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NINE IMPORTANT COMMUNITY STORIES
YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT FOR JUNE     

      1.    New Ad Hoc Committee Formed To Examine Wildlife Ordinance
      2.    New Water Restrictions
      3.    Importance of Irrigating Trees and Installing Native Plants
      4.    Last Chance To Watch CD5 Candidates Before Voting
      5.    Voting Information
      6     Neighborhood Purpose Grant Awarded to Les River Center
      7     Bel Air Glen Street Privatization Review Period Extended
      8     Neighborhood Council Supports Fire House 99
      9     Scrapbook: “Two Los Angeles Hotel Women and How Things Went Wrong”
     
 
Scroll Down for Details
 
NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL ESTABLISHES NEW AD HOC SUBCOMMITTEE ON PROPOSED WILDLIFE ORDINANCE
 
The City Planning Department recently released a new draft of the Wildlife Ordinance, which combines the old proposed Wildlife Ordinance with the previously proposed Ridgeline Ordinance. This combined ordinance is designed to promote healthy urban ecology.
 
The majority of the area to which this new ordinance would be applied would be the Bel Air-Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council area, therefore it is critical that our Neighborhood Council provides detailed and thoughtful comments on the proposal. 
 
In order to provide feedback and to ensure that our stakeholders are heard in the process, the Planning and Land Use Committee established the new Ad Hoc Subcommittee on the Proposed Wildlife District. Through a series of meetings, the committee will review the ordinance, get clarification on any necessary items, and propose positions on elements of the ordinance to recommend to the PLU Committee and the Board.
 
Members of the public are encouraged to participate in the work of the subcommittee and learn about this ordinance which will affect future development and preservation of open space in our hillsides.
 
Our subcommittee’s web page is here: https://www.babcnc.org/proposed-wildlife-district.php
 
On the page, you can find news about upcoming meetings and how to provide feedback, as well as important resources such as the ordinance itself.
 
All residents of the area should also take a look at the information available on the City Planning website. You can find the Wildlife Pilot Study page here: https://planning.lacity.org/plans-policies/wildlife-pilot-study
 
 
NEW WATER RESTRICTIONS
 
Mayor Garcetti has announced that beginning June 1, the new “Phase 3” water restrictions will take effect. Customers will be restricted to watering twice a week instead of three times a week as follows:
  • Customers with street addresses ending in odd numbers - watering will be limited to Mondays and Fridays.
  • Customers with addresses ending in even numbers - watering will be limited to Thursdays and Sundays.
  • Customers watering with sprinklers will continue to be limited to eight minutes per station and customers watering with sprinklers using water conserving nozzles will continue to be limited to two 15 minute cycles per watering day.
  • Customers will be prohibited from watering between the hours of 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM regardless of the watering day.
 
Mindy Rothstein Mann
IMPORTANCE OF IRRIGATING TREES AND
INSTALLING NATIVE PLANTS

Amid the cries to cut water usage and the rising water costs there have been two disturbing trends in Southern California: property owners have stopped watering their trees and property owners have been replacing green lawns and lush gardens with stark gravel and minimal succulents.

While we all need to be careful about not wasting water, we also need to make certain that we make wise decisions about where and how we try to cut back on our water usage.  We need green space for our physical health as well as our mental health. We need a vibrant and healthy tree canopy, and we need better alternatives than gravel lawns which only serve to create problems by adding to our heat gain and depriving wildlife of critical food sources.

We can afford to lose our lawns – in fact, planting native gardens is a much better solution. We can’t afford to lose our trees, however, and we must continue to keep them irrigated. Trees are a valuable resource which take years to grow.  They combat climate change, lessen the heat island effect, provide a canopy for residents, provide food and shelter for wildlife, and increase our property values. A traditional lawn might be too water thirsty in our current drought condition, but a gravel lawn is not the best solution.

In our hillsides, dry and weakened trees from the drought add potential fuel for wildfires – it is especially critical that we water all of our trees, both native and ornamental. Research has shown that well maintained trees that are well hydrated can actually safeguard a home when wildfires hit.


