SUPPORT CHEREMOYA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
Our own Cheremoya Elementary School is having a Craft Market and Holiday Tree Sale this Saturday, December 10th from 10:30 am to 5pm. For more information check out their website: CheremoyaFoundation.org
HELP! MY NEIGHBOR IS RENTING THROUGH AIR BNB
by Kathy Richards
One of the most frequent questions the Oaks Homeowners Board receives from residents is about troublesome short-term rentals — loud noise, parties, and general disruption. Right now there’s a lot of controversy about short-term rentals in Los Angeles with a proposal to legalize and regulate home-sharing having been approved by the Planning Commission. Believe it or not, Airbnb and other methods of short-term home-sharing are currently not legal within single-family residential areas of Los Angeles (like the Oaks), but the current regulations prohibiting them are being largely ignored. New regulations must still be approved by the City Council and it is expected that some form of the plan will pass.
The new rules would impose regulations on Airbnb and similar websites that advertise rooms (or whole homes) for short stays and will include limiting the number of days properties may be offered and penalizing platforms that fail to provide key rental information to the city. Under the proposed rules, Angelenos who rent out their primary residence for short stays could do so legally for up to 180 days annually.
It seems inevitable that the new law will pass, so what can you do to keep the peace on your street if the new regulations legalize and sanction home sharing? One good suggestion is to provide your neighbor who is renting his or her home with the following Good Neighbor Policy for Renters. Or, if the owner is out of town, give it directly to the renters and ask them to respect the guidelines. In the case of persistent or continuous loud noise,
music or similar issues, call the police at (877) ASK-LAPD and report the issue – and let your neighbor know when and how many times you had to do so. Hopefully that will encourage the owners to impose stronger regulations on their guests.
GOOD NEIGHBOR POLICY For Short-Term Renters
This home is located in a quiet residential neighborhood with a noise ordinance that is strictly enforced by the local police as well as our property management team.
All guests are required to maintain reasonable and respectful low-noise levels – especially outdoors and in evening hours – in consideration of our neighbors.
Violations will result in City fines or loss of lease. Outdoor amplified music is prohibited by City Ordinance, so we suggest that you bring your personal headphones. No speaker or boom box of any kind is permitted outside the property. Please be aware that the City enforces this policy.
As detailed in your rental agreement, any unreasonable noise disturbances resulting in a call to our office from a neighbor or a visit by the police will result in a minimum $250 charge.
Any Loud or Large Party or over-occupancy of the home is strictly prohibited – and will result in immediate loss of lease and forfeiture of security deposit. Daytime and overnight occupancy limits for the home are specified in your agreement and are strictly enforced.
No outside noise after 10:00pm weekdays and 11:00pm weekends.
Please park your vehicles in the assigned spots. Please do not take up street parking that is meant for residents of the neighborhood.
THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE OAKS
by Sheri Hellard
When Kathy Richards approached me about writing a column on houses and architecture for our newsletter, I thought “What better way than to start with my own house?”
I moved to The Oaks thirteen years ago after an exhaustive home search that lasted nearly a year and a half. I had been looking for something mid-century modern with head-on city views. When my realtor, Boni Bryant, also an Oaks resident, called to tell me “There’s a house that just came on the market that’s nothing like you asked for, but I think you should take a look,” I did. Before I even walked through the front door I knew this was going to be my home.
Villa Manola was built in 1924 for Marie Martin. In 1919 Marie and her husband John, a rancher, purchased a three-acre parcel of land with the address of 2245 Canyon Drive. At that time, the property encompassed a portion of Canyon Drive, both sides of Canyon Cove, and all of Manola Way. A year later John passed away leaving Marie a widow with two young daughters: Dolly, 13 and Gladys, 12. In 1922 Marie parceled off the land into twenty-three lots but kept 5900 Manola Way for the house she was to build.
In 1923 Mrs. Martin hired a young architect by the name of Paul R. Williams. Born in 1894 in Los Angeles, Williams was orphaned at the age of four and brought up by his godmother Emily P. Clarkson. Williams knew at an early age that he wanted to be an architect, but was concerned that because he was African-American he would not be able to find work in that field. He studied drawing at the Los Angeles School for Art, took evening classes at the Los Angeles Institute of Beaux Arts Design, and studied engineering at USC. He worked in the architecture offices of Wilbur D. Cook, Jr., Reginald D. Johnson, and finally, John C. Austin, before opening his own office in 1922. Also in 1922 Mr. Williams became the first African-American member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Williams would go on to become one of the most important architects of his era.
