Brentwood residents and Councilman Bonin demand still more revisions of Archer Forward Project

WHAT WILL BE LEFT? Archer parents need to know whether the unavoidable negative impact on the educational and social experience of students during 3 years of construction is wise or justified in view of new demands for restrictive conditions. 

Prior to the June 30, 2015 meeting of the Planning and Land Use Committee of the Los Angeles City Council, Thelma Waxman, leader of the Brentwood Neighbors and Friends opposition to the Archer expansion project, sent the following memo to the Brentwood community and the below reproduced letter to the Council members on the committee. Note the characterization of the significant (to Archer parents and students) additional restrictive revisions made by the City Planning Commission as “minor” and that she proposes a very extensive list of new conditions IN ADDITION to those Councilman Bonin said he would require. The project as approved by the Planning Commission is a heavily gutted version of the original project. If further restrictive conditions are imposed at the June 30 meeting parents should demand that the Archer Board re-assess the desirability and feasibility of the final project and report fully to the Archer community their conclusions and reasoning.

0 Archer's lack of candor

MEMO TO BRENTWOOD COMMUNITY
To: Brentwood Neighbors and Friends
Sent: Monday, June 15, 2015 1:34 PM
Subject: PLUM Hearing for Archer Project
Dear Neighbors and Friends,
I am writing to update you on the next steps in the process regarding Archer’s project.
City Planning Commission Decision
At the April 23 hearing in Van Nuys, the City Planning Commission approved Archer’s project and on May 13, 2015 the City issued a Determination Letter that Certified Archer’s Environmental Impact Report, Adopted the Findings and Approved the Conditional Use Permit.  As expected, the Commission made only minor changes to Archer’s project and the conditions governing the use of the School.  However, this is not the end.
Appeal and PLUM Hearing on Tuesday, June 30
Once the Commission issued the Determination Letter, aggrieved parties had 15 days to appeal the decision, which I did May 27 on behalf of the Residential Neighbors of Archer.  In appealing the Commission’s decision, I asked the City Council to reverse the decision of the City Planning Commission and impose further restrictions and limitations on the Project.
This means that there will be a hearing in front of PLUM (Planning and Land Use Management Committee) on June 30.  PLUM hearings are held Tuesdays at 2:00pm in the Board of Public Works on the Third Floor of City Hall in downtown Los Angeles.   We will need everyone to attend, so please mark this date on your calendar.  (Many of you have received the notice.  If not, I have posted it to our website.)
What Will Happen at the PLUM Hearing?
Like the past two hearings, both sides will have an opportunity to speak to the three members of the committee—Councilmembers Huizar, Englander, and Cedillo.  In addition, Tricia Keane from Councilmember Bonin’s office will attend and request that the PLUM members adopt the changes requested by the Councilmember in his April 22 letter to the Commission in addition to any other changes he may require.  After the PLUM hearing, the next step will be a vote in City Council.  Many of you received the email from Councilmember Bonin April 24 that outlined the changes he is requiring of the project and promising that, “When this issue is appealed and comes to City Council in several weeks, I will apply the changes to the project myself, until we get this project right.”
Write PLUM and Councilmember Bonin
Councilmember Bonin has made it clear that he will implement the changes he outlined in his April 22 letter to the Commission.  However, more changes are required to protect our neighborhood.   That is why we must continue to advocate for additional operational conditions such as limiting weeknight and weekend use to mitigate noise impacts, imposing limits on stack parking to mitigate traffic impacts, limiting access to the surrounding residential streets for construction and operations, and adding more compliance measures to enforce these conditions.
We Need Your Help
We need everyone to write the PLUM Committee:
Councilmember Huizar  councilmember.huizar@lacity.org
Councilmember Englander  councilmember.englander@lacity.org
Councilmember Cedillo  councilmember.cedillo@lacity.org
with a cc to Councilmember Bonin
It is important we let the Committee know that in addition to Councilmember Bonin’s changes, the community needs the project to be conditioned with additional protections.  Using the emails above, email the attached letter to the members of PLUM as well as Councilmember Bonin. Be sure to add your name and address to the letter at the end of it and send a copy of your email to me at archerneighbor@gmail.com.
Covenant
Although the process is moving forward, we continue to hold out hope that a compromise can be reached with Archer and memorialized through a 20-year covenant agreement with BHA and the neighbors.   I would like to have a meeting Tuesday, June 23 at my house at 7:30pm in order to give everyone an update on where things stand and to talk about the hearing.  Please let me know if you are able to attend.
Thank You
It is hard to believe that three years ago we first met in my living room to talk about Archer’s plans and the affect on our neighborhood.  As we near the end of the City’s decision making process I wanted to thank everyone for their support.  We have been united in our concern and unwavering in our goal to protect our neighborhood from the original massive expansion plan.  Together we have made a difference.  We still have outstanding bills so if you would like to contribute, please make your check payable to Strumwasser and Woocher and leave it in my mail box or bring it to the meeting.
Thanks again,
_____________

stand-up-speak-out

LETTER TO COUNCIL MEMBERS

June 15, 2015

Councilmember Jose Huizar, Chair

Councilmember Gilbert A. Cedillo

Councilmember Mitchell Englander

Planning and Land Use Management Committee

Board of Public Works, Edward R. Roybal Hearing Room 350, 200 North Spring Street Los Angeles, CA  90012

Re: Archer Project CPC-2014-666-VCU-ZAA-SPR

Dear Council members,

As a neighbor directly affected by the proposed expansion plan by Archer School for Girls (Archer), I am writing to ask that you reverse the decision of the City Planning Commission and impose further restrictions and limitations on Archer’s Proposed Project as well as the Conditions of Approval.

