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1  Brush Clearance Time 
2  Mission Canyon Traffic Safety Concerns
3 Neighborhood Purpose Grant
4 City Attorney Candidates
5 Party House Handbook Available
6  The Most Impressive Movie Star Estate Ever Built
7  Bel Air Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council Hiking Trail Directory
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Here are some answers to frequently asked homeowners questions regarding best practices to make their homes safer.

What is meant by defensible space and is more space better?
Defensible space refers to that area between a house and an oncoming wildfire where the vegetation has been modified to reduce the wildfire threat and which provides an opportunity for fire fighters to defend the house.

California state law requires 100 feet of clearance around a home - LAFD requires 200 feet of clearance. Through proper management of this defensible space, research has shown that property has a better chance of surviving a wildfire and the lives of firefighters can be saved.

Many people think more space is better but recent scientific research seems to indicate that distances larger than 100 feet do not provide additional protection. Embers can travel as far as five miles ahead of the active front of a wildfire and land on flammable roofs or in other flammable objects – as a result, the emphasis is now on home hardening and effective treatment closer to structures.
What is the most effective way to make my home fire-safe?

Current scientific research indicates that the most effective way to keep homes from igniting during wildfires is to incorporate firesafe features for homes (e.g., roof materials, vent screens) and the immediate zone right around them.
Many homes with defensible space have burned to the ground because embers entered through attic vents, ignited flammable materials around the home, or found their way under roofing materials.

Make sure to remove leaf litter from your roof and gutters, and keep flammable things like firewood piles, propane tanks, and wood fencing away from your house.

To reduce the flammability of your house as much as possible:
 Install ember resistant vents,
Install Class A roofing,
Install exterior sprinklers operated by an independent system,
Prune vegetation so it does not overhang or touch the house,
Keep trees and plants hydrated, and
Remove flammable materials 16 to 100 feet from around the structure.
When is the best time of year to create my defensible space?

Although brush clearance notices are sent out by LAFD only once a year in late March, defensible space should be maintained year-round. October to December, when trees are dormant, is typically the most horticulturally sound time of the year to prune trees.
Pruning and clearing defensible space during this time of the year also helps protect our bird population by avoiding the most active nesting season during the months of March through August. (Spring and summer should be used to focus on selective pruning vegetation and to remove vegetation that is overhanging the house.) 
There are laws that protect almost all nests and all work that is located near an active nest should come to a halt if a nest is found. The Santa Monica Mountains are home to a lot of local and migratory birds so consider hiring a qualified biologist to perform a nest survey of the area before beginning work or learn how to perform your own nest survey at

I’m concerned I won’t comply– should I just clear my entire hillside?

NEVER clear an entire hillside. Trim hillside shrubs and plants minimally and only as required (read LAFD instructions carefully).  A denuded slope can create a dangerous situation by destabilizing the hillside.  
Clearing can cause significant damage to plant growth tissues, destroy native plants and harm wildlife. If you hire an outside crew to do the work for you, hire a crew that is experienced, understands the rules, and won’t destroy critical habitat.

Should I trim my trees while I do my brush clearance?

Crews who specialize in brush clearance know very little about pruning, horticulture, or arboriculture. They are not typically familiar with laws about nesting birds or with the city’s protected tree ordinance.

Unfortunately it is common for protected (and rare) California Walnut trees to be cut down because they are mistaken for dead when they are dormant. Any work performed on one of the City’s 6 protected tree species should be by a crew with a certified arborist. Furthermore, if you are conducting brush clearance in April or May, bear in mind that this is nesting season for birds and not the optimal time to prune trees.

Remember to maintain the health of your trees throughout the year and keep them well hydrated; trees help keep the surface cool when their canopy is green. Native trees like Oaks are fire-resilient, and research has found that healthy Oak stands can slow fire in forested lands.

Most of the information for this article was obtained from Treeology at
For more information about fire-safe communities, visit
For a complete list of LAFD brush clearance requirements, visit
For more information about protecting nesting birds visit

Mindy Rothstein Mann



The Bel Air-Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council has sent a response letter to the Mountain and Recreation Conservancy regarding the proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration and the new plan for Mission Canyon Park, a proposed park by the County of Los Angeles to be located on publicly owned land on the west side of the Sepulveda pass.

The 500 acre site was used as a landfill dump. The landfills have been closed for 50 years and over the years various commercial development schemes have been proposed.
Mission Canyon Park will be located on the west side of the Sepulveda Pass just north of Mountaingate Drive and south of  Skirball Center Drive. The Department of Sanitation will continue its maintenance of the landfill sites within the park.

In 2014 the Mountains and Recreation Conservation (MRCA) became a partner agency with the Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy. The MRCA is now the Lead Agency and has designed the park, which will include an on-site residence for an MRCA ranger and a parking lot for visitors.