Planting native plants give the gardener the advantage of growing plants that are already adapted to the local growing conditions. Once established, these plants reduce the need to supplement water in the landscape and create a wildlife habitat. A native garden attracts birds, butterflies, and beneficial insects. Planting a successful native garden takes some careful planning but offers amazing rewards.

While the summer months aren’t the best months to start planting your new native garden, it’s a perfect time to start planning your new garden. You’ll need time to do the research, to visit nurseries and choose your plants, and to hire someone to assist with the installation (unless you plan on doing all the work by yourself).

You can find many on-line instructional videos on how to plan a native garden. DWP offers a rebate for removing your lawn through their turf replacement program and offers classes for planting a native garden. They also offer rebates for purchasing water-wise sprinklers as well as other water saving devices.


Mindy Rothstein Mann

 
 
                
LAST CHANCE TO EVALUATE CANDIDATES FOR
CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 5
 
Which candidate for CD 5 Councilperson in the upcoming Municipal election will you vote for?  With all the advertising and promotion, why not watch the candidates answer curated questions from the League of Women Voters and our community and evaluate them for yourself. Visit your Neighborhood Council website, BABCNC.ORG.
 
The four candidates who appeared on our panel to represent you in Los Angeles City Council District 5 are:
 
Jimmy Biblarz, LGBTQ Advisor, Law Instructor, UCLA
Scott Epstein, Public Policy Professional and Community Leader
Katy Young Yaroslavsky, Climate Attorney, Former Deputy to Supervisor Sheila Kuehl
Sam Yebri, Community Leader, Attorney and former City Commissioner
 
These four candidates appeared on our forum to answer questions, giving you a chance to decide who will best represent your personal interests and your property values.
You can watch the video of the forum at this link:  https://youtu.be/augW3PX7c34?t=2
 
                  
LOS ANGELES VOTER INFORMATION
 
 
Here is a great voting resource:
Lavote.gov
 
By now, you should have received an official sample ballot, a real ballot and a postcard listing the closest Vote Center to you. You can access the sample ballot online at the above Internet address as well. All registered voters will receive a Vote By Mail Ballot.
 
You can vote at any VOTE Center from May 28, 2022 until June 6, 2022 from 10am-7pm and on Election Day, June 7, 2022, from 7am-8pm.
 
You can return your ballot by mail, drop it in a drop box or bring it to a Vote Center. You can also surrender your Vote By Mail Ballot at the Vote Center and vote there in person.
 
If you have any questions or issues about this election, call the LA County Registrar Recorder at 800.815.2666.
 
PLEASE VOTE BECAUSE THAT IS THE ONLY WAY WE CAN KEEP OUR DEMOCRACY ALIVE!!!
 
Maureen Smith
 
Illustration of proposed traffic calming techniques proposed for Beverly Glen Boulevard
 
NEIGHBORHOOD PURPOSE GRANT AWARDED TO
LES RIVER CENTER
 
Occasionally, the Neighborhood Council may have funds at the end of its fiscal year which, under law, can be granted to projects qualifying under strict city standards.
 
Heavy traffic, traffic accidents, speeding have made Beverly Glen Boulevard an increasingly dangerous street to drive. In an effort to increase safety, Graham Green, a member of the Residents of Beverly Glen, has proposed traffic calming additions to the roadway.
 
The Neighborhood Purpose Grant Committee voted unanimously to award $2,300.00 in seed money to the Les River Center, a local non-profit 501c(3) corporation, to develop working drawings and plans for the proposed traffic calming project which will, when fully implemented, be of huge benefit to the safety of everyone.
 
                
PLANNING AND LAND USE COMMITTEE EXTENDS
TIME PERIOD TO CONSIDER BEL AIR GLEN GATING
 
Your Neighborhood Council Planning and Land Use Committee was scheduled to consider and possibly vote on sending to Councilperson Koretz a letter expressing their opinion of privatization and gating of Bel Air Glen. 
 