Built on a L-shaped plan, Villa Manola is Moorish Revival in style. The residence is situated along the South and West sides of a paved courtyard with a six-sided fountain in the middle of the courtyard. Williams’ design features numerous Moorish elements, including doors, windows, and archways. The main residence includes a large barrel-ceilinged living room with a Moorish fireplace, a vaulted dining room, and large kitchen. Also on the first floor is a bathroom and bedroom. Upstairs there are three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Sharing a wall with the main house is a guest house which includes a living room, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room. Almost every room in the main house opens to a balcony, porch, or patio, making the home true indoor/outdoor living.
Villa Manola is truly a special place. I knew it from the minute I set eyes on it, and I know it now after more than thirteen years of living here. I’m proud to report that in March of 2015 Villa Manola become Los Angeles Historical Cultural Monument #1084.
Sunday, December 18th from 5:30 to 8:30 pm
At the home of Bob & Joan Young
firstname.lastname@example.org to get location
For over 20 years the Oaks has welcomed costumed kids to our winding streets, made safer by closing most of Park Oak so the ghouls and goblins can walk without fear of being run down by a car. This year we had great numbers and very creative costumes. It was fun!
Monday, October 31st from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Ghosts, goblins, pirates, princesses and all are invited to begin the Halloween Walk at the intersection of Alto Oak and Hill Oak. A table of holiday treats and beverages marks the meeting spot. Trick or Treating will be better than ever and the walk ends at Spring Oak and Park Oak Drive.
Park Oak Drive will be closed to traffic from the intersection of Spring Oak Drive to the 5 corners from 6pm to 9pm. Should you need to drive in or out of your house during that time, we ask that you please park your car on Canyon Oak or Spring Oak temporarily and enjoy the Halloween festivities. The Homeowners Association apologizes for any inconvenience and sincerely hopes residents agree that this short closure will make the Halloween night safer and more fun for everyone. Thank you!
DON’T MISS THE OAKS FAMILY PICNIC!
Saturday, June 18th, 2016
11:30 am – 2:30 pm
Bronson Park (at the end of Canyon Drive) across from the playground
Kids games and entertainment – Great “chef prepared” picnic food and desserts – Bouncy Bounce – Arts & Crafts – Meet new neighbors and connect with old friends.
For HOA Members Only. Not a current member? Join at the picnic! Annual dues are only $40 per family.
We look forward to seeing you there!
SUMMER VEGETABLE SALAD
GREEK ORZO SALAD
MAC ‘N CHEESE
GREEK HAND PIES WITH GREENS
BBQ CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS
HUMMUS & PITA CHIPS
CHERRY & BLUEBERRY SLAB PIE
Oaks Homeowners Association Annual Meeting, March 8th 2016
On March 8th, nearly one hundred residents of the Oaks gathered in the Immaculate Heart High School cafeteria for the 2016 Annual Meeting. Linda Othenin-Girard, president of the Oaks Homeowners Association board, called the meeting to order shortly after 7 p.m. Linda introduced the other members of the board and described the work the board does, noting our involvement in traffic issues (think of Franklin and Bronson), Griffith Park concerns including traffic problems associated with the park, and crime issues. The board also arranges social events such as the Halloween Walk, the summer picnic, and the holiday party every December.
After her remarks, Linda introduced our city councilmember David Ryu. After introducing his senior field deputy, Catherine Landers and her neighborhood advocate Adam Miller, David began by reviewing some of the projects he’s working on as he begins his first term in council. One initiative involves the development of a substandard street overlay zone that will identify and map streets in the hillside areas that are less than twenty feet wide. This map could then be the basis of a construction overlay zone that will set standards for construction in the hillside areas. David said his office has been receiving complaints over the past six months about the overwhelming volume of construction. He explained that the trouble started because permits have not been needed for minor remodels or redevelopments on residential properties. The complaints do not arise when one neighbor is remodeling, but when four or five neighbors are remodeling and another is building a new home on the same street. He said it has been a growing public safety concern.
David also addressed the much-talked-about CD4 discretionary fund. Because he wants the process for distribution to be transparent, Ryu has created a Discretionary Fund Task Force to help oversee the use of these monies. With regard to infrastructure, he advised us of a water pipe replacement project in Runyan Canyon that will disrupt use of that park. He also addressed sidewalk repairs. Under the city’s standards, sidewalks in front of public buildings have the highest priority. However he doesn’t agree that these sidewalks in front of public buildings should get attention before residential sidewalks. He’s asking neighborhoods like ours to assist in an inventory of streets, sidewalks and trees that are in the worst condition.
