DEAR WEHO: Don’t give up on Betty Way and Greenacre Ave.

Dear Mayor Meister, Mayor Pro Tem Shyne, and Councilmembers D’Amico, Erickson, and Horvath: 

As a longtime resident interested in the many elements that comprise our fine city, I urge you to not support the staff-recommended ordinance in Item 3.A. Here’s why:

West Hollywood prides itself on its diversity and should retain at least some semblance of its evolution and cultural history.  And Betty Way and Greenacre Avenue retain an architectural integrity worthy of protection and historic designation.  But they are ripe for developers to swoop in once these SB-9 rules are codified.

Also, Councilmembers Horvath and Shyne initiated an item on December 6, 2021, to have a historic reparations study conducted for the city by an outside consultant.  At your May 16 meeting, you will be considering Consent Item 2.M. to fund this $100,000 project to provide a historical context study of the City of West Hollywood.

It appears that Betty Way may figure prominently in this study as it sits in what was once demarcated as a red-lined neighborhood for real estate purposes.  Supposedly “undesirables” and “subversives” lived in the area.  You should wait for the results of this study before making any further zoning changes as recommended in Item 3.A.

I also notice that a letter from the State Attorney General and an editorial from the Los Angeles Times are exhibits accompanying the May 16 staff report.  That material is critical of the city of Pasadena’s recent historic landmarking process designed to allegedly skirt SB-9.

But please do NOT be alarmed about threatened lawsuits by the State.  The facts as I see them are that our tiny city of West Hollywood did NOT try to do a preemptive move, and Betty Way and Greenacre are the last two streets zoned for single family homes and they still retain their character from the time they were built.  It’s not as though we have huge swaths of land and many streets like in Pasadena that would be removed from increasing the housing stock.

So, what’s the rush here? Let’s take a breather before codifying SB-9.  Let’s see what the historic context study discovers first.  And let’s also fund the long overdue historic resources survey of all of our R1 zones that would include not only Betty Way and Greenacre Avenue but also such neighborhoods as the Norma Triangle and West Hollywood West.  

–Victor Omelczenko, West Hollywood Resident since 2002Thanks for sharing!Thank you!Got it, thanks!Are the suggestions above helpful?

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About Victor Omelczenko
Victor Omelczenko has lived in West Hollywood going on two decades during which he’s served as a Public Facilities Commissioner, an advocate for bicycling and historic preservation, and someone interested in things occurring beyond his nice rent-stabilized courtyard building in Center City.

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Michael Dolan
Michael Dolan
2 months ago

Betty Way and Greenacre are a roadblock. It’s the 21st century. There’s no logic only romanticizing the bygone past.

Unqualified
Unqualified
2 months ago
Reply to  Michael Dolan

Not qualified or a thoughtful opinion as all you perceive are green lights to development where ever and how ever.

Michael Dolan
Michael Dolan
2 months ago
Reply to  Unqualified

Talking Heads, you know nothing about my perceptions so don’t comment on anything you know nothing about. Green lights, WTF!

Michael Dolan
Michael Dolan
2 months ago
Reply to  Unqualified

Who the heck are you? I don’t care what you think. Really, talking as if you know me???

TomSmart
TomSmart
2 months ago
Reply to  Michael Dolan

Wait, weren’t you Hellman’s lackey who greenlighted everything for him at the total destruction of what was once a beautiful village??? Did you also take developer money???

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
2 months ago
Reply to  TomSmart

Michael didn’t you recently post you wanted to bring John Duran back to City Council to “recapture the halcyon days” of West Hollywood’s past? Talk about a a serious “romanticizing of the bygone past”.