Before the vote was taken, at the May 10th meeting, representatives of Bel Air Glen, Ken Linzer and the Attorney for Bel Air Glen, Fernando Villa of the law firm of Allen, Matkins, Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP appealed to the Committee not to vote on the letter but instead to delay action for three months to August 11.

The Planning and Land Use Committee agreed to extend the time period, while Bel Air Glen agreed not to further pursue of gating until which time the matter will be reconsidered.
 
NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL SUPPORTS FIREHOUSE 99 OPEN HOUSE
 
Neighborhood Council members met neighbors and stakeholders at the Firehouse 99 open house on Mulholland Drive, on May 25.
 
Left to Right:  Robin Greenberg, Chair of the Neighborhood Council Outreach Committee, David Van Iderstine, Maureen Smith, David Kadin, and Michael Schlenker
SCRAPBOOK
The history of our Bel Air- Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council and surrounding Communities
 
 
TWO LOS ANGELES HOTEL WOMEN
AND HOW THINGS WENT WRONG
 
From the moment she arrived in Los Angeles in 1894, Mira Hershey loved hotels. A spinster, at the age of 50, Mira loved the crowds of people, the music, the food – the excitement. Mira loved hotels so much that she bought two of them with some of the considerable money she had inherited from her father’s estate.

Mira didn’t like actually operating the hotel. She wasn’t interested in the laundry, the food quality, the maids, and the daily business.
 
These details she left to Margaret J Anderson, a widow, who was raising a young son, Stanley.  Mrs. Anderson was a born hotel operator with no detail passing without inspection.
 
One day in 1906, Mira Hershey took a buggy ride down the dirt road called Sunset Boulevard to the intersection of Prospect and Highland Avenues in a new area being developed called Hollywood.
 

Horses and buggies at the front of the new Hotel Hollywood in 1905

On the Northwest corner lay a charming new hotel built four years earlier by Howard Whitley named the Hotel Hollywood. It was Whitley who persuaded many early pioneer filmmakers to build their movie studios in the Hollywood area as a way of providing employment to potential home purchasers.
 
Whitley had built the little 16-room Mission Style hotel for possible home purchasers to rest in while they considered what land to buy, hopefully from him. He recently added a 40-room wing and he changed the name of Prospect Avenue to Hollywood Boulevard.
 

Set on three acres of beautiful gardens, Mira Hershey knew she had to own the hotel from the moment she saw it,  She bought it from Whitley and immediately brought in her trusted operational person Margaret J Anderson in a financial arrangement whereby Hershey owned the hotel and Anderson leased it from her. The hotel itself was on ground owned by real estate investors.
 
The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. The new movie industry was thriving and movie stars needed a place to stay, eat, entertain and be seen. The renamed Hollywood Hotel became the industry home. It was filled with movie stars and fans of movie stars.

The Hollywood Hotel was such a perfect place, that Mira Hershey decided to move from her Bunker Hill mansion and live in rooms at her own hotel so she could enjoy the party. That’s when the problems began.
 
A modern motor car passes Hollywood Hotel and Gardens in 1915

The disputes between Margaret Anderson and Mira Hershey concerned money. How much were the rooms occupied by Hershey worth?  They were rooms that couldn’t be rented and, thus, reduced the income of the hotel. There were angry words and lawyers. Yet despite the disputes, the Hollywood Hotel, under the management of Margaret Anderson, had grown to be one of the most famous and successful hotels in the world, grown to 240 rooms.
 
Meanwhile, a few miles west another game being played. 
 
A group of wealthy oilmen had bought a large property in a town they called Morocco, hoping to strike oil. Sadly for them, there was no oil to be found anywhere on their land. They were stuck. Then they came up with plan B. Develop the land as a residential community.
 
The Rodeo Land and Water Company, the oil men’s official company, designed an entire upscale city, laid out with gracefully curved streets, a business section, and parks. They offered the land for sale to wealthy eastern buyers who would appreciate the California winters. 
 
