THE VIEW FROM BLAIR HILLS
The Blair Hills Association March, 2005 Edited by Bobbi Gold
BLAIR HILLS GENERAL MEETING
THURSDAY, MARCH 10, 2005
OHR ELIYAHU ACADEMY
5950 STONEVIEW DRIVE
1. C.C. Public Works Director Charles Herbertson will discuss landslide issues as they might affect Blair Hills. Surely all of us are concerned about this!
2. MTA representatives will update us on the bus depot to be built on Jefferson Blvd.
3. Updates on other issues of neighborhood concern.
March 8 Election Polling Location Error
Mim Shapiro, Blair Hills precinct inspector, sends this alert:
The official sample ballot for the Tue Mar 8 2005 Election is in error. Our correct official polling location is at Vera Ford's home, 3845 Ver Halen Ct, the same place as the previous Blair Hills elections. PLEASE DISREGARD THE SAMPLE BALLOT DESIGNATION. IT IS AN ERROR. Officials have said that they will mail post cards to all Blair Hills registered voters to correct this error. These have not yet arrived, but the correct location is being set up for Tuesday at Ver Halen Ct. Please come there and vote for the Los Angeles Community College District Board Members.
A Message from Mary Ann Greene, BHA President:
Recently, there was a report of a young woman murdered in the Lenawee apartment complex. We are saddened that this would happen, and particularly that it would occur in our neighborhood. Yet, it appears that this tragic, unconscionable act was committed by someone she knew, not a stranger coming into the hills. Statistics generally show that most murders are crimes of passion. Tragically, that seems to hold true. Culver City Police Chief John Montanio, whom you met at our October Blair Hills community meeting, was quick to offer additional patrols, and assures the community that every apparatus for investigation is in play. The Blair Hills community is as safe as ever.
On a different but equally important note, the weather has been of great concern, as are the resultant landslides in Culver Crest. Many eyes are watching Blair Hills, as well. You may have noticed that the park rangers are patrolling the community, watching for signs of slippage that untrained eyes may not see. Also, public works crews have been out in the area. During the first big rain, the Culver City Fire Dept. battalion chief was out with his men and the county crew, working on the overflow catch basin behind the Blair Hills park.
We are greatly disheartened that our Culver Crest neighbors have suffered such devastating landslides. Let us all help our neighbors in whatever way we can. One very effective way you can help, is by writing to our congresswoman urging her to ask President Bush to extend the date of the federal disaster declaration, so that Culver Crest residents can be eligible for FEMA funds. Please write your letters as quickly as possible, and include your address, phone no., and indicate how close you are to the landslide.. Letters should be addressed to Congresswoman Diane E. Watson, U. S. House of Representatives 4322 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 302, Los Angeles, Ca 90010 You may fax the letters to: (310) 965-1113.
Just another gentle reminder! If you have not created your personal emergency pack, please consider doing so, and leaving it either in your car, near an exit, or someplace else on your property which you know you can access, should anything unforeseen happen. Things to put in your case: a change of clothing, tooth brush, canned goods and manual can opener, water (lots of water), flash lights and batteries, a battery operated radio, shoes that will protect your feet from glass shards, food for the pet, and your children’s or grandchildren’s favorite toy, book, play set, etc., something he or she can hold tightly during the ordeal. Blair Hills is grateful for those neighbors who took advantage of the CERT training last year.
If you have an emergency that you believe is connected to the Baldwin Hills scenic overlook, call 911. The Culver City police/fire department will respond or immediately connect to State Parks emergency service, who will then dispatch a ranger.
Join the Blair Hills E-Mail List!
The Blair Hills e-mail list now provides occasional significant information about our neighborhood and Culver City matters that affect us. Recent topics covered have included the new View Preservation Ordinance, Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook issues, and buckled sidewalks. We urge all Blair Hills residents with e-mail to join the list. You may not be interested in every single topic, but undoubtedly some of them will concern you. The "View" comes out only a few times each year. Ignorance may not be bliss when the facts you didn't know hit you. This is a controlled list: only Mary Ann Greene, Jon Melvin and Bobbi Gold can send out messages, not everyone in Blair Hills with a complaint.
To join, send your e-mail address to the Blair Hills webmaster, Jon Melvin by email; We promise not to sell your e-mail address to spammers! If you are dissatisfied, you can always ask Jon to remove you. If you have information or a question you would like to direct to the list, please email it to Jon or to Bobbi Gold.
View Preservation Ordinance
The City of Culver City is considering an ordinance to resolve disputes between neighbors due to trees blocking views. It would apply primarily in Blair Hills and the Culver Crest neighborhoods. Planning staff and the Planning Commission have reviewed initial drafts and sent a revised version to the Council in February. Out of consideration for the problems of homeowners on Tellefson and Cranks Rds who have suffered slide damage, the Council postponed consideration of the item.
Following are some of the main provisions of the draft ordinance:
1. The ordinance deals only with views unreasonably blocked by trees, not buildings or structures.
2. It applies only in Blair Hills and the Culver Crest neighborhoods, and it applies to uphill, downhill and horizontal views.
3. "View holders" would be able to take action only to restore views which existed at the time they bought or occupied the property. Proof of the view would be required. The ordinance would NOT apply to views created after purchase when an existing tree is removed.
4. The City would not enforce the ordinance. The ordinance provides only a procedure of up to four steps, starting with neighborly discussions, followed by voluntary mediation, mandatory arbitration if accepted, and finally litigation if nothing else works.
5. The ordinance acknowledges the important functions of trees (shade, privacy, soil retention, wildlife habitat, attractiveness, etc.) which could affect the outcome of a dispute.
6. Criteria for determining appropriate action to restore the view include the purpose of the tree (such as privacy, shade, slope stabilization, creation of habitat, beautification of property) and the nature of the tree itself. Types of restorative action include trimming, thinning, topping, removal with or without replacement plantings, or no action. Any type of view restoration must be done in accordance with professional arborist standards.
7. The ordinance would not apply to trees on public property (parks, street trees).
8. The ordinance addresses apportionment of costs of mediation, arbitration or litigation and any restorative actions performed on the trees.
Hopefully, the City will again send out post cards to all BH residents when the Council is next ready to consider the matter. If this issue affects you, you might want to obtain a copy of the draft from the Planning Staff (Susan Yun, 253-5755) and submit comments or attend the Council meeting.
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Access from Wrightcrest Drive
Many Blair Hills residents have grown accustomed to hiking the new Scenic Overlook by entering at the top of Wrightcrest Drive. To deal with problems caused by some inconsiderate visitors at night, the Park Rangers are installing a gate which will be open during daylight hours and closed at night. It will also be closed during the day until the installation work is complete. Rain will affect that.
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