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Wednesday, December 13

Westwood Neighborhood Council recap – Oct. 11


The Westwood Neighborhood Council meets monthly to discuss issues pertaining to Westwood Village and the surrounding areas.

Comments by public officials

  • Stephen Resnick, council secretary, read a statement from Janet Turner, a representative for Congressman Ted Lieu. Turner, who could not attend the meeting, said in the statement that a new post office will open in the Village at 1000 Gayley Avenue at the end of October or early November.
  • Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas said the state legislature passed a measure to protect two single-gender academies in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The Boys Academic Leadership Academy and the Girls Academic Leadership Academy are middle schools designed to encourage more enrollment in LAUSD middle schools, he said.
  • Marco Perez, a representative from UCLA Government and Community Relations, said Bruin Family Weekend is scheduled for Oct. 20 to Oct. 22. He added UCLA recently implemented the Bruin Bike Share program and will hold a weeklong free speech event starting Oct. 16.
  • Chris Ragsdale, Los Angeles Police Department senior lead officer for Westwood, said crime in Westwood is down as a whole, but advised residents to be aware of their surroundings and secure their belongings.

Discussion

  • Andrew Thomas, executive director of the Westwood Village Improvement Association, presented the association’s proposal to modify the Westwood Village Specific Plan to make it easier for restaurants to open in the Village. The proposal would incorporate incidental food items under retail use and loosen restrictions on restaurant definitions. Philip Gabriel, who serves in a council business seat, said he thinks the association should bring in more retail stores to the Village. Sandy Brown, council vice president, said she thinks the proposal does not adequately address parking for potential restaurants.
  • Lisa Chapman, council president and head of the council’s Homeless Task Force, said she and Chantelle Eastman, who serves in a council renter seat, attended an event hosted by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority in September. Chapman said she admired some of Santa Monica’s systems for preventing homelessness, like having trained volunteers identify homeless individuals in certain communities and help them find sheltered housing.
  • Chapman led a discussion with representatives from the Daily Bruin’s editorial board, because she other council members said they think the council was unfairly represented in several of the newspaper’s editorials. Resnick asked if the Daily Bruin knew the council could not do certain things in the Village, like bringing in new businesses and approving entertainment permits.
  • Madeleine Pauker, the Daily Bruin’s managing editor, said the Daily Bruin’s editorial board functions as commentary on the paper’s news coverage. Keshav Tadimeti, the Daily Bruin’s Opinion editor, said Westwood community members are welcome to submit submissions and letters to the editor for publication.
  • Angus Beverly, parking and transportation chair, and head of the council’s Student Engagement Ad-hoc Committee, introduced a proposal to formally establish the council’s position to support increasing affordable housing for students.
  • Brown said she thought the proposal’s language was too binding and would restrict the council’s future actions. Michael Skiles, president of the Graduate Students Association, who worked with Beverly to write the proposal, said he thinks the language is clear and would help make housing more available.
  • The council ultimately decided to shelve the item so Beverly would have more time to work with legal experts and fine-tune the language. Student representatives from the ad-hoc committee said they agreed with council’s decision to postpone the item.

Motions

  • The council approved a statement calling on the City of Los Angeles to improve sidewalks in North Village and make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • The council also approved a statement calling on Los Angeles to increase affordable transportation options for students in Westwood. The council will update its statement after conducting more research on more specific solutions to the lack of transportation options.
  • The council approved shelving a discussion item on selecting new council members in 2018 as opposed to 2019, when council elections will start. Chapman said she is waiting on information from EmpowerLA, a group that oversees the neighborhood councils, before the council makes a formal decision.
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City and crime editor

Preal is the assistant news editor for the city and crime beat. He was previously a news reporter for the city and crime beat.


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