In regards to this week's R&B question about the dirt lot at La Cienega and Olympic, a community member emails in about the long struggle to get the lot cleaned up and developed. For those interested in learning how to get things done (or at least how to get crappy lots cleaned up) in LA, here's a good primer.
"I have the "dirt" on the dirt lot at La Cienega/Olympic... after years of this lot being a mess, and having to hear about it, I made a bet with a neighbor that I could at the very LEAST, get it cleaned up! and, I SUCCEEDED!! I had a meeting with a couple of people from the City Attorney's office a couple of weeks ago; the owner was cited for several violations, and on Tuesday the backhoe arrived to clean it up. I know all about the history (i bought my house on Schumacher drive 19 years ago), the gas station, and I've met with the architect for the owner who thought he was being clever. however, since I've done a few renovations (and am currently working on one for a 12th century townhouse in the south of France), I know how to read a blueprint, and could see that the "retail" space included the property on Schumacher. And, as an HPOZ, we won't let the house get torn down and have a cheap-ass faux-Tuscan encroach on the 'hood. [The Owner] can build on the commercial lot, but it does have to go thru the HPOZ. The city of Beverly Hills wanted to buy the lot to add to the park, but the guy only wanted to do a land swap, and had his eye on a pocket park a couple of blocks away, and he wanted to put in something like 16 condos. Beverly Hills declined his offer of a swap.
Next up - Carthay Circle, Carthay Square and South Carthay are getting together and asking him to let us plant and maintain the lot. He's getting a big income from the billboard, so he's just sitting on it. But we did hold his feet to the fire and got it cleaned up.
Also, it's illegal to sell the rugs and that lovely art, but when kids are getting shot, LAPD has better things to do than hassle the rug/art people. Plus, you just never know when you might need a pin-up girl rug in a hurry!"
· Rumblings & Bumblings: Dirt Lot on La Cienega... [Curbed LA]
· Rumblings & Bumblings Responses: A Vacant Lot for Signs... [Curbed LA]