Culver City Observer -

City Manager's Update


City Manager's Update

July 19, 2013

City Manager’s Office

· Cultural Affairs Foundation Fundraiser – On Wednesday, July 31 Akasha Restaurant will donate 10% off its receipts between 4 pm and 8 pm to the foundation to support the arts in Culver City. Proceeds from this “dine, drink, and donate” fundraiser will specifically benefit the City’s Music in the Chambers Program, a free classical chamber music concert. Friends and family are invited to enjoy happy hour from 4 pm to 7, ½ off Wine Wednesdays, dinner and/or wine tasting. For more information, please go to

· Mike Balkman Council Chambers Audio Visual (A/V) Room (Bid 1525) – On July 10, staff from the City Manager’s Office, the City Clerk’s Office, Information Technology, and Public Works met with vendors who are interested in submitting proposals to improve the operations of the City’s A/V Room. Staff will begin to review proposals in the upcoming weeks. Bid 1525 can be downloaded from the City’s website at:

· Culver City's Boulevard Music Summer Festival – Co-sponsored by the City of Culver City and curated by producer Gary Mandell of Culver City’s Boulevard Music, Culver City’s Boulevard Music Summer Festival will feature: Motown and R&B with Brenda Lee Eager on July 25th; hot country, rock and blues guitar with Albert Lee on Aug 1st; Afro-Cuban/Salsa from Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca on August 8th; and the premier Led Zeppelin tribute band Led Zepagain acoustic with string quartet on August 15th. Performances are free. For more information go to:

Community Development Department

· Business Operation Resumption Program (B.O.R.P) – Building Staff met with a local business to open discussion on response to emergency post-disaster situation.

  • Tilden Terrace - The Tellefson Park Neighborhood Association has generously collected household items/City information (i.e. paper products, kitchen towels, map of the City, directory of City businesses, etc.) to create gift bags to welcome the Tilden residents to the neighborhood. David Voncannon presented the gift bags to City Council on July 22. A representative from LAHP and Tilden Terrace will accept the gift bags on behalf of the residents. Housing staff will distribute to the residents. Currently 17 tenants reside at Tilden Terrace, the remaining tenants are in the final stages of the certification process.

  • Culver Villas (Irving Place) - The Culver Villas on-line application process took place on July 12, 13, and 15. A total of 1,448 applications were submitted over the three-day period for the 12 available affordable units. Approximately 100 citizens utilized the computers made available at City Hall for those with no access to the online application. Housing and the Culver Villas Leasing Agent will work over the next 2 weeks to notify the first 40 applicants and start the certification process. The goal is to have them leased by September 1, 2013. The project is approximately 72% complete and on budget. Scheduled for completion in August, 2013.

  • Christmas in July - The Housing Division was contacted by the Office of Assembly Member Holly Mitchell to nominate Culver City families living in low to moderate income housing to participate in the third Annual Christmas in July, a half-day family event celebrating literacy, health and wellness. The event was held on July 13th at Kenneth Hahn Park and the special guest was Santa Claus with gifts and goodies for the families. Four families were nominated to attend.

  • Culver City Expo Station – The Planning Division is monitoring and providing input on the City of Los Angeles Expo Corridor Transit Neighborhood Plan, which includes concept plans for the area north of the Culver City Expo Station in the City of Los Angeles across Venice Boulevard at Robertson Boulevard and for potential redevelopment of the south side of Venice Boulevard, west of Robertson Boulevard. The City of LA project team is currently evaluating public input and analyzing a variety of potential environmental impact areas. A draft environmental impact report is expected to be released late Fall.

  • Planning Commission Reorganization – On July 12 two newly appointed members and one reappointed member were sworn into the Culver City Planning Commission. The new members are David Voncannon and Dana Sayles who replace outgoing Commissioners John Kuechle and Anthony Pleskow, who served on the Commission for seven and five years respectively. The newly appointed and reappointed Commissioners join current members Linda Smith-Frost and Kevin Lachoff on the five member Planning Commission. Scott Wyant was named Planning Commission Chair and Linda Smith Frost was named Vice Chair.

  • Gravlax – A new restaurant located at 12042 Washington Place is under construction and will open soon. The restaurant is a partnership between Arda Koca and Lars Magnus Stefansson, who was the former chef of Ken Hansen's high-end Scandinavian restaurant, Scandia on Sunset.

