July 20th, 2016

Keeping Development from Overwhelming Our Neighborhood

No one needs reminding that the revitalization of Hollywood has moved south to the borders of Hancock Park. Now the sleepy Melrose border is alive with new construction and Wilshire Blvd.’s Miracle Mile is changing its character from primarily low impact business offices to condominiums and other housing. Growth can be a benefit for everyone, but and that’s where we are now … but … without thoughtful input from neighbors, fair and appropriate regulation and enforcement of the law developers will build, leave and stick us with the mess.

The Association has been working with other neighborhood groups on mitigating the impact of two large developments on Hancock Park’s border. The Farmer’s Insurance property on Wilshire Blvd been sold and the new owners will build condominiums and houses. The developers, working with neighbors, have developed a reasonable plan to balance this new residential activity with the surrounding residential neighborhoods.

Melrose Avenue does not enjoy the same protection that The Park Mile Plan provides for Wilshire and the proposed redevelopment of the Paramount Studios property will have a major impact. Paramount’s first proposal to construct new parking structures, a new office tower and to install electronic billboards creating an Electronic Sign District was not approved at the recent City Planning Commission meeting. City staff, the Council Office, and everyone near this site were successful in scaling back such overwhelming development and raising Paramount’s contribution to traffic mitigation by $500,000.

The work done by you, your neighbors and your Association show that it is possible to have constructive input into large developments. Now, more than ever, it’s important that all of us stay aware of any proposed changes, hearing requests or construction in the areas surrounding Hancock Park. Your participation in writing letters and attending hearings is critical to keeping the residential/commercial balance right for all of us.

The Association’s Committees are always looking for new members to so join a committee by visiting our website and be an active part of our community. The HPOZ Preservation Plan -http://www.preservation.lacity.org/hpoz/la/hancock-park regulates our HPOZ. Contact our City Planner, Renata Dragland (renata.dragland@lacity.org), and use the online form (http://preservation.lacity.org/hpoz/initial.screening.checklist) if you plan on making changes to the exterior of your house. Report graffiti sightings by calling 311 or at the City’s Anti-Graffiti Request System – http://anti-graffiti.lacity.org/welcome.cfm?CFID=1007&CFTOKEN=411CDB4F-0FC3-4EE1-89DE58DCCB435538 and by calling Hollywood Beautification, 323-463-5180.

April 13th, 2016

Keeping Hancock Park Green, Clean and Safe

The Association has completed another successful elm tree planting as part of the Tree Committee’s project to renew Hancock Park’s beautiful elm forest. Trees, like all living things, have a life span and Hancock Park’s elms are reaching the end of theirs. The Tree Committee has removed dead trees, stumps and replanted with a mixture of American Elms, the original elm, and Frontier Elms, a newer, hardier, more drought tolerant variety. Given the unpredictability of rainfall and temperature ranges, the Committee decided to add to the variety to ensure the survival of our arbor.

Councilman David Ryu’s Office has been making a concerted effort to clean up neighborhoods of trash, graffiti and items dumped illegally. Just take a look at the cleanup done at the corner of Lillian Way and Melrose, where the council office cleaned up years’ worth of garbage and erased graffiti on the walls. Working with the LA Conservation Corps the council office has a website where you can request a cleanup – http://davidryu.lacity.org/clean_streets?utm_campaign=w_10&utm_campaign=w_15&utm_medium=email&utm_medium=email&utm_source=davidryucc&utm_source=davidryucc .

Unfortunately, crime is still occurring in Hancock Park. Please remember to lock your house, car and activate your house alarm if you have one. If you are the unfortunate victim of a crime file a report with our Senior Lead Office, Dave Cordova. Dave can take a crime report if you call his cell phone, 213-793-0650 or send him an email, 31646@lapd.lacity.org. Send him all the information, including your name and telephone number. The Wilshire Division Front Desk can be reached at 213-473-0476 for questions and information.

