SoRo Neighborhoods Council" wins long fought battle!
In 1999 when the voters of Los Angeles passed Charter reform, many new concepts were introduced.
One of the biggest changes that would take place is the development of Neighborhood Councils throughout the city and the creation of a new Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) to help implement these Neighborhood Councils.
Another change is the dissolution of the Board of Zoning Appeals as we know it, and the creation of a number of Area
Planning Commissions (APC) throughout the city region which would hear local issues and make local decisions. The Charter mandated that there would be no less than 5 of these APC's. Over the past
several months there have been numerous public meetings of the Planning Department to hear public input on these APC boundaries.
The Planning Dept. used approximately 35 existing Community Plans (that are 30+ years old) as a layover foundation for the proposed APCs. Much of public input was that these Community Plans are outdated and do not represent communities as they are today, therefore, the proposed boundaries for these APC's are inaccurate and many felt that more were needed for true representation. The Planning Department proposed that there be 7 APC's throughout the city region.
The South Robertson Neighborhoods Council (SoRo) boundaries are part of 3 Community Plans (The Baldwin
Hills-Leimert Plan, The Wilshire Plan, and The West Los Angeles Plan) and in turn are part of 3 proposed Area Planning Commissions. As a community we felt our interests would be better served to be
part of one APC, not 3 different APC's. Which means, when issues come up that effect our area in terms of conditional use permits, development issues, whatever the Board of Zoning Appeals use to handle,
we now would have to go to 3 different commissions to state our point and address our support or concern, rather than one. Many of us on the SoRo Board of Directors felt that it was not the best solution
After attending many meetings and hearings with the Planning Department, PLUM Committee (Planning and Land
Management), and the Ad Hoc Committee for Charter implementation, and stating our position over and over again, it was agreed upon by PLUM that SoRo should be part of one Community Plan and thereby into
one APC rather than three and advised the Ad Hoc Committee of same.
On February 23, 2000, this issue was presented to the L.A. City Council by the Ad Hoc Committee on Charter
Implementation, and Councilman Mike Feuer who spoke on behalf of SoRo. The recommendations for City Council action were to direct the Planning Dept. to:
"Immediately take the necessary steps to include the South Robertson Neighborhood in one Community Plan
and thereby into the jurisdiction of one APC rather than three different APC's."
City Council agreed and passed the recommendation. We are currently working with Councilman Feuer's office to see that these recommendations are implemented by the Planning Dept.
Needless to say, it will take some time before this action is in practice. However, the Planning Dept. has agreed to provide us with one liaison person to work with us regarding any issues that might occur during this transition time.
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