Category Archives: VNNC Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee

monorail on 405

Constituents Propose Monorail Through Sepulveda Pass

Retired Sherman Oaks space engineer (Bob Anderson) and local architect (Jeff Kalban) have drafted a mass transit concept from Van Nuys to LAX that they think gives Metro’s own proposals a run for their money. A monorail running above the 405 freeway, straight down the middle, that could be cheaper and easier to build while minimizing impacts on neighborhood streets from the San Fernando Valley to the Westside. LA Metro has rejected the concept, but The Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council passed a measure to support the proposal, and a letter to Metro staff from the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Assosciation emphasizes a continued preference for the two fully underground heavy rail options known as HRT1 and HRT2 but presents MRT2 — a dual-track monorail above the 405 median — as a more affordable option. See link for presentation about their fascinating concept: Valley to LAX Monorail SOHA SONC Presentation

The Planning and Land Use Committee heard this presentation and would like to make it available to our stakeholders. We will consider supporting it at our next meeting. Meanwhile, we invite you to consider the project and contact the following people with your support.

From the presentation:

I absolutely oppose any elevated tracks above any Valley streets – Unfair!
I support a fully underground subway in the Valley, but only if it’s affordable
The ONLY acceptable alternative is a monorail along the middle of the 405

Email comments to:

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Chair, Metro Board,
Mayor James Butts, First Vice Chair, Metro Board,
Mayor Eric Garcetti, Second Vice Chair, Metro Board,
Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Metro Board,
Councilmember Mike Bonin, Metro Board,
Councilmember Paul Krekorian, Metro Board,
Mayor Ara Najarian, Metro Board,
Joshua Schank, Metro Chief Innovation Officer,
Cory Zelmer, Metro Project Manager,
Metro Email Comment Box,

Mail comments to:
Cory Zelmer, Metro Project Manager, Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project Metro, One Gateway Plaza, M/S 99-22-5, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Backyard Home

Get a Backyard Home!

From LA-Más: We are excited to share that the Backyard Homes Project – an affordable accessory dwelling unit (ADU) pilot program has launched. LA-Más and our collective of non-profit partners – Genesis LA, Self-Help Federal Credit Union, Restore Neighborhoods LA (RNLA), LA Family Housing, St. Joseph Center, and Housing Rights Center – are pleased to announce the launch of LA’s newest incentive program for LA homeowners!

This incentive program offers homeowners a “one-stop-shop” for financing, designing, permitting, and constructing a new Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) in the City of Los Angeles. We aspire to have ADUs be remarkably designed, affordably constructed, and creatively financed. The process of being a Section 8 landlord will be easy and supported.

Application Requirements

  • Homeowners are eligible to apply if they meet the following requirements:
  • Agree to house a Section 8 voucher holder in their new ADU for a minimum of 5 years
    Own a property in a single-family residential area located within the City of LA

Find out more on their website

Backyard homes

Van Nuys – North Sherman Oaks Community Plan Kicks of 3 Year Process

The Department of City Planning has initiated a Community Plan Update program for the following three Southeast Valley community plans: North Hollywood-Valley Village, Sherman Oaks-Studio City-Toluca Lake-Cahuenga Pass, and Van Nuys-North Sherman Oaks. A portion of the Van Nuys-North Sherman Oaks Community Plan falls within the boundaries of Van Nuys Neighborhood Council.

The Planning and Land Use Committee will work with the Department of City Planning to schedule their brief presentation (10-15 minutes) this Fall, possibly in September to introduce the Community Plan Update team (Andy Rodriguez, City Planner, and myself), provide more detail regarding our overall three-year work program, and briefly respond to inquiries. The Community Plan Update process is an opportunity to assess existing conditions, identify neighborhood and community issues, and to respond with appropriate land use recommendations. The updated Community Plans will reflect community values, direct new growth by promoting a sustainable pattern of development where it makes the most sense, and apply new zoning designations that are consistent with the Community Plans’ goals and policies.

The update process will include a comprehensive outreach strategy to engage and involve the community. This process will begin with outreach to Neighborhood Councils and public kick-off events in each community plan area this Fall. Additional outreach will seek broad input from the community’s many constituencies to craft the guiding principles and policies that will be incorporated into the Plans. At follow-up public meetings, City Planning will share outcomes from the community outreach, staff analysis, and concept plans for review and comment. As they become more familiar with the issues important to Van Nuys, their outreach strategy will evolve to respond. To learn more about the Southeast Valley Community Plans, and to join the mailing list, please visit our website at

County Kicks Off River Master Plan to Connect Communities

Van Nuys Neighborhood Council was represented at the recent The LA River Master Plan Community Meeting on July 25, 2018 at Canoga Park High School to learn about the Los Angeles County Plan to update the 1996 LA River Master Plan, addressing the entire 51 mile LA River.

The County Draft Vision is: A re-imagined River to connect and serve the diverse communities of LA County.