The Association’s Committees are working hard to keep Hancock Park a great place to live; so join a committee by visiting our website and be an active part of our community. The HPOZ Preservation Plan -http://www.preservation.lacity.org/hpoz/la/hancock-park regulates our HPOZ. Contact our City Planner, Renata Dragland (renata.dragland@lacity.org), and use the online form (http://preservation.lacity.org/hpoz/initial.screening.checklist) if you plan on making changes to the exterior of your house. Report graffiti sightings by calling 311 or at the City’s Anti-Graffiti Request System – http://anti-graffiti.lacity.org/welcome.cfm?CFID=1007&CFTOKEN=411CDB4F-0FC3-4EE1-89DE58DCCB435538 and by calling Hollywood Beautification, 323-463-5180. LAPD, Wilshire Station Front Desk – 213-473-0476

February 26th, 2016

Removing Dead Trees and Planting New Elms

Because Los Angeles continues to suffer from lack of adequate rainfall and falling ground water levels our parkway trees are suffering. Our trees are critical to managing the many environmental challenges facing us including lowering temperatures by providing shade, purifying water and cleaning the air. Trees take much less water than regular landscaping and should be a vital part of any landscaping plans, especially drought tolerant plantings. We just have to keep in mind that trees need regular, deep watering; twice a month. As part of the Association’s commitment to maintaining the health as well as the beauty of Hancock Park we’ve been able to get a firm commitment from the Council Office to remove this year many of the dead parkway trees. In fact, the City has already started on Rossmore. We will then remove the stumps and plant a new healthy tree.

This last month the Association planted new Elm Trees on Rossmore Blvd. While trees live a long time, they don’t live forever and the stately elms and sycamores that make up most of Hancock Park’s arbor are reaching the end of their life span. And the sever water conditions haven’t helped. Drive down Rossmore and take a look at the new trees and imagine how beautiful the summers will be as these elms join their more mature neighbors and continue to shade Rossmore.

The Association’s Committees are always looking for help, so visit the website, see if there is a committee that you’d like to work with and contact us. The HPOZ Preservation Plan -http://www.preservation.lacity.org/hpoz/la/hancock-park regulates our HPOZ. Contact our City Planner, Renata Dragland (renata.dragland@lacity.org), and use the online form (http://preservation.lacity.org/hpoz/initial.screening.checklist) if you plan on making changes to the exterior of your house. Report graffiti sightings by calling 311 or at the City’s Anti-Graffiti Request System – http://anti-graffiti.lacity.org/welcome.cfm?CFID=1007&CFTOKEN=411CDB4F-0FC3-4EE1-89DE58DCCB435538 and by calling Hollywood Beautification, 323-463-5180.

January 26th, 2016

February 2016
The Wilshire Closure – Managing the Disruption

The Purple Line subway construction on Wilshire Blvd. from Highland Avenue to LaBrea Blvd will require an extended closure of Wilshire Blvd. this coming year. Metro has provided residents and business owners with two options for this closure: 1) Seven full weeks; or 2) Sixteen weekends. Our new councilman, David Ryu, is asking his district to tell him what they think so he can represent us to Metro. The Association, along with our area schools, many of the surrounding neighborhood associations and many of the business owners on Wilshire, support the Sixteen Weekend Closure option.

The choice of sixteen weekend closures is the only option that keeps our streets safe for residents and everyone who lives, works and goes to school in Hancock Park. The traffic management plan Metro has proposed, after little true study, will be to divert traffic to Olympic Blvd. and 3rd Street. This represents an increase in commuter traffic of over 40% on our streets; streets already packed during rush hour. Metro will also do no traffic mitigation for interior residential streets, meaning that desperate drivers will be speeding down all of Hancock Park’s streets. Finally, Metro did not study the impact on the over 2,200 children who attend our neighborhood’s schools, many of whom are driven to school or take the bus.

On the bright side there is some good traffic news: The City has approved left-turn arrows in all four directions at the intersection of Melrose and Rossmore/Vine. The first two signals for Rossmore/Vine north and south are budgeted for this coming year. Thanks to our Councilman, David Ryu, and his staff for working on achieving this important milestone.

Don’t forget El Niño is just beginning so signup for Emergency Alerts – http://www.elninola.com/; check out the Emergency Management Website for the City – http://emergency.lacity.org/index.htm and the LA County Preparedness website – https://www.lacounty.gov/elnino.

The Association’s Committees are always looking for help, so visit the website, see if there is a committee that you’d like to work with and contact us. The HPOZ Preservation Plan -http://www.preservation.lacity.org/hpoz/la/hancock-park regulates our HPOZ. Contact our City Planner, Renata Dragland (renata.dragland@lacity.org), and use the online form (http://preservation.lacity.org/hpoz/initial.screening.checklist) if you plan on making changes to the exterior of your house. Report graffiti sightings by calling 311 or at the City’s Anti-Graffiti Request System – http://anti-graffiti.lacity.org/welcome.cfm?CFID=1007&CFTOKEN=411CDB4F-0FC3-4EE1-89DE58DCCB435538 and by calling Hollywood Beautification, 323-463-5180.

January 6th, 2016

Happy New Year – and Now’s the Time to Prepare for El Niño!

