The Studio City Neighborhood Council and activists who fought for full inclusion in , in retrospect, happy with the compromise agreed upon by the Los Angeles City Council office on Friday—sharing the historic land of the , and the
Peter Hartz, president of the Toluca Lake Homeowners Association who testified before the council at City Hall on Friday, said "We would like to continue to speak with one voice on what happens to these areas and Toluca Lake has a long history at the Campo de Cahuenga."
Council member Tom LaBonge, who has represented the east side of Studio City in the past, has a special fondness for the site where the treaty was signed that helped create the state of California. City Council member Paul Krekorian was interested in keeping Studio City from being divided up at all (it has been divided into three districts in the past.)
LaBonge said, “It’s all about neighborhoods, and the 4th District and the City of Los Angeles is made up of great neighborhoods. Redistricting was a process that changes the 4th District, but I’m pleased that it retains many of its core neighborhoods and I’m proud to continue to represent many portions of the San Fernando Valley. It’s hard to let go of any neighborhood of the district because they become like family, but we’ll continue working with all people to make Los Angeles a great city to live, work and play."
said it was better than a compromise, because the whole section at one point wasn't going to be included in Krekorian's full district.
"The alternative was not one the full City Council would have accepted, which was to have it all in CD2," Walker said. "They would simply let it stay in CD4 and that was not acceptable, either to me or our community. This took days, and then early hours of negotiations—and literally took place during the Council session itself. Having 50 percent of the control is better than none at all. After a great deal of conversation, although nobody walks away a clear winner—nobody walks away without something."
Board member Richard Niederberg said, "I got what I asked for. I would have liked to get more, but I can live with making sure the Campo, and much of the MTA parking lot, is in CD2, along with the Park Land. Now any Universal/MTA proposal will have to make TWO Councilmembers happy. Helping additional residents is a bonus. Let's make sure that the deal gets codified."
The agreement would keep the residential Island area near South Weddington Park in the Studio City area. It keeps both North and South Weddington Parks in CD2 and residents near Whipple.
The agreement reads that it would:
- Move the area between Lankershim Boulevard, the Los Angeles River, both sides of Willowcrest Avenue and Valleyheart Drive from CD 4 to CD 2 and
- Move a portion of the Metro Station and Camp de Cahuenga along Lankershim Boulevard from CD 4 to CD 2.
SCNC Vice President Lisa Sarkin said, "After more discussion, this is a major victory for Studio City and the future of our community. We now have a 50% of the Metro and Campo in CD2, all of the Island Neighborhood, both North and South Weddington parks and all of the rest of the areas east of the freeway to Whipple in Studio City."
But, the idea didn't please everyone at first. Irene DeBlasio, who pointed out that supporters of Studio City should wear white at the City Hall, said, "A compromise like this is for wimps! I cannot believe it. Both properties are within the boundaries of Studio City, 91604. No wonder the dress code was to wear white. Pure SURRENDER! You should have brought a white flag with a box of Kleenex. Terrible job. I am bitterly disappointed."
However, after discussing the outcome, DeBlasio wasn't as angry. "Lisa, If you're happy, then I'm happy. I hate to see homeowners pushed around and told to shut up and eat their spinach. Neighborhoods must be preserved, especially during these times of economic disaster, chaos and disarray. How sad to see a prestigious bookstore like gone from our neighborhood. I just hope we don't end up becoming the sushi and pot shop capital of the world."
Board member who was also representing the 2,000 members of the Studio City Residents Association, said it was important to the citizens to keep these areas of common interest in one district.
Another board member wearing a white shirt at City Hall, Ron Taylor, said he thanked the Toluca Lake residents for making the case that the areas should remain in CD2 "if democracy is to be respected." Taylor pointed out that the area was not contiguous to Toluca Lake.
Judy Price, president of the Valley Glen Neighborhood Association, came out to support how neighborhoods like the Island community near South Weddington Park should remain with the rest of Studio City in CD2.
Joe Higgins and his wife Mildred, who have lived in Studio City for more than 40 years, caem to City Hall to speak.
"You need to put everything where it is supposed to be," Joe said. "These areas are in 91604 and you need to put 'Studio City' on the envelope."
Mildred added, "We have been to all the meetings . . . you need to reject the idea that this little piece of Studio City be put in District 4."
The hours of dramatic public comment also included threats of lawsuits, poetry and other rants.
Activist and former Daily News editor Ron Kaye suggested that the new redistricting maps and the lack of listening to the public was "teraring apart the social fabric of Los Angeles" and he warned the council to "think before you act."