Half Marathons Coming to the Area

Over the next two weekends, two half-marathons are being held in the area, north and west of Melrose Village.

Tomorrow — Saturday, April 11th — the Hollywood Half Marathon will be held starting at Highland Ave. and Hollywood Blvd., going east all the way to Sunset Blvd. and Santa Monica Blvd. and coming west on Santa Monica Blvd. to Vermont Ave. Street closures start early in the morning, and most of the streets will be reopened by mid-morning, except right around Hollywood and Highland.

Hollywood Half Marathon 4-11-2015

Then, on Sunday, April 19th, the Sunset Strip Half Marathon will take place mostly in West Hollywood. As you can see on the map below, this will effect Sunset Blvd. and Santa Monica Blvd. as far east as La Brea Ave. and Melrose Ave and Beverly Blvd. as far east as La Cienega Blvd. Street closures will begin early in the morning and some will continue until early afternoon.

Sunset Strip Half Marathon 4-19-2015

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Street Art on Melrose


If you’ve been walking on Melrose Ave. between Fairfax Ave. and Highland Ave., you’ve probably noticed the recent artwork on many of the utility boxes, such as the piece on the right by Los Angeles Artist Jamie Janett Graden.


These are in addition to the various murals that have been here for a long time (as shown in the video from KCET, below) and doesn’t even include the many art galleries on Melrose.

And there is more street art on the way, as described in these articles in Curbed L.A. (A Big Stretch of Melrose Will Become a Street Art Museum) and laist (Melrose Could Turn Into A Virtual ‘Street Art Museum’).

It is all art, and that means that each of us will have our own opinion on what we like and what we don’t like. But it is one of the things that makes Melrose Melrose.


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City Council Passes ICO to Limit Mansionization

On Wednesday, March 25th, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed an Interim Control Ordinance (ICO) to limit the construction of “over-sized” homes in single-family neighborhoods. This was passed as an urgency item, so as soon as the Mayor signs the ordinance, it will go into effect. The item went to Mayor Garcetti yesterday.

You may have seen stories abut this action on the TV news or in newspapers. Here are links to articles in two local news sources, Park La Brea News / Beverly Press and West Hollywood Patch. And the full item, from the Planning and Land Use Committee (PLUM) that was brought to the City Council is available here. And you can follow the progress of this ordinance on its page at the City Clerk website.

So what does this mean for Melrose Village? The maps are a little confusing, but staff at the office of our City Councilmember Paul Koretz clarified that this will take effect in the single-family home areas of Melrose Village. This does not include commercial zones or much of the area north of Waring Ave., where zoning is in place for multi-unit residences.

Note that this does not affect construction where the plans were already approved and paid for before this goes into effect. It also does not block demolition and construction of new homes that meet the new standards, and there are a few other exceptions, such as an existing home that would now not be allowed but was “destroyed by fire, earthquake or other natural disaster.”

What this does is limit the floor-to-area ratio (FAR) for new permits, removing special incentives that developers were using to result in mansionization. The measurements involved here are the floor area of all living space and the overall area of the lot.

This is a temporary measure to limit permits for over-sized homes until the Planning Department brings a new permanent ordinance to the City Council. Under this ICO they have almost two years to do this.

This does not stop the demolition and rebuilding of homes where the new homes meet the size limits. The exception for this is in Historic Preservation Overlay Zones (HPOZ) which does not apply in our area. And except where the HPOZ is in place, it does not mean that builders have to conform to the existing style of homes. And a partial second story may be allowed under the ICO, depending on the specific zone of the area and the resulting FAR.

We’ll see where this takes us, and not everyone will be satisfied. But it’s a good first step, and all of the City Council agreed.




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Streets Closed Sunday, March 15th for L.A. Marathon (and President Obama coming to Hollywood tomorrow)


This coming Sunday, March 15th, the LA Marathon will take place, starting at Dodger Stadium and ending in Santa Monica.  Although not going through Melrose Village, it will go very near to our north. Portions of Hollywood Blvd. and Sunset Blvd. will be closed, as well as other streets in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills to our west. Even though the Marathon is now scheduled to start 30 minutes earlier than in the past due to concerns about heat, the closures will still last well into the afternoon.  You can see the full route map here.