The arrival of rains driven by the El Niño weather system are predicted for southern California in January. Be sure you’ve:
• Fixed leaks and clean out gutters and downspouts;
• Paint exterior wood trim as cracks can carry water directly into the wood;
• Check window glazing;
• Store emergency repair materials;
• Check tires, wipers, battery, light and brakes on your car;
• Make sure your yard drains properly;
• Have a ‘health check and risk assessment’ for your trees by an arborist. Because of the drought many trees are stressed and sick.
• Secure important documents.

Check out websites: http://www.water.ca.gov/ – California Department of Water Resources; http://www.ladbs.org – LA Dept of Building and Safety-Homeowners Guide for Flood, Debris Flow and Erosion Control; http://www.ready.gov – National Weather Service, LA County Preparedness – https://www.lacounty.gov/elnino and http://www.aaa.com – 3A’s.

Your new HPHOA Board of Directors are: Patricia Alexander, Tim Allyn, Chris Bubser, Cindy Chvatal, Jennifer DeVore, Indy Flore, Greg Glasser, Peter Gorelick, Susan Grossman, Joel Kozberg, Joanne Medeiros, William Newby, Pam Newhouse, Susan Roth, Cami Taylor, Ben Thompson, Jon Vein, Victoria Vickers, James Wolf. The Board is looking forward to continuing the Association’s work on traffic mitigation, historic preservation, tree planting, and street repair. Join us on a committee!

The HPOZ Preservation Plan -http://www.preservation.lacity.org/hpoz/la/hancock-park regulates our HPOZ. Contact our City Planner, Renata Dragland (renata.dragland@lacity.org), and use the online form (http://preservation.lacity.org/hpoz/initial.screening.checklist) if you plan on making changes to the exterior of your house. Report graffiti sightings by calling 311 or at the City’s Anti-Graffiti Request System – http://anti-graffiti.lacity.org/welcome.cfm?CFID=1007&CFTOKEN=411CDB4F-0FC3-4EE1-89DE58DCCB435538 and by calling Hollywood Beautification, 323-463-5180.

November 23rd, 2015

Subway Construction, Wilshire Closure and Hancock Park
The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has proposed closing Wilshire Blvd. for an extended period of time for subway construction. The community has so far been presented with two options: 1) Close Wilshire Blvd. completely for 7 full weeks; or 2) Close Wilshire Blvd. on weekends for 22 straight weekends. Both of these options will cause enormous disruption to traffic, residential neighborhoods and businesses. The Council Office, along with the Association and other community organizations has been successful in getting the MTA to agree to do Traffic and Noise studies before making a decision. These studies are due to be completed and made available to the community in January of 2016. The Association will then conduct a survey of Hancock Park residents to determine which option we consider most reasonable, and to propose mitigation plans for ensuring that drivers won’t be funneled through our or neighboring communities. With thoughtful planning and preparation it should be possible to direct traffic on to surrounding arteries rather than through residential streets. Please, go to the MTA website (https://www.metro.net/projects/westside/ ) and think through the options so you’ll be ready to vote when the survey invitation appears in your email box.
While the Wilshire Division LAPD and our security services have been successful in lowering the recent increase in crime, it’s important that you keep yourself informed. Subscribe to the LAPD Wilshire Division Twitter Feed – https://twitter.com/LAPDWilshire and keep yourself up to date. Also, if there is a street light out, a sidewalk buckled, a pot hole, or a fallen tree file a Service Request with the City at My 311 – http://lacity.org/myla-311/myla-311-service-request . Councilman Ryu is working with the Association on developing a plan to repair our concrete streets and has promised to address the problems with dead and dying trees.
If you’re thinking of changing the street visible exterior of your house, including hardscaping, find out if your changes are in keeping with our HPOZ. The Hancock Park Preservation Plan (http://www.preservation.lacity.org/hpoz/la/hancock-park) is the legal document that regulates our HPOZ. Read it and then contact our City Planner, Renata Dragland (renata.dragland@lacity.org), and get her input. There is an online form which can start the process: http://preservation.lacity.org/hpoz/initial.screening.checklist . Renata will then help you schedule a consultation with the HPOZ Board, made up of an architect and four of your neighbors. And El Nino is coming, so make sure your house, and yard are prepared – https://www.lacounty.gov/elnino

October 22nd, 2015

HPHA’48 2015 Annual Meeting!

