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Land use-The most knowledgeable person in Studio City?

Land use-The most knowledgeable person in Studio City?
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A reply to a comment made on NextDoor

“Lisa has both friends and detractors, but she is by far the most knowledgeable person in Studio City regarding land use issues.”

Your assertions regarding Ms. Sarkin’s knowledge of land use issues is debatable, as is the question of who benefits most from her knowledge and efforts.

Exhibit one: The Studio City Residential Overlay (Anti-Mansionization Ordinance) which is widely touted as one of her significant achievements.

And yet, the tide of overbuilt single family residential projects is one of the most common and enduring discussions on this board. Why? Because the ordinance penned under Ms. Sarkin’s guidance is so overly complex that a thorough review for compliance would overburden City plan check staff who operate on hourly review limits.

An experienced legislator knows enforcement is the challenge to implementation of any regulation and  an ordinance like Ms. Sarkin’s is toothless without the collection of a special fee for Studio City plan reviews to subsidize an additional time allocation.

The present ordinance without such meaningful enforcement has been a boon to real estate developers and speculators, as they are able to interpret the complexity as it suits them with little actual oversight. As is often the case, we are left with a law that offers only the illusion of protection. Who does such illusory protection serve?

Ms. Sarkin could of course rattle the bars at our Councilman’s office, and perhaps she has. I rather tend to doubt it though, as she seems to be more concerned with pushing through projects supported by Mr. Krekorian – often despite the concerns of her constituency. This does seem something she *is* rather skilled at doing…

So this brings us to the entire election fiasco which shows the same heavy-handed signature of extreme complexity.

Why does Studio City have the most rigorous and demanding voter validation program of all the Neighborhood Councils in Los Angeles? Need we defend ourselves from a hostile take over by residents of Sherman Oaks?

I think not.

Simply put, voter identification programs effectively act to suppress voter participation. When voter participation is suppressed, established power structures and incumbent candidates retain power.



OurStudioCity.org is here to inform and empower residents. Let’s make local government more responsive to local needs. OurStudioCity.org comes from a group of residents fed up with a group of Studio City “elite” making backroom decisions benefiting THEM and not US. OurStudioCity.org is dedicated to sharing vital local information. We will speak the truth no matter how unpleasant it is. OurStudioCity.org will strive to inform. A repository of information. Want to know more about the Harvard Westlake Project? Sportsmen’s Landing Project? Weddington Golf and Tennis? Mansionization? New developments coming to our neighborhood? A place to ask questions, get answers and share what you know. Get informed prior to attending a Neighborhood Council or Residents Association meeting. Come prepared with probing questions for our SCNC and SCRA representatives.

Comments to Land use-The most knowledgeable person in Studio City?

  • Wow…someone doesn’t understand the role of the NCs. The NCs don’t write the law, they only advise the Councilmembers’ offices in their districts. I’m a poll volunteer for this week’s SCNC election. I was at the training meeting conducted by D.O.N.E. (Department of Neighborhood Empowerment), and my understanding of the new documentation requirements for Studio City is that we are changing from in-person only voting to having online voting available. The City of LA requires stakeholders to document their status for online voting.

    Jane Drucker April 4, 2016 2:56 pm Reply
    • Jane: The overlay was written in conjunction with input from the SCNC and various other stakeholders and eventually approved by the SCNC, prior to going to City Council. In fact, if memory serves, you were on the Board at the time all this occurred.

      Not only that, but the major negotiations didn’t start until after the land rapers crammed several of their reps onto the board, thus making it easier to pass the less than useful overlay, once the real protections had been eliminated or neutered.

      As for the current voting requirements, they were decided upon after you resigned, and, for the most part, were initially what your By-Laws chair replacement, Rotorhead, rubber stamped for his puppet master. It was only after a close vote by the Board, that on line voting was approved, that it became a reality, but the Board insisted on documentation, which isn’t necessarily bad. The truth is, we could have had online voting without documentation, but the technophobes on the Board were sure that Studio City is full of people who would be willing to commit multiple federal felonies in order to sway the outcome of the SCNC election.

      The real problem is that various self-important BONC members, in collusion with your typically lazy/incompetent/willfully stupid city workers at the City Clerks office decided what would be the appropriate documentation, whether or not it matched our by-laws, and, furthermore, added requirements to run and/or vote that don’t exist in our by-laws or, worse, contradict them.

      For instance, I applied to run for “At Large”, and provided a federally issued ID, and a recent agenda for the 2 committees I currently participate in, which list me by name as a “stakeholder”. I was denied, because of an extra legal requirement that i prove my residence inside Studio City, a requirement that would have prevented Lisa Cahan Davis from severing the last few years, and one which I was unaware of until after my 48 hour response limit was up. Of course, since I was on the committee with you when our definitions, the same ones DONE has sworn for years they were going to follow and enforce for the election, I had absolutely no reason to expect such a requirement.

      I was also told that I couldn’t vote as a “Residential Homeowner”, as I wasn’t on the tax roll or mortgage, a requirement I’m sure you will remember is the opposite of what we were told when we were crafting the definition. The additional requirements are exclusive, not inclusive.

      Further proof that it’s deliberate sabotage of the process is that the same documentation allowed me to vote on line for At Large. This entire process has been an exercise in third world candidate/voter suppression, chicanery, dishonesty and in general is a farce. It is, however, further proof that the powers that be, having created the NC’s as a sop to their subjects, will now do anything they can to neuter or co-opt any that might not rubber stamp everything downtown wants to do.

      Richard C. Adams April 4, 2016 8:55 pm Reply
  • Hi, Jane, Nice to have you back spinning for the council, again. Everybody chipping in. And since you are a former NC board member who served for many years with Lisa Sarkin and the current regime, to criticize anyone as ‘not understanding’ the role of NCs… well, I am going to request that you step down from serving as a Poll volunteer. The old “you are not one of us, so you should be quiet” attitude has served its purpose long enough in SCNC. Since you are not needed on Friday, that might give you a chance to catch up on the more-than-ever before violations that resulted in over 60 signatures, many from candidates themselves begging for enforcement of some comprehensible rules. Sound familiar…like Lisa’s Mansionization ordinance and failure. And kudos on trying to blame the City of LA for the weird registration details–you should know they blame the Neighorhood Council bylaws. It’s a fingerpointing party, like you all like. Thanks for working the wire for commander Sarkin. Get some rest.

    Eric Preven April 4, 2016 5:43 pm Reply
  • I’d also like to point out here, as I dod on Next Door, that both Lisa and her old friend Gail, who are both realtors or long standing, and who are both running for re-election, have been outed by a long term friend at various public meetings as having told him that they now contact developers when they get a new listed here in SC, rather than put it on the market, as it is a much easier sale for them.

    I guess a knowledge of land use, to include who the big developers are, really does pay off…at least for *some* stakeholders.

    the rest of us just get to pay for such knowledge with our diminishing quality of life.

    helluva bargain, ain’t it?

    Richard C. Adams April 4, 2016 9:12 pm Reply

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