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Ask Paul: Will Weddington Golf & Tennis Become a Park? [VIDEO]

Every two weeks, you'll have the opportunity to ask Councilman Paul Krekorian about a slew of issues directly affecting your neighborhood. Email AskPaul@lacity.org today!

See the attached video to hear Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian explain the new column.

Every two weeks, you'll have the opportunity to ask Krekorian about issues directly affecting your neighborhood. Email AskPaul@lacity.org today!

Hi Paul,

I think one of our most pressing issues in Studio City is preserving that massive Green Space that we know of as Weddington Golf Course and turn it into a public park. I know the SCRA is on top of it and all and I know you talked about that there isn’t any money for it, but are there still any plans to develop it and if so is there a way to keep people from doing it? I’d tie myself to one of the trees if that helps! Also, is the Weddington family still involved with that property?

Thanks for making yourself available to us.

Sincerely,

Miki Henderson

Dear Miki,

is owned by the Weddington family and a variety of proposals have been discussed for the future of the property. At this point, though, there have not been any specific development plans set forth.  But that certainly could change.

and many others, have developed an alternative vision for the future of the property, which is the last privately owned open space on the in the southern San Fernando Valley.

The creation of the would guarantee that the property would always remain open space. It would be a transformative opportunity to protect our environment, enrich the quality of life in the area and enliven the L.A. River as a recreational and aesthetic asset. The biggest challenge, of course, is finding a source of available funding to make that vision a reality.

Los Angeles voters in 2004 overwhelmingly approved Proposition O, a bond measure to fund water quality improvements, provide flood protection, increase water conservation and protect open space.  The bonds allow the City to purchase or improve properties for projects that, among other things, protect rivers, conserve and protect drinking water, and capture, clean up and reuse storm water.                

I believe the L.A. River Natural Park would serve exactly such a purpose, which is why I recently appeared before the Prop O Citizens Advisory Committee to personally appeal for the project.                                                                     

No project has ever been funded in the Second Council District using Proposition O funds, and just four sites in the San Fernando Valley have tapped the bond measure’s financial source.  It’s time for that to change. Using Prop O money to protect this area will capture and clean runoff that would otherwise flow directly into the L.A. River and out to the sea.

Whether or not we will prevail and can actually tap these funds remains to be seen, but my office will continue to work hand in hand with community groups, like the SCRA, as well as the property owners, to preserve open space.

***

Dear Paul

Did you ever know or meet your predecessor two times ago, Joel Wachs? Just wondered if you ever did, or if he ever gave you advice on any projects that he started and never got to, or what he would like to see done in Studio City still? 

—Don Healy 

Dear Don,

Former Councilmember Joel Wachs, as you may know, now lives in New York City, where he is president of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.  

I have never met him in person, but the legacy he left in this district, his inclusive style of representation, and his independent judgment and leadership on the City Council have inspired me. I have been proud to continue to work on a number of issues that were important to him.

For example, Joel initiated a tremendously important commitment to open space preservation that spanned a decade’s worth of work, and which my office just completed. Late last year, we put the finishing touches on the transfer of nearly 300 acres of land in the north Valley to the Mountains Conservancy and Recreation Authority [read about it on our website], which will ensure that pristine open space stays free of development.

When my office finalized that transfer, Joel sent me a very kind, congratulatory email. I called him and we chatted about our mutual interests in neighborhood empowerment, open space preservation and other city-related issues. I’m looking forward to getting together with him on his next trip to Los Angeles.

Dear Paul,

Last year, I remember reading that your office hammered out a solution to the RFA in Studio City. Since then, though, I haven’t heard any updates. Has the City Council passed it? Has the Mayor signed it? Is it even still alive? Thanks!

- Carole Ross

Dear Carole,

Good news - the ordinance enshrining the RFA is coming back to the City Council for a vote this week, on Tuesday Jan. 24. I believe it will be approved by the Council and signed by the Mayor, after which the RFA for Studio City will become law.

After many months of work and extensive outreach, I was very proud to assist the community in reaching a consensus for a real solution to the long, contentious, divisive debate on how to limit mansionization in Studio City.

Working closely with a divergent group of committed and thoughtful neighbors on each side of the debate, we proposed a Residential Floor Area (RFA) District that will lead to the widest ranging set of guidelines a community has ever enacted to maintain the integrity of their neighborhood.

The RFA proposal will squarely address the problems of mansionization by limiting size and encouraging better design elements.

[Read more about it here]

The proposal unanimously passed the Council in October and was sent to the City Attorney’s office. In the ensuing months, the City Attorney has put a fine tooth comb to the document, making sure it will be legally enforceable and that all of the terms agreed to by the community are included.

When the final document is made law, my office will plan a community-wide celebration, an announcement of which will be available on Patch and our website, cd2.lacity.org

Peter V January 23, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Hello Councilman Paul.Todays rain has me looking at the corner of Laurel Grove and Vanowen in the Valley Plaza area with disgust. A contractor allegedly put in a new storm drain there and it is..flooding again today. 2 years of tying up the streets around the project and now this dismal failure .
LABornAndRaised January 24, 2012 at 02:33 AM
Wow, Paul Krekorian has really set the bar high. I hope Tom Labonge follows suit.
Miki Henderson January 24, 2012 at 04:55 AM
I cannot even believe this! When Mike emailed me a week ago and asked if I could send in questions to Paul Krekorian, I never imagined that this would really be the format!!! It's so exciting, I'm pinching myself! Will I be able to ask more? Thank you so much for doing this and leaving you and your staff open to these questions.
Paul Krekorian January 24, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Hi all, Thanks for your comments. Peter, we will look into that and Miki, please...ask away! Couple of notes, though: 1) The email address we provided seems to have some technical issues. For now, if you have questions, please email me at councilmember.krekorian@lacity.org. If you have sent emails to AskPaul@lacity.org, please do me a favor, if you don't mind, and resend them to councilmember.krekorian@lacity.org. We should have the problem fixed soon. 2) The RFA issue I answered has an update: Because of some last minute and very slight/insubstantial revisions to the ordinance, the City Attorney needs to recheck the document. It is slated to come back to the City Council next week. My office will keep you posted. Thanks again and I look forward to your questions! Paul
Paul Krekorian January 24, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Hi all, askpaul@lacity.org is now working. Keep the questions coming!
Jean Jeunet January 24, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Sadly, I agree. At the intersection of Vanowen and Clybourn, the water floods in a major way in the street. This is right at the border. As soon as you enter Burbank, all the water goes away. We really need to step it up as a city.
Sean McCarthy February 02, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Paul: Has the city or the Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy done an appraisal of the Weddington Golf Course property to determine how much it will cost the tax payers to turn Weddington's property into t a public park?
Gary Aminoff February 02, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Paul, to follow up with Sean's question about an appraisal, if one was done more than a year ago, it should be updated to reflect the fact that property values have been decreasing. If one hasn't been done, I think it should be. I also think there is a value in keeping it as a golf course-tennis facility which benefits the Studio City neighborhood and still keeps a green open area.
Sean McCarthy February 10, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Paul: Did I miss your response to the questions I asked above?
Mike Szymanski February 10, 2012 at 09:33 PM
The council man has a slew of questions to answer and may not have gotten to yours right away. You can always click on the ASK PAUL above by the picture on the top let and see past columns and answers.

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