Thursday, July 30, 2015

TORTUOSO WAY PROJECT UPDATE FROM PRESIDENT RON HUDSON

Dear Bel-Air Community,

I informed you last week that this project is seeking environmental and 
haul-route approvals to export 60,000 cubic yards of dirt. We understand that misinformation has recently been circulated that incorrectly represents the amount as 55,000 cubic yards. The precise number is 59,920, which is clearly not the substantially lower number of 55,000 that has been misreported.

We will continue to be transparent with you on all of the conditions that we seek on any approvals, by posting our specific written comments on our blog. We will also continue to be transparent with you if any contributions are made to Project Pothole by the developers in exchange for any support from the Bel-Air Association. 

Please remember that all contributions to Project Pothole go directly to the City to share in the cost of repairing our streets, so that the City makes our streets a priority for its overdue maintenance.  None of the contributions to Project Pothole go to the Bel-Air Association for any purpose, not even for legal fees.

Our Land Use Team always solicits your feedback and thoughts, so that we can take them into account as we prepare our comments in response to this and the other major projects that continue to excessively overburden our community.

Very truly yours,
Ron Hudson
President


11005 BELLAGIO PLACE UPDATE-PRESIDENT RON HUDSON

Dear Bel-Air Community,

Today the City published a Mitigated Negative Declaration ("MND”) for a proposed project at 11005 Bellagio Place.  The notice is available at:  http://planning.lacity.org/eir/publication/Pub_073015.htm#3665 and the full notice can be read at:  http://cityplanning.lacity.org/staffrpt/mnd/ENV-2014-3665.pdf.  

The proposed project includes demolition of a home currently on site and construction of a 2 story, 30 foot tall, single family home including a swimming pool and motor court.  The project proposes to export approximately 9,000 cubic yards of dirt.  Anyone may submit comments on the MND.  

Comments can be mailed to Darlene Navarrete at darlene.navarrete@lacity.org or by fax to 213.978.1343.  

Comments are due by August 19th at 5pm.

As always, there is a lot of development activity in our neighborhood at this time.  

The Bel-Air Association will carefully review each MND and comment as necessary as to appropriate conditions that will benefit the directly impacted neighbors.  

If you are a directly impacted neighbor on any of the active projects in our community, our Land Use Team would welcome your feedback and thoughts so that we are certain to take your thoughts into consideration as we prepare these comment letters.  

Very truly yours, 
Ron Hudson
President


Thursday, July 23, 2015

TORTUOSO PROJECT MND UPDATE FROM PRESIDENT RON HUDSON


The City today published a proposed mitigated negative declaration (“MND”) for the project on Tortuoso Way, across from the Hotel Bel-Air.

The published notice is available at:  http://planning.lacity.org/eir/publication/Pub_072315.htm#3918

The 73-page MND that the City is proposing to adopt is available at http://cityplanning.lacity.org/staffrpt/mnd/ENV-2014-3918.pdf

The project proposes to export 60,000 cubic yards of dirt on our already abused roads, for the construction of 3 residences that range in size from 43,000 square feet to 53,000 square feet.

We are, of course, extremely concerned about the potential impacts of a project like this on our community, particularly those living on and using Stone Canyon, Copa de Oro and connecting streets. 

We are carefully studying this MND and all aspects of the proposed project and will submit comments detailing our concerns. We are also following their request for a haul route permit and intend to publicly comment on that as well.

Anyone may submit comments on the MND, and we would encourage you to do so. Comments can be emailed to Darlene Navarrete at darlene.navarrete@lacity.org
or by fax to Ms. Navarrete at 213-978-1343. 

Comments are due by August 14, 2015. (We recommend that all comments be submitted by 5:00 p.m.)

Friday, July 17, 2015

DWP Trunk Line Update from President Ron Hudson



Dear Bel-Air Association Neighbors, 

On Wednesday of this week we met with members of Councilman Koretz’s office to continue our dialogue on the LADWP trunk line project.  

The work on Phase 1, the portion of the trunk line impacting Sunset Boulevard, will be finished and complete next week. The water line connection has already been made. The trench is almost completely backfilled. And by mid-next week LADWP will be complete and moving to Phase 2 on Hilgard.  

The work undertaken by LADWP, LADOT and the Council Office to make sure that all of our concerns were addressed has been astounding. Phase 1 was completed 4-6 weeks ahead of the original schedule, and 1-2 days ahead of the aggressive schedule they identified just 1 month ago. 

They completed this work with minor inconvenience and total transparency. We have been engaged and in the loop at every milestone and they’ve proven that with diligence and a commitment to communication these types of improvements can be handled with minimal impact on the surrounding community.

Moving forward, they’ve set a very high bar for engagement between the community and the city – we hope to hold them to this standard.

As of next week, work will commence on Hilgard. This portion, identified in previous updates as “Phase 2”, will be a similar 30-45 day period. It will lead to Phase 3 which will complete sometime in November.

We will maintain an ongoing dialogue with the Council Office, LADWP and LADOT to ensure that the level of communication we saw on Phase 1 is adhered to, and that they continue to limit any impacts on our community.  


Thursday, July 16, 2015

1200 Bel-Air Road Dirt-Hauling Comments Submitted - Land Use

One of our Bel-Air Association Board Members has submitted comments in response to the mitigated negative declaration (MND) that the City recently published for comment under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). 

The proposed project includes a haul route for the export of 8,300 cubic yards of dirt. (The recent interim control ordinance’s (ICO) limitation to 6,000 cubic yards does not appear to apply to this project because the permits appear to have been applied for before the ICO went into effect.)

