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Neighborhood Council Takes Position on Gating of Bel Air Glen
Council Adds Animal Welfare to Ad Hoc Committee
Council Supports Revision of Retaining Wall Ordinance
Monarch Butterflies Endangered
Congress of Neighborhood Councils in September
Status Report on Proposed Hotel in Benedict Canyon
Scrapbook The Country Club That Disappeared
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At the Neighborhood Council Board meeting on Thursday, August 25, 2022, the Neighborhood Council voted to recommend to the City of Los Angeles that an application by the Bel Air Glen Homeowners Association for the privatization and gating of the streets of Bel Air Glen be denied.

The BABCNC Board voted to add animal welfare, and in particular, treatment of animals at City shelters, to the scope and duties of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Environmental Issues.

                                 RETAINING WALL ORDINANCE

The City of Los Angeles has an ordinance, passed in 2005, that limits the number of retaining walls permissible on a property. 
The text of the ordinance allows retaining walls that had been previously built with a discretionary approval to be exempt from the new limit of two additional retaining walls.  However, the Department of City Planning and the Department of Building and Safety issued a memo declaring that all retaining walls from before the passage of the ordinance would be exempt, not just those that received discretionary approval.
The BABCNC Board voted at a recent meeting to request that the City revisit the interpretation and not exempt retaining walls that were built by right (as opposed to discretionary approval) from the retaining wall limit.
                                       SAVE OUR MONARCHS
The iconic orange & black monarch butterfly is currently capturing everyone’s attention because it has just been classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The monarch is known for its spectacular annual journey of nearly 3000 miles across the Americas - from the northern US and southern Canada to its overwintering destination in California and Mexico. 
The monarch’s numbers have rapidly dwindled over the last two decades. According to The Center for Biological Diversity, the monarchs have declined by 85% overall, but the Western population that overwinters in California has been hit the hardest and has declined by 99%.

It is believed that the main factors contributing to the monarch’s decline are habitat loss, climate change, and the use of pesticides.

Being placed on the endangered list has sent an alarm throughout the world; there is a call to act quickly to save the monarchs from becoming extinct.

Here are a few simple acts to help monarchs:
  1. Plant Milkweed. This wildflower is essential to the life cycle of the monarch butterflies; they lay their eggs only on milkweed plants. The Milkweed is the host plant that the larvae of the monarchs feed on.  Loss of native habitat and pesticides used in intensive agriculture have made wild milkweed harder for monarchs to find. (See the note below for more information on milkweed).
  2. Refrain from using harmful pesticides in and around the garden. Pesticides kill butterflies as well as milkweed. In addition, be careful to purchase milkweed plants from stores/growers who haven’t used pesticides on their plants.
  3. Plant native flowers.Adult monarchs need other native flowers in addition to milkweed so they can drink nectar and fuel up for their long migration. 
  4. Preserve native habitat, whenever the opportunity arises. Native habitat is essential for the preservation of Monarchs and other endangered species.
A Few Notes about Milkweed:

1. Only plant milkweed that is native to your region — such as narrow-leaf milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis) and showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) — which grow in most parts of Southern California, as opposed to tropical milkweed, the orange-flowered nonnative variety typically found in nurseries. Tropical milkweed doesn’t die back in the winter in mild climates, and this causes problems for the monarchs on two fronts.

2. It provides food for Monarch caterpillars year-round, which seems to discourage migration and disrupt the breeding cycle.

3. The year-round life cycle for the plant allows a protozoan parasite to multiply and infect caterpillars as they eat.

4. Milkweed sap contains a toxin called cardiac glycoside and some species are more toxic than others. It is a good idea to use caution when handling any plants with toxins, and if you have small children, teach them to avoid touching this plant. If you do get sap on your hands, wash them right away to avoid possible irritation. This should not dissuade you from planting milkweed as the average garden is full of plants that are more or less harmful if eaten. Animals should be kept way from milkweed.


The annual Los Angeles City Congress of Neighborhood Councils will take place via Zoom on September 25, 2022 from 8 am until 3:45 pm.
During the Congress, our Board members, stakeholders, and interested members of the public will be able to engage with the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE),
Some of the classes and seminars that are particularly relevant to our area  include the following: 
  • 2023 Neighborhood Council Elections
  • Beautify Your Neighborhood: Murals, Cleanups and Trees!
  • Celebrate Your Neighborhood's History and Art
  • How to Effectively Work with Developers and Council Offices to Influence Property Development
  • Los Angeles Native Plant Advocacy: Why and How
If you are interested in serving or becoming involved in your Neighborhood Council, or even if you are just curious, you can attend the Congress of Neighborhoods on Zoom and attend dozens of workshops and listen to keynote speakers and City department presentations to see how Neighborhood Councils work.
Stakeholders can access the agenda for the Congress and register here:
Maureen Smith
Motion To Be Heard By The PLUM Committee On September 20th

Paul Koretz, Councilmember of District 5, has brought a motion to the Planning Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee of the Planning Commission concerning the proposed hotel. 

