Do you have a question about Studio City? Community activist Lisa Sarkin answers questions about history and issues in our area in this column. She knows who to call, and where to go to get things done. Send questions to MikeS@Patch.com, or leave it in the Comments section below. Thanks!
Silver Triangle Development Woes
The "Silver Triangle" Residents are tired with this one builder that has come into our neighborhood and torn down a house and built 2 large homes that tower over the other homes in the area. He has bought (3 houses) and sold for the past 5 years...always destruction/construction on Cantura Street and now Hillslope.
The SCRA has had a proposal into Paul Kerkorian's office for about ONE YEAR to further restrict the size of these McMansions...yet there it still sits, being checked for "legal issues" before it goes to committee. It will take years and meanwhile our neighborhood charm is being taken away, house by house.
The builder is doing this, with cash offers, says "A DOCTOR and his family of 4 kids bought the house but it needed a lot of work (NO THEY DIDN'T) so they tore it down." [And] the "wife" didn't want such a "big" house so they are dividing the lot and building two 3,000 sq. ft. homes! If you check the records, he has bought and sold homes in the area using his name and his wife's name. They buy homes on double lots.
The complaint that the neighbors have is there is little space between the homes. He builds to the MAX...only 19 ft. from the back of the home to the property line, 5 feet to the sides and always a 2-story home with the whole front being the garage. They all look the same and are mirrored images of each other. He has taken away the privacy and sunlight from the adjoining homes and has made it harder to sell a home if it is next to one of these.
He thinks they are improving the neighborhood. Our neighborhood doesn't need improvement, it has the charm and quaintness that has attracted film crews and people to our community.
I know exactly what you are referring to, in Colfax Meadows, we have two or three builders that use almost exactly the same plans for each new home and we are starting to resemble the neighborhoods north of the San Fernando Valley.
The road to this point began during 2005. The SCRA started a new committee, Overlay Committee, the purpose of getting public input and writing a Planning Overlay Ordinance to reduce the size of all development within Studio City. We asked if an Historic Overlay Ordinance would do the trick, but we had too many changes to development then to allow for that type of ordinance. The process was a huge undertaking for this committee and in 2008 it was completed. About the same time, the City finally passed the Baseline Mansionization Ordinance [BMO] which reduced the size of homes throughout the City. The Overlay Ordinance had to be put aside.
The BMO had a provision for communities to enlarge or reduce the size of homes called the Residential Floor Area [RFA] and in the case of Studio City, reducing the size of homes was what the community requested. The City Planning Department took over the writing of the RFA and it was completed, presented and passed through the Planning Department hearings until it was presented to the City Planning Commission in February, 2010. At that time, there was some opposition, but it was passed out of the Planning Department to the City Council.
Since last summer, Councilman Krekorian’s staff have been working on the RFA. Stay tuned for updates in the coming weeks.
What type of trees are protected by the City of Los Angeles Protected Tree Ordinance?
The trees protected by the ordinance are:
* California Coastal Live Oak
* Black Walnut
* California Sycamore
* California Bay Laurel