The comments call the City’s attention to the need to impose many important restrictions on the proposed dirt hauling in order to reduce the impact on the health, safety and welfare of our community. 

Among the necessary restrictions are:

(1) Permitting only 1 hauling truck at a time in Bel-Air. 

(2) Requiring placards on each truck to identify the associated project. 

(3) Limiting the hours of hauling activity to 9-3 on weekdays.  

Below is the two page communication enclosed for your review.

We will provide updates on this project as we learn of them. We will also continue to monitor this and other projects that are affecting the health, safety and welfare of our community.

Please let us know if you have any additional questions.






Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Annual Meeting 2015 Recap and Community Update from President Ron Hudson

Dear Bel-Air Association Members and Residents,

I write to further update you on our Association Annual Meeting that was held on June 30, 2015 and, as presented at the meeting, what your Bel-Air Association is doing for you and our community.

Board Election
The new Board was elected at the Annual Meeting by a quorum of our members in accordance with the Bylaws. The Executive Committee selected the candidates that were recommended and presented to the membership before the vote. All notices, voting procedures, proxies, and other matters relating to the Annual Meeting and the Board Vote complied with all legal requirements according to the Bylaws.

Our Board members serve as volunteers. They are dedicated to maintaining and improving our community in many ways through our Association.

Out-of-Scale Development and Land Use Issues
As everyone is aware, our community has been inundated by a myriad of development projects, many of them monstrosities. The impacts on our community from the out-of-scale sizes and excessive construction equipment on our narrow roads has been overwhelming and unacceptable. There are restrictions in the original land deeds in western parts of Bel Air that give the Association authority over things like building designs and signs. Similar deed restrictions have unfortunately expired in the eastern area of Bel-Air, where most of the development impacts are being felt, and where the homeowners in 1999 chose not to renew any restrictions. The Association therefore has no authority in that area.

Although the City is the only authority that approves development in the eastern area, the Association has still been a strong voice in opposition to numerous harmful projects. I and other board members have personally attended several City hearings on projects in the last year and have spoken out in opposition to projects that are harmful to our community.

We regularly work with our Councilmember’s office to get the City to improve our neighborhood. Recent results include (1) working with our Councilmember’s office to include Bel-Air in a properly drafted interim control ordinance (“ICO”) to restrict dirt hauling to 6,000 cubic yards on new projects, (2) getting sufficient traffic control officers and signs placed on the freeway for the DWP project at Copa de Oro, and (3) quickly painting the curb red on Moraga to get rid of the “maids” van.

We worked with our Councilmember’s office to correct the wording of the final version of the ICO to limit dirt hauling to 6,000 cubic yards in Bel Air. 

The version that the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management (“PLUM”) Committee heard on February 24, 2015 contained a drafting flaw that would have actually encouraged dirt hauling export, because it would have counted on-site dirt balancing within the limit. 

We wholeheartedly supported the corrected version that was heard by PLUM on March 17, 2015 and enacted as the final ICO. (We explained this in our March 18, 2015 blog post.)

Project Pothole
The City is the only entity that can maintain our streets. When the City reduced its public works employees and stopped maintaining our streets during the recession, we reached out to the City to ask how we could help get our streets maintained. The City told us that if we would pay for half of the cost of street maintenance projects, the City would get those projects done. 

We therefore created Project Pothole and solicited donations from the community, but we unfortunately did not receive significant donations. Project Pothole has therefore had limited success. Because of the lack of community donations, we have sought on some dirt hauling projects to get the developers to donate to this program. 

The Bel-Air Association has never received any monies from developers for this program.  Again, all of the funds given to this program are paid to the City to maintain our streets

None of the funds go to or are used by the Bel-Air Association for any purpose.

Transparency
The Bel-Air Association strives for transparency. Our IRS Form 990 is available on our blog. (More information on our blog is below). Members can also meet with our Treasurer, Mr. Charles Beckman, upon appointment if they would like to review our 990 Financial Statements with him. Above all, if you have any questions about the Bel-Air Association, please call and ask so that we may answer them for you.

Please Subscribe to Our Bel-Air Blog
Transparency is best achieved by our frequent communications to you, which we make regularly on our blog post at http://www.belaironline.org/. We regularly post news like traffic alerts, construction alerts and upcoming development projects and hearings.  Please sign-up to receive an email around 5:00 p.m. with each day’s blog posts. All that you need to do is enter your email address under “FOLLOW US BY EMAIL” and then click on “Subscribe me!”

We Need Your Support and Participation
Our Officers and Board of Directors are all volunteers. Our organization relies on supportive volunteer members and modest annual dues of $295.00 to inform you of developments, traffic alerts (e.g., DWP traffic closures, LAPD crime updates, and presidential visits), construction projects and City project hearings and deadlines.

We also need your support to organize opposition at hearings to inappropriate projects and to support beneficial land-use reforms that will have long-term impacts on our community.

The Bel-Air Association has been in existence for 73 years. Please help us to continue growing it to maintain and improve the quality of life in our community. 

Sincerely yours,

Ron Hudson
Bel-Air Association President

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Bel-Air Association Financial Filing - Statement 990





The Bel~Air Association's Form 990 Tax Return Filing has been available to our members and the general public through guidestar.com, however, our Board of Directors requested that such filings also be posted on our Bel~Air Blog so that all members have quick and easy access to such documents and information. Below please find our 990 Tax Return Filing from 5/31/2014. We will post our 5/31/2015 990 Tax Return Filing as soon as it is available.

CLICK ON EACH PAGE IMAGE TO ENLARGE