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Residents Concerned with Jets, Water and Traffic

Studio City Residents Association gear up after taking a summer break.

Sitting at one of the outdoor tables at the Belwood Bakery on the Coldwater Curve of Ventura Boulevard, Alan Dymond seems a bit eager to get back from a summer break.

Dymond kicks off his third year as the president of the Studio City Residents Association, and their first meeting after a few month's break over the summer, is Tuesday,  Sept. 14.

"We've had our time off, we're ready to see what people are concerned about," said Dymond. "And hope that we can do something about it."

While the Studio City Chamber of Commerce deals primarily with businesses, and the Studio City Neighborhood Council involves both residents and businesses and gets funding from the city of Los Angeles, the Studio City Residents Association deals primarily with people who live in Studio City and is  solely funded by its membership.

"We're not a homeowner's association, and we're not a neighborhood council," explains Dymond, who served his time as president of the Studio City Neighborhood Council as well. "If you own a home, rent a condo, live with your grandmother in Studio City, then you're eligible to be a member. You can bring things to our attention to work on it."

With a background as a lawyer and an engineer, Dymond says he has an analytical way of looking at things for the active group that represents 1,400 households and has been around for more than 20 years.

Their issues are diverse, but primarily the things that bother most residents right now are the increased traffic problems, the Los Angeles River and the jets that have a direct flight pattern over community on their way to Burbank's Bob Hope Airport.

"Those jets absolutely create a disruption, they fly right over my house," Dymond says. "The newer jets are not so bad, and they are supposed to stop between 10 at night and 7 in the morning, but we need to work on it some more."

That battle takes them to Democratic U.S. Rep. Howard Berman's office, where they are working on noise abatement issues with airports and changing the angle or climb of the jets as they approach and leave the airport so the noise doesn't echo so much off the hillside.

The Residents Association is also the co-founder that helps run the popular Studio City Farmers Market on Sundays with the Studio City Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The money made by the two nonprofits is split and pumped back into the community for various local benefits.

A local for 17 years hailing from England, Dymond became active in local issues eight years ago. The residents association is affiliated with such groups as Studio City Beautification, which helps plant trees and native plants in public areas, and Save L.A. River Open Space, which is trying to clean up and preserve the Los Angeles River.

The former Studio City Golf and Tennis 16 acres along the river (now Weddington Golf and Tennis) is considering plans for a 200-condo project with 625 parking spaces, but Dymond says he is hoping for a public park, education center and public tennis courts, like the large green space that is Ralphs at Ventura Boulevard and Vineland Avenue on the east side of the community.

"We used to have a lot of public tennis courts, and we won't have them if these are gone," Dymond says. "We're hoping that this will be a place for the river to be cleaned up and then pumped back in."

The city is under a mandate to clean up the Los Angeles River, and the Residents Association see this as a natural place to do so, as they have down river in Glendale, Atwater Village and other communities.

Los Angeles City Council members Paul Krekorian and Tom LaBonge, who represent the area, support expanding the riverbanks for bike trails and cleaning up the water.

Other traffic concerns stem from the proposed expansions around Universal Studios and the proposed new Equinox Gym at the Sportsmen's Lodge.

A stickler for detail and accuracy, Dymond says, "I was concerned that the new owners of the Sportsmen's Lodge would simply tear down this historic place, with all the oak paneling and charm inside. Have you seen it?"

He adds, "And, of course, there are some historical accuracies that are just rumors about the place. For example, it's rumored that Robert F. Kennedy stayed there the night before his assassination, and that's just not true."

The Residents Association new board includes park activist Mark Batterman and newsletter editor Bonnie Goodman as executive vice presidents, Claudia Freedie as administrative vice president, Connie Elliot as secretary and Laura McKinzie as treasurer.

"We have a nice glossy newsletter that people really like better than reading it online, and Bonnie does a good job with it, and I don't edit her, I let her do what she wants, except for touching my column," Dymond says.

The Studio City Residents Association costs as little as $10 for seniors, $25 per household (for everyone in the house), up to $500 or more for the President's Circle membership.

The next meeting is Sept. 14 at the Beverly Garland Hotel, 4222 Vineland Ave. For more info check out www.StudioCityResidents.org.

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