There were not many buyers.
 
It was time for Plan C. Rodeo Land and Water decided to open a luxury hotel where those potential buyers could enjoy the Southern California weather and then, hopefully, decide to build a home in the new community now re-named Beverly Hills. But who would actually operate the hotel?
 
 
New Beverly Hills Hotel on Sunset Boulevard and the first house sold on Crescent Drive

The dispute between Mira Hershey and Margaret Anderson was well known. So Burton Green, one of the developers, made an offer to Mrs. Anderson to take over and completely run the hotel, to be known as the Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows.
 
Margaret Anderson negotiated a hard bargain with these tough oil men whereby she and her son Stanley would have complete control of the hotel, and would have an option to personally buy the hotel at an agreed upon price and make it her personal property at any time of her choosing.
 
On April 29, 1912, the lease agreement between Mira Hershey and Margaret Anderson to operate the Hollywood Hotel came to an end.
 
Dining Room of the Hollywood Hotel

In the hotel dining room at breakfast that morning, Margaret Anderson announced to the hotel guests that she was no longer in charge of the hotel. She also announced that she was operating a new and better hotel and everyone was invited to stay at the new Beverly Hills Hotel at the same rates for the Hollywood Hotel. Come on over.
 
Everyone left the Hollywood Hotel – the guests, the bellmen, the chamber maids, the laundry people, the dish washers, the cooks, waiters, chefs, the gardeners, --- everyone left the old Hollywood Hotel, made a trip a few miles west and were warmly welcomed to the new Beverly Hills Hotel which was instantly in business.
 
Of course Mira Hershey was angry. In a tiff, she closed the Hollywood Hotel for 2 nights, to “fumigate” the hotel from the old guests. Of course she brought in a new manager and the hotel continued.
 
Mira Hershey lived the rest of her life in the continuous party of her hotel but she lost ownership in a legal dispute with her next manager George Krom. She donated Hershey Hall dormitory for Women to UCLA after her death.
 
Horses and riders on the early driveway of the Beverly Hills Hotel

Mrs. Margaret Anderson and her son Stanley had learned the hotel business on the job and applied their knowledge to the Beverly Hills Hotel, which became a world-class hotel. Many movie stars and executives began choosing to live in Beverly Hills which grew in importance while Hollywood declined.
 
About that option:  Mrs. Margaret Anderson exercised her option to buy the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1928. She then sold the hotel and cashed out before the stock market crash of October 1929 when the hotel was forced to close down until 1933. Timing is everything.
 
Both of these ladies died in 1930, which was a sort of end of an era. The Hollywood Hotel continued in business for many years. A movie was named for it and a national radio program interviewing Hollywood stars was broadcast from it.
 
But over time, the Hollywood Hotel grew tired and old and was torn down and replaced by an office building which in turn was torn down to make way for the Hollywood shopping Mall and the Dolby Theatre.
 
The new shopping center features a huge replica of the Babylon set from D.W. Griffith’s motion picture “Intolerance” a classic silent film made 2 miles away four years after the Hollywood Hotel opened its doors.
 
The Beverly Hills Hotel has been remodeled and upgraded many times over the years while keeping its original façade. It still rules Beverly Hills today while the Hollywood Hotel is just a memory.
 
Andre Stojka
 
THE LOS ANGELES NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL SYSTEM
 
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.

 

              Bel Air Ridge                  
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, Chair,
Andre Stojka, Editor,
with Board members Nickie Minor, Robert Schlesinger,
Mindy Mann, Maureen Smith
and BABCNC President: Travis Longcore
Newsletter (c) 2022 Bel Air-Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council
Scrapbook (c) 2022 Andre Stojka
Photo Credits: Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, iStockphoto, Water and Power Associates, Robin Greenberg, Andre Stojka, ParksConservancy, Shutterstock, CNPS.org,  Calscape.org, Patch, whyy

Your comments are solicited and appreciated.
Please contact us at:  outreach@babcnc.org

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

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