For over two years Councilmember Mike Bonin and his staff have worked with the community to make sure that the proposed Archer expansion plan would not worsen traffic or have harmful impacts on the neighborhood.

After months of negotiations with the neighbors and school officials, Councilmember Bonin requested at the April 23 City Planning Commission hearing that the Commission incorporate changes into the project in order “to ensure that the project does not impact the quality of life in the surrounding neighborhood.” Unfortunately, the Commission did not honor his request.  I respectfully ask that you implement the changes requested by Councilmember Bonin in his April 22, 2015 letter to the City Planning Commission.

I also request that you further modify the Project by adopting the conditions listed below proposed by the Residential Neighbors of Archer.  These changes are necessary to mitigate the impact to the neighborhood from an intensification of use and to ensure that the Conditions of Approval are complied with through effective enforcement mechanisms.  Without these additional changes, the Project will not be fully or adequately conditioned and will lack effective means of compliance and enforcement.   (These modifications can be found in the revised Conditions of Approval submitted to the PLUM Committee by Thelma Waxman on behalf of the Residential Neighbors of Archer.)

As Councilmember Bonin observed in his letter to the Commission, “Although the recommended conditions require additional trip caps and mitigation measures designed to remove traffic impacts under CEQA,  that does not go far enough to reduce the real impacts of the project’s traffic burden on the neighborhood.”   The only way to reduce the real impacts of the project is to implement Councilmember Bonin’s changes and adopt the Revised Conditions of Approval submitted by the RNA, specifically the modifications outlined below.

  1. Mitigate impacts from noise on weeknights and weekends.
  2. Mitigate significant and unavoidable impacts from use of the campus on Saturdays
  • Require that Extracurricular Activities, Customary School Activities, and Special Events that are held in outdoor courtyards end at 6pm Monday through Friday (includes Court of Leaders, Arts Plaza) instead of the proposed 10pm.
  • Implement Councilmember Bonin’s request to use the underground passageway in the parking garage after 6pm weekdays, all day Saturday and Sunday.
  • Define the Academic Year as 10 months (CPC approved an Academic Year of 12 months July 1 to June 30) to prevent full School operations six days a week, 12 months per year and specify exclusion of use on Federal holidays.
  • Limit Saturday use of the campus to only Customary School Activities (a maximum of 50 people vs. the requested 30% of 518 enrolled students for all activities) inside Buildings accessed via the underground pedestrian passageway. Outdoor spaces shall be used for transitioning only.
  1. Mitigate traffic impacts from intensification of use
  2. Implement additional compliance and enforcement provisions
  • With no evidence to support overriding considerations for Saturday use of Athletic Field, deny Statement of Overriding Considerations and prohibit use of the Athletic Field on weekends for any School activity, including Athletic Competitions, Practices, Instruction and other Customary School Activities.
  • Limit start times of Athletic Competitions to no later than 6:00pm.
  • Limit the total number of permanent striped parking spaces to 164 per Councilmember
  • To further address traffic impacts from up to 250 cars exiting onto Sunset Boulevard, limit stack parking to 185 cars for Special Events with 300 or more guests in attendance and require the use of Traffic Control Officers.  With no limits on the use of stack parking, the School could park 250 cars every day.
  • Limit Chaparal Street access for emergency use only.
  • Prohibit use of Barrington parcel for staging and access during construction (just feet away from residences on three sides)
  • Prohibit access via the Barrington parcel during permanent school operations.
  • Require access to the Project site by construction vehicles of all types via Sunset Boulevard.
  • Require traffic counts twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring, on a typical school day between 7:00am to 9:00am and 3:00pm to 7:00pm (which Brentwood School currently does).
  • Require audits by a third party twice a year of the Parking Reservation System in order to show compliance with the peak hour vehicle trip caps and attendance caps for Special Events and Interscholastic Athletic Competitions.
  • Require compliance and reporting of transportation management programs annually (vs. only five years). Compliance should not have a time limit but be ongoing in order for the community to have confidence that the conditions in place are working and are effective.
  • Require that Plan Approvals occur at the very least every other year during construction and then every three years after the first full year of operations after construction to review level of compliance with the conditions.

If these further modifications, along with Councilmember Bonin’s changes, are not made, then the Councilmember’s demands that “the proposal be changed in order to fulfill my strict requirements to protect Brentwood and reduce traffic congestion” will not be met.

Sincerely,

And this Note from Brentwood Homeowners Assn

Dear Homeowner:We need your help again, today!

The Archer School expansion project is set to go before another City Planning committee for approval this Tuesday. The BHA and neighbors have appealed the previous decision, believing it was too concessionary and not in line with the realities of potential impacts on our community.

We need you to lend your voice in support of a more reasonable project. The BHA compromise includes most of the facility and event upgrades the school requested and is supported by Councilman Bonin and the neighbors. Please click the link below to send an email and don’t forget to add your name and address to the newly created email:

Click Here To Send Email

Last time, we had a historic response and helped support the Councilman’s efforts to restrict traffic and construction impacts. This is Round 2 of 3 and without you, our voice will not be heard. Please feel free to forward this email to neighbors.  Everyone counts!

Thank you.

Your BHA

(If the link above doesn’t work, please draft your own email as suggested HERE.  If you want more info, please go to our website.)

 

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