Councilmember Paul Koretz, both candidates for Mayor, Karen Bass and Rick Caruso, and both candidates to replace Councilmember Koretz, Sam Yebri and Katy Yaroslavsky, strongly and publicly oppose the hotel.  They are joined in opposing the project by many environmental organizations, including the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.
This motion, which will be heard on September 20, 2022, asks the Planning Commission to request the Director of Planning to rescind his prior approval of the portion of the applicant’s application that seeks a zone change.  Because a zone change can only be initiated by the Planning Director or the City Council, the rescission of the approval of this part of the application would bring an end to the hotel portion of the application. 

The history of our Bel Air-Beverly Crest area and of our neighbors
Aerial view, looking South, at the Hollywood Country Club in 1923 - before it disappeared. Street at the bottom is Ventura Boulevard. The long street on right is Country Club Drive, now Coldwater Canyon.  Hilltop is future location of Mulholland Drive.
Many years ago, the street we now call Coldwater Canyon between Mulholland Drive and Ventura Boulevard was called Country Club Drive because of a new and exciting Country Club that took shape in 1919.
It was named the Hollywood Country Club, even though it was not in Hollywood and there were only 8 actors who were members.
New Board members of the Hollywood Country Club were movie star Douglas Fairbanks, shown here as Robin Hood,
and Sydney Chaplin, Charlie Chaplin’s older brother and financial advisor. Fairbanks and Chaplin made an option deal to purchase a grand estate.
The estate belonged to William F. Holt, a man considered to be the father of the Imperial Valley, who had made a fortune from banking, railroading, irrigation from new Colorado River water and agriculture. A version of Mr. Holt’s life is told in the fictional novel, “The Winning of Barbara Worth”. 

After Holt’s beloved wife Fannie died, Holt decided to move away from the Imperial Valley and relocate to Los Angeles. Here, he constructed a twelve-room mansion with six bungalows and outbuildings
The land consisted of 140 acres with frontage on Ventura Boulevard with the main acreage up the valley toward Mulholland Drive (which didn’t exist at the time).
According to a history by Mary Mallory, the club consisted of beautiful and surprising buildings. “There is, for instance, a shady tea garden, embellished with Japanese ponds and rustic furniture.” Some of the golf course extended up the canyon, while other parts had golf links in full view of then-residential Ventura Boulevard.

An article in the Los Angeles Times mentioned that the club possessed about 200 acres of enchanted hills, in addition to another 200 acres for golf courses. Holt became the first president of the Hollywood Country Club all built on optioned land.
In 1919 the Los Angeles Times reported “Besides the golf links, twelve tennis courts are planned, together with a polo field, a fully quipped gym, shooting boxes, for the gun club, handball and basketball courts"  plus an open air swimming pool 60 x 100 feet.
There was a fully equipped children’s playground and nursery with a matron in charge.
In 1929 the Hollywood Country Cub began constructing a new men’s clubhouse.  The club hosted many Los Angeles wide golf tournaments.

But after 1929 and a new economic depression, life changed for everyone. Memberships began to drop and it became clear that the land occupied by the Hollywood Country Club was more valuable divided into smaller real estate parcels than as a golf club.
In 1939 the Club closed its doors forever. Today, nothing remains of the Hollywood Country Club. Some of the land was sold to the Harvard Boys School which has become the Harvard Westlake School.

There is one more remnant of history:  high in the hills east of Coldwater, there is a residential street that loops from view to view which is called Fairway Drive.
Andre Stojka

Because of the size of Los Angeles, each Los Angeles City Council member represents around 250,000 people. To keep City officials in closer touch with the neighborhoods of the City, in 1999 Los Angeles adopted a Neighborhood Council system to advise the City Council members of local issues.
There are 99 separate Neighborhood Councils in the City of Los Angeles. Members of the Neighborhood Council are considered City employees without compensation of any kind. They are formally elected by the public or communities and must live, work or own property in the area they represent.
The Bel Air-Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council represents approximately 28,000 people in a beautiful mountain and canyon area of the City of Los Angeles bounded on the West by Sepulveda Boulevard, on the North, Mulholland Drive, on the South by Sunset Boulevard and the East by Laurel Canyon.


Mandarin duck at home on Franklin Canyon Pond
part of our Bel Air-Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council community


The Bel Air-Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council Community News is published by the Bel Air-Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council Outreach Committee:
Robin Greenberg, Mindy Mann, Nickie Miner,
Robert Schlesinger, Maureen Smith, Patricia Templeton
Andre Stojka, Outreach Chairperson and Newsletter Editor
BABCNC President: Travis Longcore
Newsletter (c) 2022 Bel Air-Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council
Scrapbook (c) 2022 Andre Stojka
Photo Credits: AFV Audibone,  Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, Shutterstock, AStojka, National Park Service, Shutterstock, Parks Conservancy, Wikipedia

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Bel Air/Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council · PO Box 252007 · Los Angeles, CA 90025 · USA

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