It is a great pleasure to post for the first time here on Nelalive - thanks Cheryl for the invitation.
I'm a happy Highland Park homeowner who had the great pleasure of buying my house with the help of Blob Taylor back in 1985 and I'm still there, rooted in Garvanza like a Bouganvilla!
After helping start the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council, I've satisfied myself with keeping it's website interesting while the Council itself continues to grope for relevance, with mixed results. It's election time coming up, so those who think they might want to help the HHPNC move to the next level of meaningfulness for the Highland Park Community, please step up and run for a position.
If you take the trouble to register and become a ' registered user' of the website, you'll be able to access all the historic photos I've put there as well as contribute to the 'forums'. But even as an unregistered 'guest', there is a lot to see there, so please give it a spin.
The most exciting recent news was announced just today: Garvanza (north Highland Park neighborhood, historically defined north of York, East of Figueroa) will be getting an HPOZ! Here is the notice that just appeared on NELAlist today!:
It's a YES, Garvanza!
With great pleasure, I write to inform you that council
UNANIMOUSLY approved the initiation of a Garvanza Historic Preservation
Overlay Zone and related Interim Control Ordinance today at council.
Councilmember Huizar advocated strongly for this project, and
wants to send sincere THANKS to each person who came down to council
today to support the item. Your presence was important, as one never
knows how these things will go. As it turns out, it went through with
flying colors with no objection! In fact, another council office
commented they've never seen an HPOZ go through so smoothly - a tribute
to the broad support and importance of this project.
I am including the Councilmember's press release below for your reference.
Thanks again for your diligent and consistent support for this
issue and the Councilmember's work on behalf of the community. It's a
pleasure working with all of you.
Jessica Wethington McLean
Planning & Economic Development Director
Office of Councilmember José Huizar
200 N. Spring Street Room 465
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 473-7014 Jessica.WethingtonMcLean@Lacity.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: George I. Gonzalez (213) 473-7014
Tuesday July 17th, 2007 Cell (213) 200-9974
COUNCILMEMBER JOSE HUIZAR LEADS EFFORT TO
CREATE GARVANZA HISTORIC PRESERVATION OVERLAY ZONE
City Council Approves HPOZ Study- Action Long-awaited by Northeast Los Angeles Community
ANGELES- Councilmember José Huizar, District 14, was pleased to
announce that the Garvanza community of Northeast Los Angeles is closer
to becoming a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ). The City
Council approved a motion introduced by Councilman Huizar, which
instructed the City’s Planning Department to conduct a $120,000 study
that will evaluate the historic significance of the area.
HPOZ’s are designed to protect and enhance the use of buildings,
structures, natural features, and areas which are reminders of the
City’s history. They also protect unique and irreplaceable assets to
the City and its neighborhoods which are worthy examples of past
The Garvanza community features many structures which represent
significant architectural history, including the original historic
township of Garvanza established in the early 1900’s. The proposed
Garvanza HPOZ boundaries cover areas between Pasadena City limits to
the north; Metro right-of-way bridge to the south; Eastside of Avenue
66 to the east; and Eastside of Figueroa proceeding to the Westside of
Avenue 63 at York to the west. The Garvanza HPOZ will also incorporate
the Judson Studios/Thorne Street portion of the current Highland Park
Councilman Huizar advocated strongly, along with the community,
for Council to agree to fund the HPOZ study; and hopes the area will be
added to the existing 21 HPOZ’s in the City.
“I believe this area represents significant cultural and
architectural resources which should be protected. Residents have been
fighting for this Historic Preservation Overlay Zone for many years -
in fact, this issue stretches back several administrations in Council
District 14,” said Councilman Huizar.
“We are at a critical point in time for the historic portions of
Garvanza - many of the structures we are looking to protect with this
HPOZ are in danger of being torn down. This HPOZ will also offer
homeowners various tax, regulatory, and financial incentives that are
designed to offset the expense of rehabilitating and maintaining their
properties.” he added.
The study is expected to be completed within a year.
# # #
...............................And keep an eye on the upcoming Grand opening of the new Garvanza skatepark....It's a cutting edge concrete park that is already getting a lot of use from the skaters who can't wait for the opening and are breaking in to use it, despite the Rec and Parks Dept.'s efforts to dissuade them by putting sand down on the surfaces and locking the fence. The skaters simply cut the gate off and toss it aside, sweep up the sand and go forward with their use, "padless" and "helmetless", and just for good measure, they cover the park with graffitti tagging. In my opinion, unlesss they replace the fence w/ "prison" quality barriers, there will never be an adequate amount of security to keep the skaters out.
Once the park is opened, the skaters will be required to wear pads and helmets (which they abhor), so the "pirate" use will continue to be a strong magnet, and the gang members will continue to want to tag it to clearly claim it's 'turf' as their own. A great number of us in the community were apprehensive about this park for these very reasons: A world class skatepark arrives on the scene with world class challenges in terms of security and controlled use. If young kids are to feel safe and welcome at this skatepark, a concerted effort on the part of Rec and Parks staff to control it's use will be required. We worry that funding shortfalls at Rec and Parks will present difficulties in adequately staffing, securing and regulating the skaters. Without a high level of attention, the park threatens to 'ghettoize' the Garvanza neighborhood by attracting pervasive tagging and repeated breakins by rambunctious skaters, night and day in the off hours. In August we will witness the grand opening, I am told, so let's cross our fingers that things will progress smoothly.
You can read more asbout the Garvanza skatepark on the forum devoted to it on the HHPNC website at http://historichighlandpark.org/modules.php?name=4nForum&file=forumdisplay&fid=8
Thanks for reading my first post on Nelalive and I hope you'll check out the HHPNC website soon!