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Oaks News Archive 2005

Oaks Fern Dell Clean-Up
Oaks Homeowners Association backs Urban Wilderness designation! (Fall 2005)
Oaks Summer Picnic a Success! (7/6/05)
Oaks Board takes action regarding two important Griffitth Park issues
Griffith Park Master Plan Draft Published
Oaks Fundraiser Night at the Vermont Restaurant (3/25/05)


2005 Annual Meeting

The Oaks Annual Meeting was held on Monday, March 7, 2005 at 7:30 pm at the Immaculate Heart School Cafeteria.

In attendance were all current board members and about 40 members. Guest speakers were Howard Cremin, author of “Los Feliz Oaks: A Place of Rare and Ineffable Charm”; Tom LaBonge, Councilmember 4th District; Scott Crawford, Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy; Peter Zellner, Zellner and Associates; and Christopher Carr, Environmental Designer.

Current association president Gerry Hans

The Oaks Homeowner’s Association’s new president Gerry Hans opened the meeting by introducing Howard Cremin, author of “Los Feliz Oaks: A Place of Rare and Ineffable Charm.” Howard then delighted the audience by providing anecdotes behind the research and writing of his book. Several copies of the book were sold at the meeting. ... [continued here]



The Master Plan Working Group met December 5th for the fifth monthly session. The attendance from the public watching the "Working Group" process continues to grow every meeting, totally over 100 for the December meeting. It's is extremely important that the public continue to make it known that they will not allow the process to be trivialized by the City. The general public is outraged by the content of the DRAFT that the hired consultants, Melendrez Partners, produced at a cost of over $400,000.

We now also raise our brows to the fact that Melendrez is promoting their DRAFT to Architect Associations (eg, AIA) and other professional organizations involved with planning/construction. One such meeting was a $50 per plate Westside Urban Forum event the third week of December. To add salt to the wound, Recreation and Parks' top guns, Jon Mukri and Kevin Regan, also were speakers at the Westside Urban Forum event!  Some working group members declined invitations to give a 10 minute rebutal to the Melendrez presentation because it was felt it is not appropriate that a draft plan, already rejected, be presented at all.

However, the Working Group in making significant progress in writing a plan that represents the public wishes for Griffith Park. Two chapters have been completed, "Visions" and "Plant & Animal World", and a third is in progress. The "Visions" chapter sets the tone for the new Master Plan, and can be seen here.

What you can do:
1. Attend the Working Group meetings - next one is Monday, January 9, 6:30pm at the Park Ranger Station Auditorium (Crystal Springs Drive)
2. Visit for other information
3. Sign the Urban Wilderness petition


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Oaks Fern Dell Clean-Up

With the help of our Park Rangers, the Oaks-sponsored "FERN DELL CLEAN-UP" removed graffiti and repainted about 20 Fern Dell benches and 12 concrete trash receptacles. Tagged rocks, fence posts, bridges, and sprinkler pipes were also restored. We hope we can make this a regular event to supplement the work that is provided by Recs & Park maintenance staff. In the future, we would like to also target stream clean-up, and plant care.



The work was done Saturday morning Oct 22nd, 9am-noon, and followed by a Pizza lunch. It doesn't take much time to do a lot of good for our Park users.

Some stayed for Pizza afterwards.


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Oaks Homeowners Association backs Urban Wilderness designation!

Griffith Park is the largest urban park in the country, with over 4200 acres of land.  A much smaller park, Debs Park, to the east of us near Highland Park has a portion of that park designated as "Urban Wilderness", effectively protecting it from development with the designation granted by the City Council. More on Debs Park and the Audubon Center at the park is available here.

As the 25 year Griffith Park Master Plan is in draft form currently, and as there is some question as to development infringing into the "open space" areas of our Park, the Oaks Homeowners strongly supports a petitioning effort that is currently underway.  We support this designation for remaining open space areas.  Current users will not be affected by the designation, but the establishment of this protected zone will help ensure the survival of Griffith Park's natural ecosystem, its indigenous plants and animals, and the continuation of the Parks unique historic identity.  We would like to see this designation recognized in the Griffith Park Master Plan, too!