This was the first of 17 Community Meetings to provide opportunities for community input on the drafting of the LA River Master Plan which will be finalized in early 2020. County officials will identify the challenges and unrealized opportunities for 2,100 contiguous acres of publicly-owned land along the river corridor. The 25 month long process will focus on 6 preliminary goals:

1. Reinforce local culture and community.
2. Provide a protective and resilient flood management infrastructure.
3. Identify and address potential adverse impacts to housing affordability.
4. Provide equitable, inclusive, and safe parks, open space, and trails.
5. Support healthy, connected ecosystems.
6. Improve local water supply reliability.

Canoga Park kicked-off the meetings because the LA River begins in Canoga Park, runs for 51 miles and terminates in Long Beach. Future community meetings will be held in various jurisdictions along the river route. Some of the major challenges include addressing safety concerns and crafting a unifying vision that will be supported by all 17 overlapping jurisdictions that will be affected.

The meeting was hosted by Michelle Miranda (President of the Canoga Park Neighborhood Council), and speakers included Concilman Bob Blumenfield, Sheila Kuehl’s office and a slide presentation from the Department of Public Works.

For more information and to sign up for notifications go to:

Or see

Orange Line Transit Neighborhood Plan to Shape Van Nuys

Update August 21, 2018

We are pleased to provide the July 25, 2018 Orange Line Transit Neighborhood Plans Presentation from the EIR Scoping Meeting.

In addition to the public comment methods listed below. You may download, print and complete this Comment Form and mail it in per the directions on it.

Update July 27, 2018

You can submit public comment online, preferably by August 15, 2018. For more information contact Daniel Skolnick at:, or 818-374-7556.

Comments can be submitted about:

1. The Environmental Case (ENV-2018-3724-EIR) which has a deadline for scoping comments on 8/15; and,
2. The case that represents the planning effort itself (CPC-2018-3723-GPA-ZC-CDO-BL): for which we will accept comments until the project is done (an adopted plan).

July 20, 2018

Orange Line Transit Neighborhood Plans were the topic at the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council Planning and Land Use Meeting on Wednesday, July 18. City Planning brought a team to explain their current project and next steps.

The Transit Neighborhood Plan development is an effort to identify new specific development guidelines for selected neighborhoods along transit corridors. In our case, the corridor is from Victory to Burbank and Sepulveda to Hazeltine, encompassing the Sepulveda and Van Nuys Orange Line Stations. In each corridor the objective is to revitalize neighborhoods, create an opportunity for more jobs and housing, foster a vibrant mix of land uses, increase mobility access, and improve public spaces. This is accomplished by specifying zoning through a program called re:code LA.

The Transit Neighborhood Plan sits within the framework of the General Plan, which for Van Nuys has not been updated in twenty plus years. Fortunately, the city has launched an effort to update all the General Plans and the Van Nuys General Plan update began this month. While the effort is none too soon for Van Nuys residents, it should be noted that the shortest expected timeframe for completion is three years.

The Orange Line Transit Neighborhood Plan effort began in 2016 with focus groups, presentations to Neighborhood Councils and public visioning workshops. A concept plan was shared in public workshops in November 2017. The plan is now in the Environmental Review phase. City Planning will conduct a public Scoping Meeting on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 at the Marvin Braude Constitutent Service Center, 6262 Van Nuys Blvd, 6pm. Everyone is invited to submit comments for consideration. About a year later there will be a public hearing where the draft Environmental Review report will be released. The project then works its way through the city’s Planning and Land Use Committee for approval by City Council.

City Planning reports that regarding current stations and the vibrancy of nearby services, “there is not a there there”. Community feedback to date calls for a plan to promote services near Orange Line stations, provide amenities near bike paths, provide open space, ensure adequate parking and safe street crossing, increase housing density and variety near stations, increase shade, safety and cleanliness and provide good wayfinding signage.

Strategies in the plan development process include:

    • Enhancing pedestrian orientation along main street corridors, with pedestrian entrances and storefront transparency.
    • Mixed use development with parking away from main streets
    • Neighborhood Corridors with density that tapers off away from transit stations. Promoting a walkable environment and diverse housing in townhomes, duplexes, bungalow courts.

The above chart shows how the plan has evolved from concept 1 to concept 2. For a better view of that chart please see the Presentation and Related Documents. To provide input to the plan, please attend the July 25 meeting and sign up for project updates.

At the  conclusion of the presentation, Van Nuys Neighborhood Council Planning and Land Use Chair Steve Freidmann shared his concern about the need to move quickly to revitalize the area because of unprecedented low interest rates for construction loans. The committee is hopeful about using this planning process which puts Van Nuys at ground zero for unprecedented improvements. The current assortment of pot and porn shops and 17 bail bondsmen businesses are a blight on the community.

Others were concerned about the need for adequate parking, noting that jurors park up the neighborhood around the court during the day, as they don’t want to pay parking. Committee Member Penelope Meyer added that the parking also needs to be safe, as her daily commute includes a scary walk past 27 tents in a homeless encampment to get to her car after leaving the Orange Line.