Thanks to the folks at 3rd Street School, Councilman Ryu and his office, the LAPD, and the Tree People for helping make our annual meeting such a success. And, especially, thanks to Hancock Park residents for attending and participating in making our community a great place. Remember to volunteer for a committee!
As anyone who drives the city knows, many neighborhoods are facing wholesale house teardowns replaced by huge, generic construction. That’s why our Hancock Park HPOZ is so important. Because of our HPOZ Hancock Park continues to maintain the unique architectural and historic structures that make us one of the most beautiful places to live in America. If you’re thinking of making changes to the exterior of your house, even ‘small’ changes, find out if your changes are in keeping with our HPOZ. The Hancock Park Preservation Plan (http://www.preservation.lacity.org/hpoz/la/hancock-park) is the legal document that regulates our HPOZ. Read it and then contact our City Planner, Renata Dragland (renata.dragland@lacity.org), and get her input. There is an online form which can start the process: http://preservation.lacity.org/hpoz/initial.screening.checklist . Renata will then help you schedule a consultation with the HPOZ Board, made up of an architect and four of your neighbors. Even if all you have is a vague idea contact Renata and get input. Remember, if your project is not correctly permitted and approved you can be forced to undo the changes at your own expense. The HPOZ Board meets at 6PM on the first and third Wednesdays of every month at the John C. Fremont Branch of the LA Public Library – 6121 Melrose Avenue (at June Street). These meetings are public meetings. The Preservation Plan for Hancock Park can be found at: http://www.hancockparkhomeownersassociation.org/ or http://preservation.lacity.org/hpoz/la/hancock-park ).

And, as the Tree People reminded us at the Annual Meeting, don’t let your trees die; water them deeply twice a month. Our trees are vitally important to our and the environment’s health. Remember, to keep you and your family safe by locking your house and car; not leaving items in plain sight, setting your house alarm (if you have one), and paying attention to any unusual activity. If you think a crime is happening call 911, DO NOT confront someone yourself. Report graffiti sightings by calling 311 or use the City’s Anti-Graffiti System – http://anti-graffiti.lacity.org/welcome.cfm?CFID=1007&CFTOKEN=411CDB4F-0FC3-4EE1-89DE58DCCB435538 or call Hollywood Beautification, 323-463-5180

September 24th, 2015

Join Us At the Annual Meeting!

The HPHOA, est. 1948’s annual meeting will be at 7PM on Tuesday, October 20th at 3rd Street School. Our new Councilman, David Ryu, will be there to talk about Hancock Park’s priorities and how his office will be working with us. Many of the most important issues are already being worked on with the new Councilman’s Office. The Association is looking forward to moving ahead quickly with Councilman Ryu’s office on repaving our concrete streets, tree maintenance, parking, security, and all the other areas important to our neighborhood. The LAPD will talk about safety and how you can keep from becoming a victim of crime. There will be a presentation by a landscaping professional on how to make your yard and gardens more water wise and beautiful and a representative from Tree People will discuss how to care for our trees during the drought . There will also be presentations from Association Committee Chairs about Street Maintenance, Traffic and Historic Preservation and our HPOZ. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend.

The Annual Meeting is also where the election of half of the Board of Directors is announced. Members in good standing, those who have paid their annual dues, will be receiving ballots in the mail. Please mark them and either mail them back or bring them to the Annual Meeting. The candidates nominated by the Board are: Tim Allyn, Greg Glasser, Peter Gorelick, Susan Grossman, William Newby, Cami Taylor, Ben Thompson, Jon Vein, and James Wolf. The profiles of the nominees can be found on the HPHA website.

Many of Hancock Park’s old and stately trees are suffering from the effects of the drought. Please don’t forget to water your trees; even in the drought our trees are vitally important to our and the environment’s health. Remember, to keep you and your family safe by locking your house and car; not leaving items in plain sight, setting your house alarm (if you have one), and paying attention to any unusual activity. If you think a crime is happening call 911, DO NOT confront someone yourself. If you’re considering any changes to the street visible portion of your house, contact our City Planner, Renata Dragland (renata.dragland@lacity.org ) and fill out the online form – http://preservation.lacity.org/hpoz/initial.screening.checklist to start the process. The Preservation Plan for Hancock Park can be found at: http://www.hancockparkhomeownersassociation.org/ or http://preservation.lacity.org/hpoz/la/hancock-park ). Report graffiti sightings by calling 311 or at the City’s Anti-Graffiti Request System – http://anti-graffiti.lacity.org/welcome.cfm?CFID=1007&CFTOKEN=411CDB4F-0FC3-4EE1-89DE58DCCB435538 and by calling Hollywood Beautification, 323-463-5180

July 21st, 2015

Don’t Let Your Trees Die; They Can Save Your Life!