David then took questions, the first of which dealt with the status of the on-hold Target project at Western and Sunset. Ryu said that the lawsuit challenging the project has been settled and that Target will complete construction of the store. He was also asked about the recently enacted Beachwood Canyon preferential parking districts and how “fixing” the Beachwood problem was pushing traffic problems to neighborhoods to the east including the Oaks. He acknowledged those impacts and said that he’s looking at various traffic issues including those related to Franklin Avenue.
Following David, boardmember Gerry Hans addressed several issues relating to Griffith Park. First, he urged residents not to use rodenticides against rats because these poisons pose a severe risk to wildlife. Higher-level predators in the park eat the rats that rodenticides have poisoned and are, in turn, poisoned. Hans pointed out that rats love living under English Ivy and that a great way to limit the number of rats is to remove the ivy. Gerry also noted that Friends of Griffith Park’s Phase II Technical Studies of the Historic Fern Dell Preservation Project is complete and awaiting approval by the Department of Recreation and Parks, after expenditures of about $250,000. In the meantime, engineering work for the repair of the closed-off pedestrian bridge near Red Oak will begin soon, with the hope to not only do the structural repairs but also to recreate its historic look.
Gerry introduced Joe Salaices, the superintendent of Recreation and Parks Operations for the Griffith Park region who discussed several significant issues relating to the park. Joe led with the news that the city is hiring twenty-three additional park rangers. While not all these new rangers will be assigned to Griffith Park, the hirings are a nice boost as they will increase ranger presence in the park. Joe also spoke about traffic issues affecting the park, including the traffic circulation plan for the Observatory. He assured us that Recreation and Parks has listened to our concerns and that there would be no shuttles on Mt. Hollywood Drive. Recreation and Parks is also trying to set up a Dash bus that would run from the Vermont/Sunset Red Line station into the Park. R&P is also creating parking for 300 cars at Travel Town with a shuttle to the Greek Theater for events there. And finally Salaices outlined various strategies being considered to mitigate the traffic problems in and around the Park during spring break, especially on Los Feliz Boulevard.
The last speakers were Craig White from the Los Angeles Fire Department and Senior Lead Officer Manny Sanchez of the police department. White spoke briefly about the resources available to respond to fires in the Oaks and invited residents to visit the new Fire Station No. 82 which serves the Oaks. SLO Sanchez spoke briefly about the Oaks and crime. While the Oaks remains a low crime area, that doesn’t mean there is no crime. He reminded us about basic precautions we can take such as being sure we lock cars parked on the street and that nothing that appears to be valuable is visible inside our cars. He also reviewed the appropriate occasions when people should call 911 (crime in progress; potential for injury) as opposed to calling LAPD Dispatch (877-275-5273 (877-ASK-LAPD)) for non-emergency situations.
Before Linda closed the meeting, she asked the members of the homeowners association to re-elect the board for another year. The members unanimously re-elected the board, and the meeting then adjourned.
CRIME ON THE RISE
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM NEIGHBORHOOD CRIME
There have been numerous reports of an increase of crime in our neighborhood – burglaries, thefts of tools from worksites, breaking open garage doors, breaking into cars, and even a home invasion. We have asked the police for increased patrols in the neighborhood, but the best defenses against crime are your own actions.
The LAPD recommends you take the following precautions to protect your vehicle and home:
- Make sure your vehicle is locked and secure at all times.
- Don’t leave your garage door opener in the car where it can be stolen and used to open your garage door and possibly access your home.
- Never leave items in your vehicle, especially in plain view.
- Park your vehicle in a well-lighted area.
- Always lock your residence windows and doors prior to leaving.
- Install motion lights around your property. Lighting is the number one deterrent for burglars.
- Install an alarm system.
- Be a good neighbor and observer; report all suspicious activity regarding trespassers, no matter how insignificant it may seem.
- Be aware of suspicious vehicles and persons. Take note of vehicle descriptions and license plates.
- Have someone check on your residence while you are away on trips.
- Don’t let your newspapers and mail accumulate.
- If you leave your lights on while you are gone, use timers that make it look like you are at home turning lights on and off.
- Talk to your police about any problems in your neighborhood.
To report an emergency, call 911
To report suspicious activity or a non-emergency to the police,
Call: (977) 275-5273 (toll free)
SHORT-TERM RENTALS IN THE OAKS
By Wayne Schlock
Residents frequently contact the Oaks Homeowners Association about the issue of short-term rentals in our neighborhood, so we’ve provided a short overview of the subject for your reference.