More information about the petitioning effort is availble at

The Master Plan draft is available for download here.

The Los Feliz Improvement Association and the Hollywood United Neighborhood Council also strongly support this petition.

You can help! Please download, print, sign and mail in a petition today!

Please volunteer to help us get more petitions signed at Mayfair's, Farmers' Market, and at Griffith Park!! To get started, email

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Summer Picnic A Success!

The Oaks annual picnic was held Saturday, June 26th in Bronson Canyon Park. The summer picnic provides a wonderful venue to meet neighbors. While it is nice to get caught-up with the news of “old time” friends and neighbors, it is also rewarding to meet & greet the new folks in The Oaks.

Mother Nature cooperated and it was ideal weather for the outing. Earl’s Grill did their usual fantastic job with the picnic food. Thank you to Prudential California Reality for the 2005 sponsorship of the event.

It looked like the kids really had a blast bouncing about in the “Jumper.” There were also special races & games for kids only, including the 3-legged race and the traditional sack race. The kids’ races were entertaining for the spectators as well as the participants! And, of course, every kid was a winner, and received a prize.

An exciting raffle was held toward the finale of the picnic. We were fortunate to have some great prizes this year, including Trader Joe’s Gift Certificates, various restaurant meals (Palermo’s, Figaro Café, Tam O’Shanter) and a gift certificate to TailWaggers pet store. Other great prizes included a copy of Howard Cremin’s book, an expensive bottle of wine, and family memberships to the Los Angeles Zoo. We appreciate the generosity of the sponsors.

We should also extend a final “Thank You” to the Board for their hard work & efforts which made such an enjoyable and relaxing day possible for the rest of us. Our Summer Picnic is another reason why I’m glad we live in The OAKS!

Mary Button, picnicker

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Griffith Park Master Plan Draft Published

The City Department of Recreation and Parks has published a draft of the 2005 Griffith Park Master Plan on their website here.

Oaks Board takes action regarding two important Griffitth Park issues

The board opposes the proposed consolidation of City of Los Angeles Park Rangers into the General Services Department and the resulting changes in park services. Read a letter the board has sent to Councilman Tom LaBonge in this regard, here.

The other issue concerns the Western Canyon gate to Griffith Park, as it relates to the reopening of the Griffith Observatory. The board strongly supports the continued sunset closure of the gate at Red Oak Drive and Fern Dell Drive.  In the past, there were lots of criminal activities at night in that area bordering the Oaks. Read the letter Oaks HOA has sent jointly with Friends of Fern Dell, here.  Watch for the next Community Workshop soon to be scheduled regarding the Observatory reopening.

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Oaks Fundraiser Night at the Vermont Restaurant

Those who dined at the Vermont Restaurant on the evening of Tuesday, March 22nd were rewarded with a double treat.  Not only did they escape the darkness of a blackout in our residential neighborhood that evening, but they were privileged to enjoy being served a special dinner at the restaurant by the members of our association's Board of Directors.  The special dinner, as tasted beforehand by the members of the Board, (waiters/waitresses), included delicious plates typical of the those offered by the restaurant regularly.

Amateur waiter and board member Rainer Standke relays an order to Vermont's supernaturally patient co-owner Manuel Mesta

The entire amount of the tips that Board members received was donated to the Oaks Homeowners Association, as planned.  While there was no competition amongst the servers, it happens that the waiter/waitress who 'earned' the most in tips last year is the same as the one who earned the most tips this year.  Surpassing all precedent, this year's winner actually earned more money in tips at a table for 7 than the total cost of the dinner at that table.
Wait staff from the Oaks Board was Gerry Hans, Jonathan Corob, sommelier, Marilyn Johnson, Jeffrey Lane, Holly Purcell (our main contact with the restaurant), Caroline Schweich, and Rainer Standke.

Watch for this to happen again next year...

Some fun was had in spite of some rather busy times. In this picture: Board members Holly Purcell and Jeff Lane.

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