Halcyon Petting Zoo
Halcyon Petting Zoo
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Please take him to a “Petting Zoo” which is what a former HPC/P Commissioner always cautioned West Hollywood would become if it preserved cultural resources and contextual neighborhoods. So he aligned with a developer, chopped down a virtual urban forest on Spaulding to build an unrecognizable structure. There must be a secret club of these folks

Michael Dolan
Michael Dolan
2 months ago

Another Q anon quack! Your ridiculous comments have no basis in fact and are completely false, a lie. Really, aligned with developers? What the heck are you talking about, better yet stop talking.

Halcyon Petting Zoo
Halcyon Petting Zoo
2 months ago
Reply to  Michael Dolan

Apparently you don’t closely participate in or observe city proceedings. Everything mentioned is verifiable and part of the pubic record, which you could request a copy of if you’re not afraid of facts. Happy reading, it pays to be informed by your own sensibilities rather than parroting the party line.

Michael Dolan
Michael Dolan
2 months ago

Where do you come up with this blather? Lying, liars, lie! Happy cultivating more bs.

Michael Dolan
Michael Dolan
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Yes Steve, I did! For all your hangups about everybody, you are an ethical behavior while a previous council member, don’t ever expect me to vote for you and another failed attempt running for city council. I find it to be quite a joke that you think I am romanticizing whom I believe has been and can be a councilmember again. With your unethical performance while in service to the city as a previous council member, don’t ever expect I would be silly enough to vote for you. I have a long considered you bye-bye gone past!

Ugh!
Ugh!
2 months ago
Reply to  Michael Dolan

Speaking of ethical behavior, what would you consider that if Duran? Would you call that diplomacy?

Michael Dolan
Michael Dolan
2 months ago
Reply to  TomSmart

First, I am no one’s lackey! I don’t know you, but I do know as a 35-year resident, that West Hollywood was and is a unique, progressive city, that has a stellar reputation as a refuge city for all. “beautiful village” never. Today, it is a charming and yes beautiful small City. West Hollywood has never been a “village.”

Halcyon Petting Zoo
Halcyon Petting Zoo
2 months ago
Reply to  Michael Dolan

As a 35 year resident you seem to have an impression of West Hollywood being a unique, refuge charming and beautiful small city? Since this article is about aspects of and opportunity for development what do you think has changed for better or worse? How do you feel about the charm and beauty of it being removed and not replaced in kind?

Ugh!
Ugh!
2 months ago
Reply to  Michael Dolan

“I am not a Crook”!!!! 😂 RMN

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
2 months ago

Fortunately the proposals to preserve Greenacre and Betty Way are logical and well reasoned rather than simply a knee jerk reaction to SB-9. Unlike Pasadena we are only asking to preserve two small, unique streets, rather than large swaths of the City. Indeed small lots and narrow configuration of Betty Way should automatically qualify that small street for an exemption. West Hollywood is not imitating that city in northern California that tired to designate the entire a “cougar sanctuary” in order to undermine SB-9. This is a reasonable proposal to exempt a couple of unique streets from Sacramento’s municipal micro-managing.

Michael Dolan
Michael Dolan
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Wow, you manage to get one fact right. They are small streets. The tired old comparison that we are trying to emulate any other city in this country is ludicrous. West Hollywood is on its own organic path as it relates to its own development.

Halcyon Petting Zoo
Halcyon Petting Zoo
2 months ago
Reply to  Michael Dolan

The unfortunate thing about your premise is that the original leaders of West Hollywood had no understanding of history and/or planning and development. They engineered ordinances such as the HP Ordinance because it sounded good. Never did the city undertake a complete and thorough or holistic survey of what they had. It’s tantamount to opening up someone on the operating table without taking any tests. Most development in West Hollywood has been an abject disgrace without leadership and their papers to be but one conscientious developer of a major project and an architect of several smaller ones. That’s it. Please… Read more »

Ugh!
Ugh!
2 months ago
Reply to  Michael Dolan

“West Hollywood is on its own organic path as it relates to its own development”. Great! Who made that enlightened statement and what does it mean? Path? West Hollywood leaders are oblivious to road signs, so wander on.

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