There are three basic types of short-term rentals where the OHA has fielded concerns: vacation rentals, party rentals, and commercial filming rentals (more on each below). The city of Los Angeles Municipal code does not allow the first two, and the third is allowed only under certain limited circumstances. The zoning code section of the City Municipal Code defines the types of uses which are allowed in single-family residential neighborhoods such as ours. The Oaks Homeowners Association has no legally binding regulations or enforcement authority in cases where uses violate City codes. And the city’s record of enforcement and compliance to existing laws is spotty at best.
The municipal code does not allow home rentals for periods of time shorter than 30 consecutive days in single-family residential zones such as ours. This means that all short-term vacation rentals in the Oaks such as those found on the websites VRBO and AIRBNB are illegal. Currently in Los Angeles city government, there is some debate as to whether these rentals should be made legal. Those in favor cite the ability of homeowners to earn extra income by renting out rooms periodically. Those in opposition cite problems with parking, trash, noise, and absentee homeowners that can be are typically found with commercial home rental enterprises. Regardless of the debate, these rentals are currently illegal. If you have an issue with a problem rental, a call to the city operator at 311 explaining your problem will likely connect you to a building inspector who can advise on possible enforcement.
As stated before, the municipal code does not allow for home rentals shorter than 30 consecutive days, so renting a home out for an event is also illegal. Again, the type of complaints we have received concern noise, traffic, parking, trash, and other nuisances. If you have an issue with a party rental, a call to the city operator at 311 explaining your problem will likely connect you to a building inspector who can advise on possible enforcement. Evening noise complaints can be directed to LAPD’s non-emergency number @ 877 ASK-LAPD.
COMMERCIAL FILMING RENTALS
The Municipal Code does not allow commercial enterprises at homes in single-family zoned neighborhoods (other than for certain specific home occupations); however the Code does contain an exception for infrequent commercial filming. Although undefined in the Code, the key word to remember is “infrequent.” While LAPD is the authority that actually issues filming permits, the City of Los Angeles contracts with an industry funded organization (FilmLA), to facilitate and coordinate filming. Though most shoots are truly “infrequent,” in recent years permits have been granted in the Oaks for over a month of production on a realty television program at one location, and at another location for five multiple-day shoots in the same year, including three monthly shoots. To help avoid conflicts, the Oaks has created nonbinding guidelines for film production companies to follow. These guidelines can be found on our website. Additionally, the Oaks has a volunteer resident film liaison for residents concerning commercial filming. This person can be reached at email@example.com.
In all cases, if you have particular concerns, it is important to document your case as accurately as possible.
Oaks residents are invited to attend a presentation
on Thursday, February 25
by Jeff Sikich
“Working to Preserve Mountain Lion Populations in the LA Region”
Presented by Friends of Griffith Park
P-22, a male adult mountain lion, has been known to take quick visits to The Oaks now and then. Jeff Sikich, a biologist with the National Park Service, has tracked and studied him since he came to Griffith Park four years ago. How exactly did P-22 get into the park and how long will he remain are just a few of the questions Jeff Sikich will answer, as well as how to insure mountain lions are protected from vehicles, rodenticide use, loss of habitat and genetic isolation. The National Park Service continues to study mountain lion populations in our area which they’ve been observing since 2002.
Jeff Sikich was recently featured on CBS’s “60 Minutes“.
6:30 doors open, 6:45 lecture begins
Visitor Center Auditorium, 4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
RSVP for this lecture – seating is limited
Please join us for the
Oaks Homeowners Association
Tuesday, March 8th
7:00 – 8:30 PM at the
Immaculate Heart High School Cafeteria
(Entrance on Western Avenue)
Light refreshments will be served.
It’s the annual update on issues of importance to all residents of the Oaks.
Topics and speakers will include:
- Councilmember David Ryu
Speaking on current priorities for Council District 4
- Joe Salaices, Griffith Park Superintendent, Recreation & Parks
With an update on plans to mitigate traffic issues in the Park
- Officer Manny Sanchez, Senior Lead Officer, Hollywood Division, LAPD
Addressing rising crime in our area and what should be done about it
- Representatives from the LA Fire Department
Speaking about fire safety in our homes and the surrounding Park areas
As well as information regarding:
- The Work of your Oaks Board
- Traffic Congestion at Franklin & Bronson
- New Cell Phone Towers on Canyon Drive
- Oaks Street Repairs
You’ll have an opportunity to voice your concerns and ask questions of these key City representatives. Mark your calendars and join your neighbors at this important meeting!