The STA held a meeting with Paul Krekorian on Wednesday, April 6, at LA City Hall. Members of the STNC, the LUC, and the S-T Chamber of Commerce were also in attendance. The STA greatly appreciates the time and attention given to us by Councilman Krekorian and the participation and input of these vitally important community members.
We are all working together to bring an appropriate development to the former K-Mart site, and to resolve our continuing issues with the Department of City Planning. What follows is a summation of the meeting;
Meeting with Councilmember Paul Krekorian – April 6, 2011
Tomi Lyn Bowling, Cindy Cleghorn, Sonia Tatulian, Dean Sherer, Abby Diamond and Joe Barrett met with Paul Krekorian and his staff at his office at City Hall. CD2 staff included Daniel Brumer, Adrin Nazarian, Areen Ibranossian and Karo Torossian. The meeting lasted about an hour.
The purpose of the meeting was to talk about the status of the K-Mart site, TARGET and the LA Community College District, CD2’s efforts to secure a retail establishment at the site and where we go from here. In addition, we also talked about the recent problems with the Valley Bureau City Planning staff related to the Foothill Boulevard Corridor Specific Plan.
Councilmember Krekorian was pretty certain that LACCD is no longer an option for the former K-Mart site. Contrary to any rumors that LACCD will return to the negotiating table, it is not probable. This means that TARGET is no longer interested in a Sunland store.
Paul said that there are only so many sites in the City of Los Angeles that are the size of the K-Mart site, and any developer looking for property knows it’s available. He assured us that the Sunland K-Mart site and the Victory Square site in Valley Village are at the top of the economic development list for Paul and his staff at CD 2.
Councilman Krekorian feels strongly that whatever business would go in at the Kmart site should be something the community wants and that it is a good development. A poor development would be detrimental to the community for the next 30-40 years. He doesn’t want to see that happen.
He believes that poor economy is the reason the property is vacant and in time that situation will change.
The STA spoke about problems with City Planning. Filing appeals to repair the improper interpretation of the Specific Plan and sloppy determinations by City Planning is not what the community wants to do. We’re not NIMBYs, contrary to what some may think. We want to work together for appropriate development.
Continuing a previous discussion about the soccer field on Tujunga Canyon, we thanked CD2 staff for their help in obtaining the City Attorney clarification that the soccer field proposal was indeed a project, but also expressed our disappointment with the fast-track approval and the appalling decision to allow porta-potties instead of requiring real restrooms.
Other topics included the checklist that planning staff uses to review land use applications, the Mayor’s Development Reform process that has shortened the review of development applications, lack of improvement on Foothill Boulevard, failure of planning staff to implement the FBCSP, community frustration at inconsistent application of the plan, and how to amend the FBCSP.
Councilman Krekorian was receptive to the suggestion that his staff work with community leaders to begin a review of the FBCSP to identify where it needs improvement.
It was agreed that Council District 2 would be the “lead” on any news related to the Kmart site and that any updates would be communicated to the STNC, STA, and Chamber of Commerce by CD2 staff.
The meeting ended on a good note. We agreed that we would set up separate meetings again with Paul in a month to talk about the K-Mart site and the best approach to reach out for new development possibilities in S-T. We also agreed to work on the FBCSP and how best to proceed to improve it.