PVNA held a Special Meeting on August 26, 2018.  View the meeting minutes here. Also, Tania and Geoff Missad have provided the following updates with specific ways you can get involved in this effort:

UPDATE: 5 Story developments on Orange Grove. (As of Sept 2)

Neighbors have asked for an update since not everyone went to the PVNA meeting or is on our email list about the latest on the Orange Grove Developments:
The turnout at last Sunday’s special PVNA meeting was great with over 70 people there, including Elizabeth Carlin from Council President Wesson’s office.
We revealed renderings that our neighbor, Francesca, created. It shows the egregious size and scale of the 1546-1550 development on Orange Grove, a neighborhood street. This is why we must uphold the existing Q conditions which would limit this to 33 feet (3 stories) vs 5 stories. This has been approved without any environmental impact studies that would assess impact to utilities like water, electric, and congestion/parking. A few who attended explained there were 2 water main breaks on Orange Grove in the past 12 months – so it’s hard for us to believe there will be no impact to our infrastructure.
Importantly, Elizabeth Carlin from Council President Wesson’s Office informed us that ours is the first TOC development appeal in the entire city – giving Picfair the chance to set precedent for how these developments are handled all over LA and ensuring we create sustainable, responsible development that works for neighborhoods & affordable housing, and not just developers.
We need to keep the momentum going and show our collective opposition to the development, so please continue to contact Council President Wesson’s office who is meeting with the developer regarding this building to obtain concessions on our behalf.   Many requested talking points which are detailed below.
As many of you might have heard, a 2nd TOC development was approved on Orange Grove just two units down from this one – with a 4 story height exception – again violating the Q conditions that protect our neighborhood. Another property on Orange Grove also just sold to a developer. So this is just the beginning of what’s coming for Picfair.
Per suggestion, we have started a Go Fund Me page for people who would like to donate toward this appeal. It would go toward legal fees (we are now being represented by a lawyer) and environmental impact studies to understand the effect of all this development on our infrastructure.  We are devoting a lot of our personal savings to fight this as much as we can, but since this affects all of the neighborhood, we are asking for help for those that can contribute. Any contribution is greatly appreciated. Unused funds will be donated to the PVNA, a local charity of choice, or a community fund for future neighborhood appeals. Here is the link:
Here is the link to the online petition as well – we now have over 200 signatures.
Please keep a look out for updates via our email list, the Friends of Picfair Village Facebook group, the PVNA website and updates, and on NextDoor.  Send a message to Tania Missad on Facebook or Nextdoor to be added to email list.
Contact Council President Wesson’s office once per week in any way possible (phone, email, fax, letter, etc.) to let them know about your concerns about an out of scale development standpoint (height and scale), disrupting our neighborhood’s character and look (design) environmental impact (traffic, congestion, parking, sewage, water, electricity, open space, etc.). Please make sure to include that the proposed development will be at 1546-1550 S. Orange Grove Ave. (Case #DIR-2018-894-TOC) in your correspondence.
SUBJECT: OPPOSE DIR #2018-894-TOC to let them know it’s an organized effort.
Dear Council President Herb Wesson,
We are continuing to contact you regarding our neighborhood opposition to the proposed development at 1546-1550 S. Orange Grove Ave. (Case #DIR-2018-894-TOC) in Picfair Village.
1) First this Transit Oriented Communities or TOC project DOES NOT follow the Q conditions that your office worked so hard to help us pass.  We are asking for your support to uphold the Q conditions that require this development to be no higher than 33 feet. (It’s currently been given a height exception to be 55 feet).  While this is currently under appeal, we are asking for your help with the developer to get compliance with the height limitations in the Q conditions as well as other Q conditions related to density, character look/feel, setbacks and open space.   This development is NOT on Pico or a major street – it’s on a neighborhood street abutting single family homes.  The attached picture showcases the egregious nature of this development.  We support responsible development with the biggest buildings on the commercial streets and limiting buildings to 33 feet near single family homes in residential neighborhood.
2) While we don’t believe the TOC overrides our Q conditions, this development does not qualify for Tier 3 TOC incentives.  This development should be limited to Tier 2 at best – with different height parameters, density ratios, etc. given it is not within 1500 of a major transit stop according to the developer’s own application.   The neighborhood is strongly against any development that exceeds 33 feet, even if this development qualifies for TOC incentives at the Tier 2 level.
3) Third, we would like your support in requiring these TOC developments to conduct environmental impact studies (congestion, water, electric, parking, etc.) before being approved. There is a staggering number of developments in the Orange Grove area (among other surrounding neighborhoods in the CD10 district) and no cumulative studies seem to have been done to see how adding all of these developments will impact/stress the existing infrastructure. (See attached map for current developments slated to be built in our area).  We’ve had two water main breaks on Orange Grove in the past 12 months, in addition to other water breaks in the surrounding neighborhood, which makes it hard to understand how the city has not ordered further investigation into the impact to the community.   Further, if there is stress to the infrastructure – is that cost going to be passed on to taxpayers, voters and the community? Or is the developer responsible for those costs?
4) We would like your support in requiring more transparency and notification for TOC developments. As you are aware, TOC’s are currently not required to give any notice to residents – limiting the transparency and voice of the local community to oppose or object to out-of-scale developments.  The appellants, our neighbors, were only given 2 weeks to file an appeal – violating their due process rights.  This is not acceptable and seems calculated to undercut our Community’s  voice.
5)  We’d like more enforcement and oversight to ensure all low income housing units being built, which is the only community benefit from the TOC projects, are actually going to low-income residents and applicants.  Many elderly residents are being displaced, as are nurses, teachers and local long-term residents who have enriched the community with diversity of thought, income and backgrounds.  Are the designated units in these new ‘luxury’ developments truly being given to those in need of affordable housing? How do we ensure that those types of residents aren’t getting squeezed out and how do we ensure developers / property managers are renting to those in need?
6)  Should there be a transparent, published waiting list for low-income applicants that can be checked and referenced whenever a new development is built?  How do we ensure developers are not taking advantage of this law for profit and actually devoting a portion of their units for affordable housing? Should any displaced tenants have first right of refusal on the low income units (assuming they qualify), so they can stay in the neighborhood?
7) Let’s make the best use of the housing stock that we already have. Can the Council President support a Vacancy Tax for large buildings and single family homes that are not being occupied or rented?
As voters and concerned residents, we are asking for your help and support with these issues.  You were instrumental in the passage of Q conditions for this and other neighborhoods – and we are turning to you again as a representative of our community.
– Councilman Wesson: councilmember.wesson@lacity.org
– Sylvia Lacy: sylvia.lacy@lacity.org
– Jordan Beroukim:  jordan.beroukhim@lactiy.org
– Elizabeth Carlin: elizabeth.carlin@lacity.org
– Justin Wesson: justin.wesson@lacity.org
-Downtown office: (213) 473-7010 or District Office: (323) 733-8233)
Regular Mail:
Herb Wesson (Downtown Office)
200 North Spring Street, Room 430
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Herb Wesson (District Office)
1819 S. Western Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90006
PVNA Special Meeting Minutes, August 26, 2018 and Update