Sunday, August 25

Westwood Neighborhood Council recap – Sept. 9

The original version of this article contained several errors. The article originally stated that Eugene Tseng previously held the renter open board position. In fact, Austin Velez held the position. The article also misspelled Jason Somers' name. Finally, the article omitted that the council voted against adding the operable windows to Rocco's Tavern project.

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

Comments by public officials

  • Chris Ragsdale, Los Angeles Police Department’s senior lead officer for Westwood, said crime is decreasing in the city after a 20 to 30 percent increase at the start of the year. He added the most common crimes in Westwood are robberies, thefts and burglaries.
  • Ragsdale also said he doesn’t think police will find the suspects from the shooting that took place at a Broxton Avenue parking lot last month because they have very little leads, limited information and no video footage.
  • Sheila Kouhkan, deputy director of the Westwood Village Improvement Association, also known as the BID, said the BID hosted two outdoor movie events, which it hopes can happen on a more regular basis. She added the BID wants to improve communication with the Westwood Neighborhood Council.


  • Board members elected David Burke, UCLA alumnus and member of the nonprofit organization Expand Animal Rights Now, to fill the vacant renter open board position previously held by Armen Hadjimanoukian.
  • The council will fill the vacant student director seat and a renter open board position, previously held by Aurelia Friedman and Ausitn Velez respectively, at next month’s meeting.
  • Stephen Box, director of outreach and communications for the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, explained that online voting will replace vote by mail for the 2016 neighborhood council elections because voting by mail was not cost effective. Board members were upset because Westwood has the greatest number of residents that use vote by mail in the city and because it is useful for residents who can’t make it to the voting polls or don’t have a computer.


  • Board members voted 9-5 to not have an online voting option for the next neighborhood council election.
  • The council voted to support BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse’s expansion and license to serve a full line of alcoholic beverages, as long as the restaurant does not offer happy hour, place speakers outside or sell kegs or pitchers of beer or wine.
  • Jason Somers, who has been working on the Rocco’s Tavern project that will replace O’Hara’s, said they plan to add a garage door to the building that would expose the inside of the building to Gayley Avenue. Some board members said they think this would lead to more noise in the area, safety problems and underage drinking, among other concerns. The council voted against adding operable windows or a garage door.

Compiled by Roberto Luna Jr., Bruin senior staff.

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