The City Planning Commission approved Councilmember LaBonge's proposal to preserve the scale of hillside neighborhoods by limiting the over-sized expansion, or mansionization, of homes.
The measure, which establishes new formulas to limit the mass of hillside homes to keep them in line with the surrounding neighborhood, had been developed over the past four years. To see the proposed ordinance, click here. After a very long public hearing, the Planning Commission unanimously approved this ordinance. The Planning and Land Use Committee is expected to hear the ordinance in June; it will be heard by the full Council some time in July.
Councilmember LaBonge applauded the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding the city's ban on new supergraphic signage throughout Los Angeles.
The Court upheld the City's 2002 ban on any new off-site and supergraphic signs, which had been violated by several companies.
The decision, which reverses a decision by U.S. District Judge Audrey B. Collins two years ago, also upheld the city's right to create special districts where supergraphics are appropriate to the character of the neighborhood, such as the existing Hollywood sign district.
"I'm pleased and proud of the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office for ultimately prevailing in this case," said Councilmember LaBonge. "This is a victory for people who don't want 40-foot high signs outside their kitchen windows. I'm not against supergraphics; they're terrific in the appropriate locations. This decision allows the city that flexibility."
Councilmember Tom LaBonge is joined by representatives from the Los Angeles’ police department, fire department, the Department of Water and Power and the Department of Transportation for the City Employee Memorial at Fire Station 27, May 27, 8:30 a.m. In correlation to the national Memorial Day, this service will honor Los Angeles City employees who have lost their lives while on duty.
“We celebrate every Memorial Day in tribute to those who lost their lives in service to this country,” Councilmember LaBonge said. “The employees we remember today have paid the ultimate sacrifice while in service to us, Angelenos. We will always remember them and their dedication to the City.”
"I am privileged to join Councilmember LaBonge in paying tribute to the brave City employees, including 218 LADWP workers, who have given their lives in service to Los Angeles. Their loss is beyond measure and their contributions are not to be forgotten."
Councilmember LaBonge began the City Employee Memorial Commemoration in 2008 as a day of remembrance and healing for city employees and their families. Today marks the commemoration’s third year.
Also joining him at the event were Steve Nutter, Commissioner of the Board of Public Works; Lt. Carl Jones, Dept. of Transportation Parking Enforcement; Los Angeles Police Dept. Commander Andrew Smith and Hollywood Division Captain Peter Wittingham as well as Los Angeles Fire Department Deputy Chief Emil Mack and Battalion Chief Ronnie Villanueva.
Councilmember LaBonge joined Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Councilmember Bill Rosendahl today to commemorate the completion of the Tom Bradley International Terminal Renovation Project at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
The $746.4-million project was designed to make traveling through the terminal safer, faster and more convenient for passengers, while giving a warm Southern California welcome to arriving international visitors.
The significant changes are expected to help LAX retain its competitiveness as the premier West Coast international gateway, especially to the fast-growing Asia-Pacific Region.
“The Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport is the first and last impression 10 million annual travelers have of Los Angeles," said Mayor Villaraigosa. "This project improves the travelers' experience as they pass through LAX, while enhancing passenger safety by reducing congestion in the airline check-in lobbies and on the curbside."
Added Councilmember LaBonge, President of Los Angeles Sister Cities, Inc., "This terminal now welcomes to Los Angeles the almost 8 million international passengers who arrive at LAX each year. I'm sure the late, great Mayor Tom Bradley was smiling down on this ceremony from the friendly skies.” Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, whose 11th District includes LAX said, “It is important that we provide a safer, greener, more modern and efficient airport for our traveling public. These renovations at the Tom Bradley Terminal do just that.” The project arrived at LAX on time and under budget.
Councilmember Tom LaBonge joined skateboarder Rob Dyrdek - star of MTV’s Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory – along with 7-Eleven® stores representative Koorosh Sharhokh and hundreds of skateboarders to celebrate the grand opening of a new state-of-the-art Skate Plaza at North Hollywood Park.
“Parks are extremely important, but I’m following my 12-year-old son Charles who was a community activist for this park,” said Councilmember LaBonge. “We are very grateful to Rob Dyrdek and 7-Eleven for their passion, energy and commitment to this great addition to North Hollywood Park.”
The Rob Dyrdek Safe Spot Skate Spot in North Hollywood officially opened at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 18. Dyrdek and friends demonstrated street skateboarding moves for students from nearby East Valley High School to inaugurate the Skate Plaza. Visitors also scored free exclusive 7-Eleven Wild Grinders giveaways like cups, T-shirts, key chains and more.
A $250,000 donation from 7-Eleven to the Rob Dyrdek Foundation helped Dyrdek realize his vision for this skate park. Councilmember LaBonge and the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks worked together to secure an additional $250,000 in funds to complete construction and landscaping improvements for the new public facility. The Recreation and Parks funds came from Quimby funding from developers of nearby condominium projects.
Kevin Regan, Assistant General Manager for the Department of Recreation and Parks and Cynthia Ruiz, Chair of the Board of Public Works, were also on hand for the ribbon-cutting.
On Monday, the City Council approved a $6.7 billion budget for fiscal 2010-2011. It includes as many as 1,761 layoffs of city employees, reductions in city services and some fee increases, while maintaining current police staffing levels.
The dramatic service and staffing reductions are a response to declines in property and sales tax revenue over the past several quarters.
Councilmember LaBonge supported the budget and felt the Council made difficult choices that had to be made.
Tired of sitting in traffic?
Bowled over by the price of gasoline?
Yearning to shrink your carbon footprint?
Why not use your bike to commute to work starting now, today, the first day of Bike to Work Week? Councilmember LaBonge joined transit officials and bike activists this morning in the kick-off ceremony for the biggest cycling advocacy week of the year.
Right now, just 1 percent of trips in Los Angeles county are made on bicycle but Metro, which has invested close to $200 million in bike facilities and programs, hopes to boost that percentage. Besides direct investment in bike related projects, the expanding network of Metro buses and trains means more cyclists can use public transit to carry them part of their trip.
Both Metro and the Dept. of Transportation are offering free rides on Thursday, May 20th to anyone riding a bike or carrying a bike helmet. For more information, click here.
Councilmember LaBonge convened a public safety meeting in Silver Lake Wednesday night in response to a series of recent burglaries in the area. More than 100 residents filled the auditorium at Ivanhoe Elementary School to hear news from the Los Angeles Police Department.
Captains William Murphy and Dave Lindsey, commanding officers for the LAPD's Northeast Division, asked the public for help tracking down leads on 15 burglaries between April 11 and May 11 in the area between Glendale Boulevard on the east and Hyperion and Fountain avenues on the west. Other burglaries had been reported in adjacent neighborhoods as well.
The suspects are young men, possibly teenagers. They are stealing items they can carry and easily conceal. Councilmember LaBonge's home was one of those that was burglarized.
Police expect to release a composite sketch of the suspects next week. It will be posted here as soon as it is available.
In a related incident from last year, the captains announced that two young men arrested last February in a series of street robberies in Silver Lake and Echo Park had been convicted as adults and sent to prison.
Anyone with information about the recent burglaries are urged to call the Northeast Division at (213)485-2563. For information on how to protect your home, please click here.