KHG 2017-2018 BOARD
President: Tracy Thrower Conyers
1st Vice President: Aaron Torrence
2nd Vice President: Marion Koh
Secretary: Colleen Fracisco
Treasurer: Todd Harris
Somebody told me recently that we are the oldest homeowners association in the country. While I don’t know whether this is true, it is certainly an achievement that KHG has existed since 1943.
Our association’s age is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that our rules and community are established, and have stood the test of time. The curse is that our rules can be, at times, out of step with modern thinking. The same might also be said about our operations.
My personal goal for this next year as President is to bring our operations up to date. We’ve updated our website and started using more social media and email to communicate with members, but there is still work to do. We still use an answering machine in the office and have 6+ filing cabinets full of paper. We’re also still processing assessment payments by hand and via check. We only just recently gave away our Selectric typewriter!
I also hope to bring more transparency to our Architectural Review process. This process can sometimes be controversial, but at the end of the day, consistent application of our governing rules benefits our entire community.
If we can accomplish these operational initiatives, I want to then move on to community discussions about updating our governing rules. This is an ambitious plan, but I am so excited by the prospect of our association being in a position to have a strong, organized voice in the larger Westchester community. That starts with smooth running operations and a platform where engaged community members can interact and express themselves to leadership.
So who’s in? Join me and the Board for our next Board meeting on the 2nd Tuesday of the month. Agendas are posted on our website no later than the Thursday preceding the meeting. With the exception of our part-time Operations Manager, we are all volunteers and we can’t make big changes without your help. We need YOU! 🙂
ARE YOU ON OUR EMAIL &/OR PHONE LIST?
Occasionally, information for our members is important enough to send widely, but doesn’t legally require U.S. mail, which is very expensive. This is when we turn to email and phone messages.
If you would like to be added to our email list, please provide your email address privately on our website at www.kentwoodhomeguardians.com/email.
If you prefer text or phone call messages, please privately provide your phone number on our website at www.kentwoodhomeguardians.com/phone, or call the office at 310.670. 5111.
GRINDER LOT DEVELOPMENT
The lot where the former Grinder restaurant sat is within the boundaries of KHG. Redevelopment of that lot has been a topic of conversation for years. The current owner is in talks with the City to build 87 apartment units on the site, which wraps in an L-shape around the gas station and Jiffy Lube.
The developer owner presented plans to the Neighborhood Council Planning & Land Use Committee in July, to our KHG Architectural Committee in early August and to our member-ship at our September Board meeting. You can read a summary of the project, including a summary of community comments on our website at www.kentwoodhomeguardians.com /2017/07/19/grinder-project-preview/.
Added traffic burden, ingress/egress out of the property on Manchester and inadequate parking are a few of the biggest objections. A traffic study is underway and the developer is working with the City on reconfiguration options to find additional parking. We have asked the developer to come back to a Board meeting in October or November when they are closer to finalizing their proposal. Please plan on joining us at that meeting and bring your questions and concerns.
WE HAVE A FACEBOOK PAGE
Have you seen our Facebook page? We created the page to easily share news items about our community that we think will interest our members. There has been some interest expressed in creating a private group where we can interact privately and more directly with each other.
Find the page at www.facebook.com/kent woodhomeguardians/. Give a thumbs up to the Welcome Message if you’re interested in having a private group on Facebook (instructions in that message).
OLD FIRE STATION UPDATE
We are staying in close contact with our Councilman’s office regarding the City’s plans for the old fire station on 85th Place (within KHG’s boundaries). There was talk that the City might redevelop the site for homeless transition housing. That idea was met with pushback from the community and the site was tagged instead for sale, with proceeds to support transitional housing. We were recently assured that the property is still being held for sale at a later date.
Recently, Mar Vista converted its old fire station into a community center. If any of our members would like to lead or sit on a steering committee to explore the same idea for our old fire station, please contact the KHG office (call 310.670.5111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will help present ideas to our Councilman’s office.
EMERSON AVE GARDEN
Are you familiar with Emerson Avenue Community Garden right here in Kentwood? The garden is on the grounds at Wright Middle School STEAM Magnet and is billed as a space for school students and community members to grow food, gather with friends and enjoy the great outdoors.
There is a waiting list for garden plots, but the Garden offers a variety of classes and gatherings for all ages, including drum circles, guided meditations, movie nights and the Westchester Arts & Music Block Party.
NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY & SECURITY
There has been an unfortunate uptick in crime in our community recently. KHG would like to help facilitate formation of Neighborhood Watch groups and host a forum with tips for homeowners to secure their homes. We need a volunteer to oversee this initiative. Is that you? Call the office at 310.670.5111 or email email@example.com.
If you are a landlord here in Kentwood, please work with your tenant(s) to be respectful neighbors, including working with them to coordinate bulky item pickups, parking respect-fully and putting out and pulling in trash cans in a timely manner.
As most residents know, LA’s Dept. of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation will pick up large or bulky household items, such as mattresses, couches and other furniture but a formal request needs to be made. It is not enough to simply deposit the item on the curb. Requests can be made by calling 800.773.2489 or using the 311 mobile app. Actual pick up is usually on trash day by a separate truck.
Please also ask tenants to park in driveways to the extent possible and observe that most parking in front of houses is intended to accommodate two cars.
GOOD NEIGHBOR LAWS
We live in a relatively dense urban setting and to help us all get along, the Los Angeles Municipal Code offers a series of laws called “Good Neighbor Laws,” covering topics such as dogs, trash containers, construction, car alarms, leaf blowers and similar. Find the specific LAMC sections on our website at www.kentwoodhomeguardians.com/good-neighbor-laws.
SIDEWALK REPAIR PROGRAM
Property owners who make repairs to their sidewalks are eligible to receive up to $10,000 in rebates from the City under the Safe Sidewalks LA program.
The program is the result of litigation against the City by groups alleging that the City’s sidewalks were not compliant with the American with Disabilities Act.
To receive the rebate, owners must first apply with the City. A City employee will visit the site to determine a repair estimate. The property owner must then pay for the repairs and submit for rebates. Get more information here.
OUR NEIGHBOR LMU
Classes are back in session. If you have problems with students off-campus, you can use the following contact info:
- For emergencies: 9-1-1
- For non-emergencies: 310.338.2893 for LMU Public Safety, 877.275.5273 for LAPD Dispatch, 213.485.4184 for LADOT Parking Enforcement
- General questions: 310.338.2759 or http://www.lmu.edu/community
Do you know about the LMU Neighborhood Advisory Council (“NAC”)? Comprised of representatives from LMU, a representative from our Councilman’s office, LMU student representtatives, four homeowners and a representative from our Neighborhood Council, NAC meets quarterly to address LMU issues impacting our community. The next meeting is Wednesday, November 15th (6:30 p.m.) at the Westchester Senior Center. More at www.community.lmu.edu/forourneighbors/nac/.