Congrats El Sereno

CONGRATULATIONS El Sereno residents !!!

Against l o n g odds the Los Angeles City Council has voted in open session on June 20th to order Mesa Verde Developments to get a subsequent/supplemental Environmental Impact Report for the Pueblo Avenue Subdivision or Tract 35022 in Elephant Hills. Councilmember Jose Huizar spoke passionately against the project as it is proposed today, using a long outdated EIR and tract map approval as grounds to take a closer look at the plan. Councilmember Ed Reyes who was the only other dissenting vote along with Antonio Villaraigosa, then CD14 Councilman when the project was approved back in July of 2004 and continued to vote with the community in opposition of the badly flawed plan. The biggest surprise of the day was Councilmember Tom LaBonge of the 4th Council District who called the developer to the carpet several times during the heated Council meeting where testimony was heard from representatives on both sides of the issue including the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, The Audubon Society, The Natural Resources Defense Council, The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority in addition Aubrey White of City Project and concerned residents spoke for a new EIR. The hired guns or I should say 'tired' guns from Mesa Verde a.k.a. Southwest Diversified were left stammering about slope density and stability issues brought up by Councilman LaBonge, who asked [to no avail] for, among other things: the developer to contract a new EIR voluntarily, to which the 'council for the applicant' (Mesa Verde) Ben Reznic replied from the gallery with a resounding 'NO'. Councilman LaBonge went as far as to ask the 'applicant' to deed some of the surrounding properties to the city as openspace to which Mr. Resnic' answer was inaudible. Then came the million dollar question, 'Are you planning on building out the remaining openspace in Elephant Hills?' Councilman LaBonge demanded answers and got them, Ben Reznic admitted 'yes' the remaining hillsides were going to be piece meal add on's but tried to ease the concerns of residents about obvious cumulative impact by detailing the approval process and complaining about how arduous it will be for his client to get approvals for the additional 60+ homes he plans on building by adding to the original Tract 35022. If it weren't so dead serious an issue the tap dance that Mesa Verde is doing to avoid doing a full EIR would be funny. Developers had not one, [Kevin McDonnell] but two [Ben Reznic] high powered attorneys sitting around city hall for hours waiting to speak to this issue only to find that when they finally got to speak they probably did more harm than good. All the while Paul Feilberg a.k.a. Mesa Verde a.k.a. Southwest Diversified a.k.a. Monterey Hills Partners had to sit and listen to eighteen years of making payoffs, filing lawsuits, and threats and bribes and everything else that has gone into this project-stew blow up in an 8-2 City Council vote to insure further environmental review of Tract 35022, the Pueblo Avenue subdivision in El Sereno's Elephant Hills. SCORE ONE FOR THE UNDERDOG !!

City Council votes on item 26 on the June 20th agenda:
For further environmental studies to be performed for Tract
35022 the Pueblo Avenue subdivision in El Serenos Elephant
Janice Hahn CD 15 (213) 473-7015
Jose Huizar CD 14 (213) 473-7014
Tom LaBonge CD 04 (213) 473-7004
Bernard Parks CD 08 (213) 473-7008
Ed Reyes CD 01 (213) 473-7001
Bill Rosendahl CD 11 (213) 473-7011
Dennis Zine CD 03 (213) 473-7003
Eric Garcetti CD 13 (213) 473-7013

Jack Weiss CD 05 (213) 473-7005
Greig Smith CD 12 (213) 473-7012

Herb Wesson CD 10
Jan Perry CD 09
Wendy Greuel CD 02
Tony Cardenas CD 06
Richard Alarcon CD 07

Every YES vote deserves our humble gratitude the two 'NO' votes should be
looked at very closely now and next election cycle and the absentees should
get their @sses back to work.

The long struggle to protect the residents of El Sereno from unscrupulous developers is one step closer to success, But the fight is not over, we must stay prepared to mobilize at any time to attend the oncoming landslide of public hearings and planning department meetings which will result from this historic City Council action. Stay tuned to the Save Elephant Hills blog at :
Direct questions to:

Thank one and all who have committed countless hours of hard work to make this huge victory possible, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU...

Casey Reagan

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