In addition, some streets near the marathon route will have partial closures, indicated on the map above with this symbol:  street_closed

There are no surface street crossings of the route in our area. To go north of the route, go east on Melrose Ave. to the Hollywood Fwy. (101), go north and then exit the freeway as permitted and come back west, or proceed to the San Fernando Valley. This includes getting to portions of West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and L.A. west and north of the route. See additional information provided on the Marathon website for West Hollywood area street closures and suggested detours.

Or better yet, stay off the roads north and west of here on Sunday.

By the way, President Obama will be in town tomorrow and he will be in Hollywood fr his appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel show, so that area and routes leading there will be messy, too.


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LAPD Officer Art Gallegos Promoted to Sergeant

SLO Art GallegosArt Gallegos has been the LAPD Senior Lead Officer (SLO) in our area — including all of Melrose Village west of La Brea Ave. (see the map below) — for many years. Art is being promoted to Sergeant, and we congratulate him for this.

However, due to this promotion, Art must transfer from the LAPD Wilshire Division to another LAPD division for at least a year. He may come back to the Wilshire Division in the future, but no longer as the Senior Lead Officer for Basic Car Aera 7A1.

Click on this map to see all of the LAPD Wilshire Division Basic Car areas.

Click on this map to see all of the LAPD Wilshire Division Basic Car areas.

Within the LAPD Wilshire Division there are nine Basic Car Areas.  Each area represents a patrol area and a Senior Lead Officer (SLO) is assigned to each.The SLO coordinates patrol officers in his or her area, helping to find the best way to serve the area. Part of this is based on the SLO’s being aware of activities and crimes in that area.

Until a permanent SLO is hired for our area, one-month officer assignments will be made. The LAPD hopes to hire a permanent SLO in the next two or three months, depending on applicants and factoring in the needs of our community.

For more information about the LAPD Wilshire Division go to their website — lapdwilshire.com. There is a tremendous amount of information there, including ideas on how to avoid being a victim of crime, and information about crimes in the area. You can also receive information on their Twitter feed.

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Tuesday is Election Day – Be sure to Vote!

YourVoteCountsElection Day is this Tuesday, March 3rd. Polls are open from 7 a.m to 8 p.m.

Although most of Melrose Village is in Los Angeles City Council District 5, and that Council position is not up for a vote this year, there are still important matters to vote on, including Community College District Board Members and two Los Angeles City Ballot Measures.

Yes. They are all important. And this is where we truly get a voice.

If you have a mail-in ballot and haven’t mailed it yet, it may be too late. Mail-in ballots must be received by the City Clerk Election Division no later than Tuesday. (Postmark is not sufficient.) You can bring your filled-in mail-in ballot – in the proper envelope – to any Los Angeles City polling  place. That may be near where you work, or it may be near your home.

If you are voting in person, you must vote at your designated polling place. This information is on the back of the Official Sample Ballot booklet sent to you by the City Clerk’s Office. If you can’t find yours, go to lavote.net. Fill in your street address (number and street name only) and select your address. You can then download or look at the booklet for you.


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Melrose BID banners and Art Project

The Melrose Business Improvement District (BID) is continuing to improve things along Melrose Ave. for the businesses and for all of us. Clean-up in the area is ongoing and work continues on improving the parking situation. Both of these improve things for residents as well as businesses.

You may have noticed the banners on the street light poles along Melrose Ave. This is another project that the BID is doing. Pole_BannersGo and check them out. In addition to “Play” and “Style,” shown in the picture above, there are also banners for “Eats” and “Arts.”

And, speaking of Arts, this Sunday, March 1st, some of the city’s top street artists will participate in a day of live painting. Each artist will present their own interpretation of an animal theme as they paint more than sixteen utility boxes along Melrose Avenue from Fairfax Ave. to Highland Ave.

The project, dubbed the Melrose Menagerie, is being curated by local artist Jennifer Korsen. Jennifer’s mixed media pieces, paintings, and street installations can be seen regularly around Los Angeles galleries, pop up shows, and public spaces, including her current exhibition called “Cross My Heart” at the Stone Malone Gallery (7619½ Melrose Ave.).

Jennifer has reached out to many of the city’s top street artists to make this day special. Included are some of the finest artists working in the city today, including Leba and Annie from the hit Oxygen Network show, Street Art Throwdown, and many others.

The BID will be holding an Instagram contest on Sunday. Anyone taking pictures of all 16 boxes and posting with the hashtag #MelroseMenagerie will have a chance to win a special Melrose Ave. prize.


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