Launching the LHCA La Cienega Project
Happy 2019 to our Ladera Heights Civic Association (“LHCA”) Board, members of the La Cienega Median committee and other Beautification groups, and our community and business neighbors,
This letter is an official "heads up" to let you know that at long last, the Ladera Heights Community Enhancement Corporation (“LHCEC”), the non-profit initiated at the request of LHCA, has been established and open for business. This important milestone was accomplished thanks to LHCA’s President (and attorney) Tracie Tabor Lyons for pro bono handling the paperwork process. The LHCA, working with and through LHCEC is now ready to begin the planning and implementation of the long-awaited permanent La Cienega Median Beautification project and the campaign to raise the funds to help accomplish this task.
We anticipate a multi-year phased effort, led by key leaders from the greater Ladera Heights business, civic, and residential community. Ladera Heights Civic Association, as the lead community organizer, will sponsor the effort. Other neighborhood groups including the 11th District Neighborhood Council, will play key roles as will our local business community.
Our success will depend on working collaboratively with the City of Los Angeles, in whose jurisdiction the medians are located, under the auspices of the City’s Adopt a Median Program. This City program affords significant benefits to the sponsoring entity, such as waiving of construction fees and fast-tracking review and approval procedures; this is intended to incentivize the private sector to help with improving the City’s property. Additionally we will have the official sponsorship of the 11th City District, Councilman Mike Bonin, his staff and in particular the Field Deputy for Ladera Heights, Matt Tecle.
Importantly, once built as “improved medians” (i.e. with some vegetation) these medians will qualify for ongoing upkeep by the City’s crews, although our local interests may wish to augment those efforts.
Remember, the reason we have had years of neglect of the City medians was due both to a lack of budgeted funds, and to LA City which for 10+ years has lacked a municipal department charged and funded to care for unimproved, e.g. unplanted, City streetscapes like our sad medians. This “funding and staff gap” has exacerbated the situation for years (which is why we needed to move heaven and earth to get the weeds whacked and trash cleaned). We don’t expect this to change - so our plan is to make improvements required to get the City to re-designate the La Cienega median improved and redesignated, thereby ensuring their ongoing care.
Our organizational plans and timetable for the project and fund raising campaign will be presented first to the LHCA Board at their February meeting. The approved plans and communications will be addressed to relevant committee members and the media as warranted in following months.
We look forward to an exciting and productive year to substantially and sustainably improve our neighborhood!
Chair LHCA Beautification