As everyone in California knows we’re still in a severe drought. We’re all cutting back on landscape watering or removing lawns and replacing them with more appropriate plantings. However, this doesn’t mean we should starve our trees of water and let them die. Trees are one of the most important links that keep our planet healthy. They clean the air, the water, the soil, providing food and refuge for birds. They lower temperatures and produce the Oxygen we need to live. To produce this oxygen they take CO2 out of the air, helping to fight climate change. Trees don’t take a lot of water, unlike lawns, but they do need some water. An effective way to keep your trees watered correctly (by deep watering), without wasting water is to use Tree Watering Stakes. These stakes get the water underground and down to the tree roots quickly and efficiently. Please, remember to water your trees, deeply, twice a month. That’s all, and you’ll be keeping the planet cooler, cleaner and more livable.

The LA Department of Building and Safety has launched two new websites for online access to building permits, Certificates of Occupancy and other building authorization documentation. If you have a question about any construction activity in your neighborhood, or if you want to find out if your contractor actually got that permit check these site to see what was approved. The website that describes this new facility is http://ladbs.org/LADBSWeb/online-building-records.jsf . The website for searching records is: http://ladbsdoc.lacity.org/idispublic/ .

Remember, to keep you and your family safe by locking your house and car; not leaving items in plain sight, setting your house alarm (if you have one), and paying attention to any unusual activity. If you think a crime is happening call 911, DO NOT confront someone yourself. If you’re considering any changes to the street visible portion of your house, contact our City Planner, Renata Dragland (renata.dragland@lacity.org ) and fill out the online form – http://preservation.lacity.org/hpoz/initial.screening.checklist to start the process. The Preservation Plan for Hancock Park can be found at: http://www.hancockparkhomeownersassociation.org/ or http://preservation.lacity.org/hpoz/la/hancock-park ). And don’t forget to water your trees. Report graffiti sightings by calling 311 or at the City’s Anti-Graffiti Request System – http://anti-graffiti.lacity.org/welcome.cfm?CFID=1007&CFTOKEN=411CDB4F-0FC3-4EE1-89DE58DCCB435538 and by calling Hollywood Beautification, 323-463-5180

May 26th, 2015

Congratulations to Our New Councilman, David Ryu!

We welcome our new Councilman for Council District 4: David Ryu and congratulate him on his election. We also thank everyone who participated in this election, from attending a community forum, to putting up a lawn sign to voting. We thank all the candidates, particularly Carolyn Ramsey, for giving us real choices and for being willing to face the voters with their ideas. This election, and the primary, took a lot of attention and work from the not just the candidates, but all the community organizations that scheduled debates and other forums. We all win when people participate in their democracy.
In his thank you to his voters Mr. Ryu highlighted the work of neighborhood canvassing done by residents, recognizing how important every citizen is to his election. Longtime CD4 deputy Renee Weitzer will be helping David with his transition and The Association will put a number of issues before our new Councilman: Concrete street replacement and repair, HPOZ enforcement, Traffic mitigation, and Parking relief. We look forward to working with our new councilperson and starting a new chapter in our community’s relationship with the Council Office and City.
As we all know California is now in the fourth year of a terrible drought and many neighbors are looking at their lawns and landscaping and wondering if change may be at hand. Before embarking on an expensive tear-out of lawns and greenery, talk to a landscape architect and get a plan. A good place to start is the California Native Plant Society (http://www.cnps.org/) and the Theodore Payne Foundation (http://theodorepayne.org/) . Also, remember, that as part of Hancock Park’s HPOZ changes to hardscape which may include artificial turf in the visible portion of your property, will need to be reviewed by the HPOZ Board. If you’re considering any changes to the street visible portion of your house, contact our City Planner, Kimberly Henry (kimberly.henry@lacity.org) and fill out the online form – http://preservation.lacity.org/hpoz/initial.screening.checklist to start the process. The Preservation Plan for Hancock Park can be found at: http://www.hancockparkhomeownersassociation.org/ or http://preservation.lacity.org/hpoz/la/hancock-park ).
And don’t forget to water your trees. Drop for drop trees are the most efficient users of water there is. They clean the air, the soil and even the water. They provide shade, lowering temperatures and homes for birds. Trees only take one or two deep waterings a month, so commit yourself to keeping your trees healthy and happy. Report graffiti sightings by calling 311 or at the City’s Anti-Graffiti Request System – http://anti-graffiti.lacity.org/welcome.cfm?CFID=1007&CFTOKEN=411CDB4F-0FC3-4EE1-89DE58DCCB435538 and by calling Hollywood Beautification, 323-463-5180