CARLETON CRONIN | Life in the Construction Zone, Part 67 at least

Must be 6AM because the pickup trucks are arriving on the block and I can already hear voices in front of my house.

Workmen for the construction site across the street.

I usually rise around 5AM so the activity does not disturb me.

But, shortly, I intend to go out and make sure my daily newspaper does not get picked up by someone else.

At 6:20AM a large front loader arrives on the back of a fifty foot transporter. Now what?

The last time I bothered to count, I had noted that 12 cement trucks had delivered their loads to the site. I left the city for almost six weeks so I have no idea if any showed up during our absence – but last Thursday a total of seven cement trucks made deliveries.

One has now to wonder just what the heck is being built over there. It is a mystery to the site’s next door neighbor also, wondering what all the noise and earth-jarring thumps portend. (The house on the east side of the site is an Airbnb, so we don’t know what they see or think about the operation.)

He tells me that he is unable to get information from the workers and, despite regulations, there is never anyone in charge of the work there. Also, the required sign outside the site has never been posted thus we are ignorant of the intended structure’s design or size — or even if it is to be a residence.

However, glimpses of the interior, when equipment was moved in or out, reveal where all that cement had gone. From left to right, and front to back, from lot line to lot line, a cement wall rose up out of a cement lined pit which had to be twenty feet deep. Speculation soared.

Back to today and further bafflement as the front loader removed a jumbled mass of cement debris mixed with strands of rebar and dumped it into a 20 yard dirt box at the curb for removal by a large hauler. Another 20 yard dirt box and the front loader were left on the street. Cement in, cement out. Stranger still. I suppose one of us could go to City Hall and try to find out what us planned for that site. But that would mean dealing with cityspeak, the dark annals of the building code and leaving without the information we seek — plus the feeling I always get at City Hall: that I am just a dumb civilian bothering a hard-working civil servant with stupid questions.

I have written several times abut the construction activity on my block. This site in particular has commanded much attention for the number and types of heavy equipment introduced to the job — including a pile driver on treads and for the length of time the site has been active. Whatever is to be there, it should be remembered that it replaces a humble, 1,000 square foot cottage which was erected in 1927 by a handful of workers with saws and hammers in the space of about 10 weeks.

Now, I think we should just set up a few chairs across from the site, sip our gin and tonics – still summer – and see what happens.

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About Carleton Cronin
Carleton Cronin and his wife, Toby Ann, have lived in West Hollywood since 1974. They have raised four sons here, and Cronin has long been an astute observer of civic life. Carleton publishes the blog crobarcogito.blogspot.com

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Tom Smart
Tom Smart
9 days ago

If the city doesn’t want to respond to this nightmare in this open forum, they should be seeking you out and addressing this issue but obviously that’s not happening. I’m embarrassed for them. When will this be completed, any clue? Your relatively peaceful neighborhood has become a war zone. Ugh.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
10 days ago

I’ll join you with the G&Ts. What’s your brand preference?

Kevin R
Kevin R
10 days ago

Please remind me Carleton where, on what street, this project is located. Thanks. I love your writing style!

Construction Rules Run Amok
Construction Rules Run Amok
10 days ago

West Hollywood the city where the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing, accidentally or accidentally on purpose. The City has been unable to enforce leaf blowers from inception of the ordinance. Now the individual responsible for Code Compliance is responsible for Public Safety…………the previous highly paid Director having retired for personal reasons.

LateralThinker
LateralThinker
10 days ago

This city has run A MUCK …finally old enough to use that word. While Development and Change can be good, it certainly isn’t easy for many. Whats Baffling is the laws are already on the books about construction and noise. 8 am to 10 pm and construction sites end even end earlier in the day. Also I thought Air BNB was illegal in WEHO ? Job signage large enough for the employees should be at every site day one that outline the rules and showing contractors the benefit of teaching employees to respect neighbors and how much easier that makes… Read more »

Joan Henehan
Joan Henehan
10 days ago
Reply to  LateralThinker

AMOK.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
10 days ago
Reply to  LateralThinker

AirBNB is still legal in single family homes. I believe it’s only illegal in apartments.

Alison
Alison
10 days ago
Reply to  LateralThinker

Oh Baloney! I called the Noise line on a Saturday because of outside construction once and a Code Enforcement officer called me back within an hour. He went to the offending site and closed them down for the day right after he talked to me. I live in a construction zone also and was tired of the noise. I have construction noise Monday – Friday and didn’t need to hear it on Saturday also.

Joan Henehan
Joan Henehan
10 days ago
Reply to  Alison

It’s actually painful. You, all of the afflicted, are to be commended for your patience. Please, don’t take the stress out on yourselves.

Michael on Havenhurst Drive
Michael on Havenhurst Drive
10 days ago

If your daily newspaper is the Los Angeles Times, forget receiving this dying legacy newspaper in a print edition. That’s going to be dropped next year. Because print media is now so irrelevant.

Off Topic
Off Topic
10 days ago

“Off topic”. Please inform yourself for issues in this are by reading daily report from CJR the Columbia Journalism Review who appears to have the pulse of many issues.

carleton cronin
carleton cronin
10 days ago

Until the next blackout …

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
10 days ago

While the LA Times is rendering itself less and less relevant, not all print media is useless. The New York times is still an informative and credible source of news.

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