Culver City Observer -

Medical Office Plan Moves Forward Public Input Becomes Topic Of Meeting


October 22, 2009

The Culver City Redevelopment Agency voted Monday night to unanimously approve the site plan review and the Mitigated Negative Declaration to allow the project, a 50,000 square foot medical office building at 11957 W. Washington Boulevard to move forward.

Discussion focused on more public input. Councilmember Gary Silbiger complained that there was no policy on development and that public participation happens late in the game.

The developer had seven public meetings on the development and the project had been scaled back n size and height as a result of that input.

City Manager Mark Scott commented that, “Culver City has a strong policy about seeking out public opinion. We can always do it better but I wouldn’t want people to get the idea that we don’t have public input.” He went on to describe himself as “a newcomer” and told council and the public that Culver City had the best policy he had ever seen for public involvement.

Council approved a staff recommendation to allow city staff to grant waivers on fines on delinquent sanitation accounts up to $20,000. Currently accounts that are not paid in the current month are assessed a 50 percent penalty.

Silbiger opposed the motion which passed on a 4-1 vote.

City department managers made presentations on proposed budget cuts to meet the declining revenues of the city during the current economic turndown. The City Manager’s Office, City Clerk, Human Resources, City Attorney and Fire Departments all reported to the council and the public. Next Monday the council will receive budget presentations from Police, Transportation, Public Works/Engineering and Parks, Recreation.

Council approved one of three plans presented for new playground equipment at Veteran’s Memorial Park. On September 14, Council accepted a grant from and approved an agreement with KaBOOM! for the playground improvements.

The KaBOOM! grant requires community participation as a key element to the grant process, including active planning committees and ultimately a community-built playground. The Build Day for the Veterans’ Memorial Park playground is Thursday, December 3.

In choosing a design Mayor Andy Weissman commented that his “scientific” research was done by asking his two grandsons their opinion.

“They picked option number three, because there were more things to climb on,” he said.

The KaBOOM! playground project at Veterans’ Memorial Park officially kicked off on October 1with Playground Design Day. The four-hour meeting was well-attended, engaging over 100 children and adults in designing a new playground structure for the park. Design Day began with input from the children, or the ‘playground experts’ as they are aptly named by KaBOOM!.

Over 50 children from around the city drew their dream playgrounds after which many had an opportunity to share their drawings with fellow attendees, as well as City staff and representatives from KaBOOM! and the projects’ funding partner. KaBOOM! has provided the three playground designs, including plans and specifications, for the playground improvements at Veterans’ Memorial Park.

In the end Option number two won out due to the public support for that option.

KaBOOM! is a national non-profit dedicated to bringing play back into the lives of children. They facilitate building innovative, kid-inspired playspaces, using a community-build model which improves the well-being of the children we serve as well as the communities in which they live. They create platforms and opportunities for the collaborative sharing and continual improvement of knowledge and tools needed for anyone to build playgrounds on their own.

Scott thanked the Fox Hills Neighborhood Association for its hard work on the annual park cleanup day.


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