One driveway on Sepulveda Boulevard serves as both the entrance and the exit for the park. While your Neighborhood Council expressed support for the park, it pointed out its concerns about safe access to and from the park.

The BABCNC letter noted that “When the 405 freeway is blocked, Sepulveda is a secondary highway. While we would have preferred to have cars exiting from the freeway proceed forward over a short bridge and into the park, neither LADOT nor Cal Trans would have approved that route because of a problem with freeway ramps.” 
“We understand that the intersection of Mountaingate Drive and Sepulveda Boulevard has been the scene of many accidents, even though there is a separate signal light for Mountaingate and another for Sepulveda."

“There is a dedicated northbound left turn lane with an arrow on the signal light for entering Mountaingate.
There will be a northbound, short, left turn lane just after Mountaingate to enable vehicles to turn into the park’s entrance. If that short lane is full and other vehicles are waiting, could they block lanes entering or leaving Mountaingate?”

Are loud party noises from nearby rental estates keeping you up at night? You are not alone. There are solutions to some problems and limits to the law.
Your Neighborhood Council has prepared a Party House Handbook to guide you through the problems we all face and suggest possible solutions. You can download the handbook here.


Your Neighborhood Council is authorized to award Neighborhood Purpose Grants which benefit our local BABCNC communities. Grants can only be made to 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations and public schools. Grants cannot be made to religious organizations or to private schools.
In evaluating a possible project request for grants, the following should be taken under consideration:

· The budget is realistic and supported with documentation
· The organization or individual is capable of completing the project
· The work plan is detailed, specific, and feasible
· The project is supported by the community
· The number of stakeholders that will benefit from this project
· The project implementation process will build community
· The complete project will enhance the community

· Credibility. Does your organization know what it wants to accomplish? What evidence proves that the organization is currently achieving its goals? What kind of reputation does the group enjoy within its community and beyond?

· Capability. What skills does the organization’s staff and/or board bring to the project? Are they relevant to the project’s aims? Has your organization succeeded in similar endeavors of equal size and scale to what you are now proposing?

· Feasibility. The Neighborhood Council must determine whether the proposal is advancing a worthwhile project built upon a good idea that can be successfully
implemented. Is the budget allocated sufficiently to execute the various tasks and
strategies described in the proposal?

· Importance. Should it be done? Is the project significant? Is there evidence that the proposal will trigger action or work that the community wants? Will it make a difference in the community it purports to aid or resolve the issue it addresses?
Factors to Consider
· Is this a capital improvement project?
o It should be on public property within the Neighborhood Council’s boundaries
o There must be coordination with appropriate City agencies (i.e., Street
Services, LAPD, LAFD, Rec & Parks, etc.)
o Appropriate permits need to be in place
· Is this for program services (i.e. afterschool program, graffiti removal, etc.)?
o The applicant must create a fair selection process to establish participants
· Is this for equipment and supplies?
o Purchases for schools or 501(c)(3) organizations need to ultimately benefit
the local community
· Is this an event?
o Events must be open and advertised to the public
o Discuss appropriate liability issues
Interested potential applicants should view all criteria for evaluation by reading the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment Applicant Packet which also contains application forms:
The Bel Air-Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council Neighborhood Purpose Grant Committee will evaluate all grant applications in a public meeting, deciding whether to approve or disapprove the proposed grant.
Grant Application should be e-mailed to:
Neighborhood Purpose Grant Committee at
Or mailed to:
Neighborhood Purpose Grant Committee
Bel Air-Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council
P.O. Box 252007
Los Angeles, CA 90025

If the application is approved, it will then be forwarded to the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment.

If all documents are in compliance, the Neighborhood Council Funding Unit will process a check to the grant recipient.

2022 is a major election year for the City of Los Angeles for City Council members, the Mayor and City Attorney. There will be a primary election June 7 and the top two candidates will have a runoff November 8, 2022.
City Attorney candidates are (source):
Sherri Onica Cole, Attorney/Educator
Hydee Feldstein Soto, Attorney/Neighborhood Councilmember
Faisal Gill, Civil Rights Attorney
Kevin James, Attorney-at-Law
Teddy Kapur, Attorney/Businessowner/Teacher
Richard Y. Kim Deputy City Attorney
Marina Torres, Federal Corruption Prosecutor

All candidates are currently trying to raise money for their campaigns aiming at a Primary election.
Your BABCNC Neighborhood Council will try to keep you informed about all the candidates.

The history of our Bel Air-Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council Communities

A small street curves west off Benedict Canyon, beautifully named Greenacres Drive.  But Greenacres isn’t just an imaginative street name - it is the name of a fabulous private estate some have called “the most impressive movie star estate ever created.”  
Greenacres was more impressive than neighboring estate, Picfair, owned by silent film stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. It was more impressive than nearby Falcon’s Lair, owned by silent film star Rudolph Valentino.
Greenacres was the home of silent movie comic actor Harold Lloyd and his family. It was an impressive final achievement for performer whose life began in Wisconsin with very little promise, parents who constantly fought and finally divorced and a father whose business life was hit and mostly miss.

