Silver Lake council backs anti-development art project

Courtesy Anne Hars


SILVER LAKE — The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council  put its support and money behind an anti-development art project that will place balloons over homes that are to be demolished for larger and pricey residential developments.

The council on Wednesday night approved spending $200 dollars to fund the documentation of the Anne Hars’ UpHouse LA Project, which would include a website, photographs and mapping. The SLNC will be credited on the website.

Initially, the money was going to fund the bouquets of balloons, but council member Georgene Smith-Goodin noted that the council couldn’t legally fund that. The balloons would be on private property and anything the council gives money to must benefit the public.

“We are happy to support this and that we found a way to fund it,” says council member Heather Carson.

The photos and maps on the website are crucial to supporting UpHouse LA, Hars said.

“They put a lot of creativity trying to figure out how to fund this,” Hars said of the council. “ It felt good to get that support.”

Har’s UpHouse Project was inspired by the 2009 animated film Up and the the story of Edith Macefield, an elderly Seattle resident who refused to sell her cottage to real estate developers. The developers ended up building around her property.  The balloons serve as a symbol of protest against developers wanting to remove existing homes and apartment, many of them rent controlled, and build luxury small-lot complexes in their place.

Silver Lake has seen numerous developments built under the small-lot ordinance, which allows builders to squeeze more single-family homes on a property than usually allowed. While these homes are built very close together and have very small or no yards, they have proven popular with buyers looking for new housing in established neighborhoods like Silver Lake.

However, opponents feel these new homes are out of neighborhood character and aren’t affordable.

Ironically, after the council approved support for Har’s balloon project, the board members took up a motion to support the construction of a four-unit, small lot housing development. Many local residents came to voice their disapproval, echoing some of Hars’s sentiments. The council voted against supporting the development.

Jacqueline Fernandez is a Los Angeles-based reporter who’s written for various media outlets such as Los Angeles Wave, The Miami Herald and WLRN-Miami Herald News.

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  1. I’d like to see the apparent NIMBY friendly NC match this propaganda with a donation to meals for homeless. This balloon buffoonery is equivalent to 800 meals for the homeless. Especially important given the balloons represent a group who wants to keep housing and rental costs sky high normal working folks. If the balloon batch really had their way homelessness would only rise.

  2. I suspect that the neighborhood council members who voted in favor of this ridiculousness are also the immature types who plan to vote for Bernie Sanders in the upcoming primary election…….

    I’m sorry but there is a housing crisis in Los Angeles. Increased density in neighborhoods close to downtown absolutely is part of the solution. Attempting to keep Silver Lake preserved in amber now that they got their piece of the pie is absolutely part of the problem.

  3. Check out this balloon brigade proudly flying their NIMBY label (credit Anne’s cool website): https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1T5igW0r7BA/VvRVTdwHwsI/AAAAAAAAAxA/8rJPa5c7Vi8qtFh5UyproT05h0cODdN2A/s1600/25994069075_4e7d48fe7a_k.jpg

    How sickening to see home owners like Anne who have massively profited from our housing shortage parade around like dogooders. Keep putting those NIMBY signs n your yards! Really smart

  4. …and this is why the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council is irrelevant.

  5. These small lot developments of neighboring families living closely together is really ruining the character of the neighborhood.

  6. I’d rather have small lot subdivisions than McMansions. What does Anne Hars think, I wonder?

  7. Thank you for that link Buster. I haven’t seen so many smug faces in one gathering since the South Park “Smug Alert” episode.

    One thing these selfish people don’t seem to realize is that the small lot ordinance only allows these developments on lots that were already zoned for multi-family developments. Small lot developments are BETTER in terms of smaller scale than the large apartments buildings that fill up the lot that could otherwise be built on these lots.

    If these people are so opposed to living next to people who don’t have yards as large as theirs they should have done their homework before they bought where they did. There are plenty of neighborhoods they could have chosen from that are zoned almost exclusively single family. Eagle Rock and vast swaths of Pasadena come to mind. They could also have purchased further up the hills in Silver Lake as most of those lots are zoned for single family homes with the occasional R-2 lot at “worst.”

  8. The issue concerns r2d zoning. Real estate companies do not inform buyers of the potential of development projects in the area. What looks like a neighborhood of single family homes and duplexes is often rd2 which is crack cocaine for small lot developers who want large short term profits. Apartments are a long game, not a quick high. As the zoning rules stand there is no right to a view or privacy; so get ready for the new Brooklyn. Three story walk up with no outside amenities for 700,000 to 1,000,000; that’s so New York.

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