North Westwood Neighborhood Council recap – March 4
March 5, 2020 5:02 p.m.
The North Westwood Neighborhood Council is the official neighborhood council representing Westwood Village and UCLA to the Los Angeles City Council. Council meetings are open to the public and held monthly. The next meeting will be held April 1 in the Weyburn Commons Village View Room from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz supports safe parking for students experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity and is willing to work with UCLA and the NWWNC to support the creation of those spaces, said Jasmine Shamolian, a field deputy and policy deputy for Koretz. The NWWNC called for the creation of safe parking spaces at UCLA during its November 2019 meeting, however UCLA Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael Beck rejected the proposal during the council’s January meeting.
- Zuriel Espinosa, a City of LA city planning associate, presented possible amendments to the Westwood Village specific plan, a regulation and zoning framework for the Village. The amendments focused on food and parking restrictions.
- The board unanimously approved a motion recommending Los Angeles City Planning remove distinctions between fast food establishments and restaurants in the specific plan.
- The board unanimously recommended the removal of all ratios, caps and quota restrictions that limit the number or type of food establishments in the Village.
- The board unanimously recommended Los Angeles City Planning remove at least several specific parking requirements in the specific plan if not all could be removed. They called for the removal of parking requirements for historic buildings and area parking requirements for hotels, motion picture theaters, nightclubs and offices. They also recommended the removal of parking replacement requirements and change of use parking requirements. Instead, the council favored the application of citywide general zoning code requirements.
- The board called for the removal of all parking requirements in the Village, with 12 in favor, one opposed and one abstention. Councilmember Kevin Crummy said he opposed the motion because he thinks it would be too radical to remove all parking requirements when so many people are still dependent on cars.
- If any parking requirements remain, the board unanimously called for allowing businesses to lease parking spots rather than engage in covenant agreements, which can be enforced even when ownership of the property transfers. The motion also called for increasing the allowable distance businesses can designate off-site parking to a quarter-mile.
- The board unanimously granted $2,446.79 to Sprouts of Promise, a nonprofit foundation connecting families to locally grown produce, to fund a composting program at the Westwood Village Farmers’ Market. The program will allow residents to drop off their compost at the market where farmers can then take it back to their farms, said Aubrey Yarborough, a community development manager for Farmer Mark. Farmer Mark, the organization that runs the market in the Village, created Sprouts of Promise to raise funds for community initiatives.
- The board unanimously granted $1,618.75 to the Westwood Village Improvement Association to fund Access Day, a local event connecting people experiencing homelessness with social services, taking place later this year.
- The board unanimously granted $5,000 to the Friends of Westwood Library – a nonprofit organization that raises funds for the Westwood Branch of the LA Library – for a computer aid position. The aid helps visitors with technology-related tasks such as using office software, government websites and downloading e-books.
- The board unanimously called for the removal of parking minimums in the North Westwood Village Specific Plan. Parking minimums are requirements for a certain number of parking spaces that depend on how many residents a developer expects to inhabit a building. Such requirements can increase the cost of new developments and in turn increase rental rates for students.