Silent film star comedian Harold Lloyd wearing his trademark black horn rim glasses with dog wearing matching black horn rim glasses

In 1913, Harold Lloyd’s father “Foxy” was in an accident and received a cash financial settlement. Divorced from Harold’s mother, he decided to move to California and open a pool hall. Ten year old Harold decided to travel to California with his dad.
In San Diego they watched a movie being shot by the Edison Company on the grounds of the Pan Pacific Exposition, now called Balboa Park. Interested in acting, Harold became an extra on the film and met another extra, Hal Roach. They became fast friends, leading to Lloyd starring in popular comedy films when Roach established his studio.
In "Safety Last" filmed in 1923, Lloyd hangs precariously over a downtown Los Angeles street in this iconic still. Lloyd did most of his own stunts.

Lloyd eventually created an innocent ‘everyman’ character, wearing heavy horn rimmed glasses. This new character stumbled innocently into trouble and escaped trouble in stunt heavy, spectacularly dangerous ways. With this new character, Harold Lloyd became a major silent movie star.
Lloyd was able to negotiate new contracts with Pathe and Paramount giving him complete ownership of his films and a percentage of profits, sometimes 80%. He produced his own films and became a very wealthy man.

Harold Lloyd married his leading lady, Mildred Davis on February 10, 1923. Eventually they wanted a bigger house for their three children.

In 1925, Lloyd visited a 15-acre property in Benedict Canyon owned by Pierce Benedict, son of the Canyon namesake. The place reminded Lloyd of a forest in Wisconsin where he grew up.


The Lloyd family’s new house was spectacular. It consisted of 44 rooms and was designed combining elements of the two spectacular historic Italian villas: Villa Lante, built in 1566 and Villa Medici from 1544.
The grounds of the estate were just as spectacular as the house.
Then there was a 900-foot canoe stream stocked with trout and bass, and a 100-foot waterfall that plummeted into the canoe stream. There was a private nine-hole regulation golf course. The estate had the largest swimming pool in Southern California, measuring 50 feet by 150 feet.
Greenacres had many gardens including a small tropical forest, sunken garden, formal garden, rose garden, Italian garden, and terraced gardens. There were stables for horses, cattle and sheep, and a small farm for the estate's fruits and vegetables, including greenhouses for growing flowers. There was an open-air theatre and a dance pavilion.
There were tennis courts, an outdoor bowling green, and a handball court (Lloyd was a champion handball player).

For his four-year-old daughter, Lloyd built a thatched four-room old English-style house within the "fairyland estate."
            Harold Lloyd sitting on his wall in front of his new home

The Lloyd family moved into their new estate in August, 1929, three months before the stock market crash. But Harold Lloyd was a savvy investor, not hurt badly by the Depression and lived in regal style for the rest of his life. His wife Mildred died in 1969 and Harold died less than 2 years later on March 8, 1971 at the age of 77.
After Lloyd’s death, Greenacres was sold at auction in 1975 for $1.6 million and subdivided into 15 lots, each of which sold at $1.2 million. These are the homes along today’s Greenacres Drive.
But hidden from sight, behind a wall, guarded, behind gates, on its own five acre lot, the grand 15th century style mansion, Greenacres is still here. It is still a private home and has been often used in fund-raising for charities.
Greenacres is not only a tribute to the success and memory of Harold Lloyd, it is a reminder of a special time in Los Angeles history and particularly, the history of our Neighborhood Council area where many film stars and executives have chosen to live.
Harold Lloyd lived an active life in Greenacres. He was interested in photography, handball, movies, and parties with many friends. He lived his life in his own elaborate world of his own making, enjoying his success. At the end, when he passed away, he still had 12 million dollars in the bank and a legacy of films that still bring enjoyment to his many admirers. A life well lived.
Andre Stojka
                                              Willacre Park


The Bel Air Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council community is so fortunate to be living so close to some of the most beautiful and accessible hiking trails in the county.  Of course, our weather is so beautiful here, that we can enjoy these trails 12 months a year.
Enjoy your hike---don't forget sunscreen, water and your cell phone.  Remember to lock your car and do not leave any visible items inside.
                                                     Runyan Canyon.

Compiled by Maureen Smith
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.
                    TREEPEOPLE - part of our Bel Air-Beverly Crest
                                 Neighborhood Council community

Please forward this newsletter to neighbors who you feel will be interested. To Subscribe to this free newsletter send your name and e-mail address to

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 Schlessinger,
Mindy Mann, Maureen Smith
BABCNC President: Travis Longcore
Newsletter(c) 2022 Bel Air-Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council
Scrapbook (c) 2022 Andre Stojka
Photo Credits: Wikipedia, TreePeople, City of Ashland OR, KPBS, MARA, Shutterstock, City of Los Angeles

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

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