Silver Lake council denounces Sunset Junction demolition

Photo by Jim SchneeweisBy Mary Allen

By Mary Allen

The unexpected demolition late last month of a cluster of Sunset Junction storefronts was denounced by members of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Wednesday night, with some suggesting the council needed to pay more attention to such matters.

Officials from the neighborhood council and Council District 13 said they were taken by surprise when developer  Frost/Chaddock ordered the demolition of the one-story building near the corner of Santa Monica and Sunset boulevards. The building –  which once  served as the original site to A Different Light, a gay bookstore that eventually become a nationwide chain – was considered a possible historic landmark.  A condo development has been proposed for the site.

While neighborhood councils serve only as advisory bodies, “maybe we could start identifying people who violated a basic level of trust in the neighborhood,” said board Member Paul M. Neuman.  Added Treasurer Anthony Crump:  “We have to be much more diligent.”
The  general sentiment  expressed by board members was that Frost/Chaddock demolished the buildings in order to circumvent neighborhood opposition and permitting delays. Board member Elizabeth Bougart-Sharkov noted that “…the L.A. Conservancy application for historic preservation was underway when it was demolished.”

Other highlights from Wednesday night’s meeting:

Board Actions
The board approved the following items:

  • Expand  on-site beer and wine Permit for Rambutan Restaurant.
  • Support beer and wine permit for Cowboys and Turbans Restuarant.
  • $200 for to support Music Box Steps Day event.
  • Support Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) classes in October and a staged “Disaster Weedend” on November 5-6.
  • Support Streets for People Pilot Project – re-purposing of existing street space at Sunset and Griffith Park boulevards. The triangle of asphalt at Griffith Park and Sunset Boulevard is one of three Los Angeles public street spaces identified for re-purposing into temporary neighborhood and people friendly mini-parks. The pilot program seeks to re-purpose sections of public street with a minimum of time and effort leaving a community with increased pedestrian space.

Selections, Appointments & Congratulations
The SLNC Board selected three new board members to fill vacancies.

  • Travis Potter, Region 2
  • Anne-Marie Johnson, Member at Large
  • Nadine Trujillo, Member at Large

In a creative attempt to encourage neighborhood council participation, Council member Sarah Dale resigned last month as Member At Large to open up two At-Large seats on the Board of Governors. The council subsequently re-selected her to serve as District Five Representative. Community member Danny Dresser declined to run for a seat on the board and instead stated, “I am electing myself to Ambassador of Goodwill.”

“Homeless to Housed” Campaign
People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) in a first step toward housing 26 of the most at-risk homeless residents of Silver Lake. In partnership with the council, the program will begin the campaign with a survey of the local homeless population. For more information on volunteering for any part of the program, contact Jessica Wishan at PATH.
Volunteer Orientation: Friday October 21, 2011 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Street Outreach Survey: Saturday October 22 – Monday October 24, 5:30am -8am

Webmaster Enci Box detailed improvements made to the SLNC website, which include social media links, a monthly newsletter and improved calendar.

Dates to Note

  • October 11 @ 7 pm:  Sunset Business Neighborhood Watch inaugural meeting at at the Living Room Furniture Store. For more information contact Nadine Truillo.
  • October 15 @ 12 pm -3 pm:  Music Box Steps Day. Call (323) 663-7641 for more information.
  • October 21-24: PATH volunteer training and outreach survey
  • November 5 @ 9 am 12 pm:  Glendale Boulevard Community Cleanup for more information contact Josh Post (323) 842-6485

No comments

  1. Gee… a little late, perhaps?

  2. As usual. Well meaning people. Powerless body. SL residents are better off forming their own groups that can function without all the bureaucratic stuff that makes the neighborhood councils impotent.

  3. Forget all the “historical” hullabaloo….

    When is my condo going to be ready?! I need that Silver Lake zip code ASAP! I need to be close enough to stroll over to Intelligentsia for my morning latte and the get some new kicks at Undefeated!

    Hipster, Hipster, Hooray!!!!!

  4. For future stores, it would be every helpful if you said what some of these actions or issues actually are. You merely give a label that means nothing and serves only to tell us nothing. For example:

    “Board Actions
    The board approved the following items:

    Expand on-site beer and wine Permit for Rambutan Restaurant.
    Support beer and wine permit for Cowboys and Turbans Restuarant.
    $200 for to support Music Box Steps Day event,
    CERT and Emergency Classes
    Streets for People Pilot Project – re-purposing of existing street space at Sunset and Griffith Park Boulevard.”

    None of that tells us what is going one. Expand an alcohol permit? From what to what? “Expand” in and of itself means nothing. Or, “CERT and Emergency Classes” — OK, what about them? “repurposing of existing street” — what in hell does that mean, what’s going on, what’s changing?!

    A news report needs to be clear and explain what needs to be explained.

  5. Knocking down those cute storefronts that have been there for probably a 100 years is a travesty. It’s frontage like that that makes our community special. It’s what makes people invest in the neighborhood. I’m all for development. But not at the expense of landmark buildings. There’s what looks to be a boarded up hotel/covalescent home across from Malo. THAT needs to be developed. ACE Hotel anyone?

  6. That’s BS this blog reported that this was going to occur
    a couple of months ago. They are just trying to save face!!!

  7. I don’t understand how the SLNC can be so out of touch when they have a Boardmember Sarah Dale who owns a store one block away from the demolition?

  8. charles herman-wurmfeld

    officially inviting the ACE hotels to consider the boarded up hotel across from malo is an excellent idea and one the Silver Lake NC can help you with. please contact me through the SLNC website, or come to the Urban Design And Preservation Committee meeting at 6:30 on Wed Eve at the community room of citibank hosted by board member bogart-sharkov if you’d like to pursue. There – in open comments at the beginning of the meeting – you can restate the idea of making such an invitation (and perhaps another one or two while we’re at it; André Balazs, owner of the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles and the Mercer in New York City comes to mind) – and build momentum for a MOTION from the council on the topic. Such an ‘official invitation’ coming from our local government – the board (and so the people of silver lake) – would be symbolic but critical, visionary first step in making your vision happen. With motion in hand we could drum up further support at the GGPNC and our city councilmens offices – moving us closer to a solution. On this and all issues that face our community i’m urging you – and all – to step up and support your democratically elected local government – and so yourselves… Thanks to the EASTSIDER for this empowering coverage of SLNC ongoing business. Keep it up!

  9. I’m not surprised…I sent an email recently to a SLNC “bored” member regarding an issue at the rec department and guess what … no response. Next time voting comes up, they are out.

  10. When were the current members of the neighborhood council elected? I swear it’s the same few people on that board for the last several years. When was the last election? When’s the next one for residents to choose their neighborhood council members? How are those elections publicized? The current council seems to show up to denounce things or be against things after the fact. Are they ever proactive about anything? Who are the leaders of the council? Don’t they set the tone for what gets accomplished or as is usually the case, not accomplished? Nice people, but maybe bad management and structure?

  11. Neighborhoods like Nolita in NYC, Whicker Park in Chicago, Mission District in Frisco help to define the dynamic nature of those other cities without losing alot of their characteristic architecture, but Los Angeles’ neighborhoods always seem to find ways to lose buildings that matter and arent even aware of it… And just when you think LA is on the way to culturally equaling those other cities………..

  12. @ Clam Baked: I’m pretty sure they just elected 3 new ones this past Wednesday.

    Can’t remember where I saw the announcement for potential candidates to go to the meeting to apply (it might have been here on Eastsider) but I only saw it the night before and it was too late to go there or try to spread the word.

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