May 30, 2020 Your Source for Brentwood News

Neighborhood Councils Spar For Control of Westwood Village

Students, businesses, establishment politics clash.

By Sam Catanzaro

There is a debate heating up over local politics in West Los Angeles around the creation of a new neighborhood council.

For years, all of Westwood was under the jurisdiction of the Westwood Neighborhood Council (WWNC) but earlier this year, students and Westwood residents voted to create a new neighborhood council in Westwood. Known as the North Westwood Neighborhood Council (NWWNC)  the borders of this new council include UCLA, Westwood Village and the North Village.

The creation of the NWWNC came after many UCLA students, faculty and staff felt their concerns and interests were not being met by the WWNC.

“We the stakeholders of North Westwood deserve a council that represents us and works to address the needs of our community. When Westwood’s rents are the highest in the state, and students are forced into homelessness or cramming 8 students into units made for 2, we need a council that’s focused on building housing catered to students walking to campus,” said Michael Skiles, president of the UCLA Graduate Students Association and a member of Westwood Forward. “WWNC repeatedly opposed UCLA’s housing projects, fraternity houses and private housing development projects that would considerably alleviate our housing crisis.”

While Brentwood News could not verify that Westwood rents are the highest in the state, according to a 2016 Apartment List study, the average rent for a two-bed in Westwood, $4,200 a month, is the highest in Los Angeles.

Lisa Chapman, President of the Westwood Neighborhood Council says, however, that this new neighborhood council is unnecessary and will only divide the Westwood community.

“There was no reason to subdivide this Neighborhood Council. The UCLA students have had the opportunity to run and win a majority of seats on the existing council for many years, they have never chosen to do so. Instead, they chose to divide and tear apart an entire community,” Chapman said.

In addition, Chapman accuses the Westwood Village Improvement Association (WVIA), which is the business improvement district (BID) in Westwood, of encouraging students to create the NWWNC to allow the BID to push through an agenda without opposition.

“The BID wanted the students to be in charge of the Village, because they knew they would be an easy target to push any agenda through without any oversight or opposition,” Chapman said. “This was maneuvered and influence by the Westwood BID executive Director, Andrew Thomas, and board member Kevin Crummy.”

Chapman bases her claims off of documents published on the blog michaelkohlhaas.org. The documents can be read by visiting https://bit.ly/2OCI4ti.

After the vote to create the NWWNC, the WWNC drew up boundaries that would have shared jurisdiction of Westwood Village between the two neighborhood councils. Earlier this month, however, the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners (BONC) approved boundaries that gave the NWWNC sole control of Westwood Village. Skiles says this will make it easier for businesses to operate in Westwood Village.

“It would have been a nightmare for every proposed business and development to have to go before 2 different councils and their respective committees, especially when WWNC has brought back some projects as many as 10 times,” Skiles said.

Last month,  BONC approved the borders and bylaws for the NWWNC, officially certifying it as the 98th neighborhood council within the City of Los Angeles.

Within the neighborhood council, there are several avenues for students to serve. There’s one graduate student seat, two undergraduate seats and three at-large seats open to all stakeholders as well as two organizational seats open to those engaged in any organization within the community.

Related Posts

Congrats to All 2020 Grads from the Brentwood News!

May 28, 2020

May 28, 2020

Some students (and their parents) have told me of uplifting graduation ceremonies, conducted via Zoom. The Class of 2020 will...

Elon Musk selling four more properties? Brentwood Beat – May, 28, 2020

May 28, 2020

May 28, 2020

All your local news, events and happenings in under 5 minutes. * Elon Musk selling four more properties. * Businesses...

Video: Expanding Outdoor Dining?

May 27, 2020

May 27, 2020

Local restaurants may soon be able to expand operations into parking lots and the sidewalk. Learn more in this video...

County Reports Highest COVID-19 Count as Brentwood Cases Remain Steady

May 26, 2020

May 26, 2020

By Sam Catanzaro The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) reported the highest number of new COVID-19...

Vehicle break ins on the rise: Brentwood Beat – May, 26, 2020

May 26, 2020

May 26, 2020

All your local news, events and happenings in under 5 minutes. * Vehicle break ins on the rise. * Hiker...

LAFD Put out Brentwood-Area Brush Fire

May 25, 2020

May 25, 2020

Over 60 LAFD crews put out a brush fire that broke out in the hills above Brentwood Sunday night. According...

Los Angeles National Cemetery Cancels Memorial Day Flag Service

May 22, 2020

May 22, 2020

Social distancing rules force cancellation of annual event By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles National Cemetery will not hold a Memorial...

$39 Million dollar property now available in Brentwood: Brentwood Beat – May, 21, 2020

May 21, 2020

May 21, 2020

All your local news, events and happenings in under 5 minutes. * Car crash on Sunset Blvd still under investigation.*...

Brentwood-Adjacent Nursing Home Sees Multiple COVID-19 Cases

May 21, 2020

May 21, 2020

Brentwood Healthcare Center has 10 COVID-19 cases, according to county By Sam Catanzaro A nursing home near the Brentwood border...

County Sets Fourth of July Opening Target

May 19, 2020

May 19, 2020

County: 3/4 of unemployment claims are from those making less than $50,000 By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County officials are...

Video: Westside MLB Brothers Give Back

May 18, 2020

May 18, 2020

Two Westside brothers, both professional baseball players, are giving back to local first responders COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more in this...

“Slow Streets LA” coming to your neighborhood? Brentwood Beat – May, 18, 2020

May 18, 2020

May 18, 2020

All your local news, events and happenings in under 5 minutes. * “Slow Streets LA” coming to your neighborhood? *...

First Brentwood COVID-19 Death Reported

May 18, 2020

May 18, 2020

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reports one Brentwood COVID-19 death By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County health officials...

Interview: Mike Bonin Talks Homelessness, COVID-19 and More

May 14, 2020

May 14, 2020

Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin answers questions from the community covering Westside homeless encampments, affordable housing, Brentwood zoning, COVID-19...

Tallest Building West of 405 Coming to Brentwood

May 14, 2020

May 14, 2020

11750 Wilshire Boulevard future site for 34-story project By Toi Creel Less than two years after breaking ground, the beginning...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *