed garage is to be used as a recreation room.

   Recommendation: That the GWNC board support the application for a Zoning Adjustment to allow construction of the garage.

   D. Recommendation on illegal hostel at 265 S. Gramercy*

   Issue: A single-family dwelling zoned R-1 appears to be operating as an illegal hostel, openly advertising as "Hosanna House" on several hostel websites. Online reviews from hostel patrons suggest the existence of health and safety hazards such as bedbugs, cockroaches, overcrowding, nonfunctional toilets, and turning away patrons with reservations at night. Since last August, members of the Land Use Committee have been in contact Council District Four and the Department of Building and Safety, as well as numerous other departments and agencies. Despite seven months of efforts to address the situation, the hostel still appears to operate.

   Recommendation: Whereas the Land Use Committee of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council is concerned that there is a possible noncompliant commercial hostel use in an R1 zone, and a building that neighbors have repeatedly complained to City departments about potential fire, health and business violations to no avail, we recommend the Council office immediately intervene with neighbors and property owners to resolve these issues.

Potential Agenda Items for February 26 LUC Meeting:

   - Application for full liquor license at restaurant (La Brea Bakery) at 468 S. La Brea.
   - Application for beer and wine license at restaurant (Tinga) at 142 S. La Brea.
   - Application for extension of ABC License-permitted hours (until 2 am) for Jajungguh Cafe (Bicycle Club), 4653 W. Beverly.
   - Further discussion of proposed Wilshire/La Brea development sign program
   - Harold Henry Park improvements
   - Review of So Cal Gas Advanced Meter equipment and locations
   - Application for Flywheel fitness studio on Larchmont Blvd.
   - Review of recent Early Planning Notices in the GWNC area.

17. Announcements and Adjournment (5 mins)

   A. Next meeting: Wednesday, March 13, 7:00 p.m.

* Board Action May Be Requested or Required on These Items

Translators, sign language interpreters, and listening devices for the hard-of-hearing are available upon request. To ensure the availability of services, please make your request at least three (3) business days (72 hours) before the scheduled meeting date by contacting the GWNC Board Secretary, Jeffry Carpenter via email: or the Empower LA Neighborhood Council help line at (213) 485-1360.

In compliance with Government Code section 54957.5, non-exempt writings that are distributed to a majority or all of the board in advance of a meeting may be viewed at our website at or at the scheduled meeting. In addition, if you would like a copy of any record related to an item on the agenda, please e-mail or telephone (424) 901-1409.

(c) 2005 - the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council