  • Sage Bistro/Kind Kreme – This new restaurant will open soon at Culver Crossroads. The restaurant will offer a full complement of beer, cocktails, ice cream, and gourmet farm-to-table cuisine touting a mix of salads, sandwiches, bowls, burgers and wraps. Construction crews are working feverishly to open before the end of the summer.

  • Blue Bottle Coffee – The coffee house signed a lease at Runyon Group’s Platform project near Washington and National Boulevards. Blue Bottle is regarded as the pioneer of boutique coffee-roasting and is considered by both industry experts and coffee loyalists to be roasting and serving some of the finest coffee in the world. Blue Bottle will include a coffee roastery, tasting room, café and garden.

· Long Range Property Management Plan Management Plan (LRPMP) – On July 3 the City’s Long Range Property Management Plan was approved by the Oversight Board, authorizing transmittal of the document to the Californian Department of Finance pursuant to Assembly Bill AB x1 26. The Plan is over 2000 pages and required several months to produce as it identifies all former Redevelopment Agency real property assets, including those that have been redeveloped or are proposed to be redevelopment and the sales price, tax generation and ownership chain of each parcel. With approval of the Plan, the City will be able to proceed with several significant redevelopments, including the Washington National Transit Oriented Development, Parcel B office retail complex in downtown and the Washington Centinela Market Hall.

  • African Gourmet Food & Wine Festival – The food and wine tasting event, which will take place on Parcel B, has been postponed until Saturday, August 31.

  • Bucato Italian Restaurant – Is located at the Helm’s Bakery complex, in the space where the former restaurant, Beacon was located. Bucato will open next week. It will feature bread baked in-house, a wood grill, rotisserie, pastry kitchen and handmade pasta.

Fire Department

  • Safety Stand Down – The recent loss of 19 firefighters from Arizona is a grounding reminder of the dangers faced by firefighters every day. While we mourn the loss of our fallen, it was imperative that each of us take this opportunity to review the basic wildland fire safety principles that help protect California’s firefighters. All members of the California Fire Service were encouraged to participate in the July 3 Safety Stand Down. The coalition of California Fire Service partners asked that each agency review a number of safety procedures in the wildland and wildland-urban interface. .

· CERT Training – On July 13th 24 members of the community completed the Culver City Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training. These individuals participated in nearly 40 hours of training taking place over three weekends and one week night. Anyone interested in obtaining additional information about the CERT program and upcoming classes is encourage to visit the City’s website.

Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department

· Senior Driving Training - On Saturday, July 20 the Culver City Senior & Social Services Division, in partnership with AAA and AARP, offered CarFit for drivers 55+. CarFit is a free 20-minute check-up to ensure you “fit” your car properly for maximum comfort and safety on the road. .

· Fiesta La Ballona – This year’s Fiesta will feature Jumpin’ Joz Band, Mariachis Voces de Mexico de Raul Sanchez, Instant Replay, Kiss Me Deadly, The Bricks, Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca, Upstream, Lisa Haley & the Zydecats, Katia Moraes, “The World’s Grooviest Live Disco Band” The Funky Hippeez and more at the Entertainment Tent.

The sponsorship campaign is underway and information is available by visiting or contacting

Police Department

· National Night Out - The Police Department is hosting its first “National Night Out Event” at Lindberg Park located at 5401 Rhoda Way, Culver City on August 6 from 6 pm to 9. The event is to help the Police Department and community come together to fight crime. Everyone is invited there will be hot dogs and free raffle prizes.

Public Works Department

· Metro’s Bicycle Safety Classes – As part of ongoing efforts to educate all road users, Metro is offering free bicycle traffic safety classes through the end of September. Safety is a major concern for cyclists, so these workshops will teach skills needed for riding a bike safely and confidently with traffic, on city and residential streets, or just about anywhere in Los Angeles County. Please register for bicycle safety classes soon as spots are going fast. For more information regarding classes to be held in the Culver City area, please visit

· MTA Call for Projects Update - The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has completed its preliminary recommendations for the 2013 Call For Projects applications. Culver City Public Works has the two projects listed below that were submitted and recommended for funding in these preliminary recommendations. These preliminary staff recommendations will undergo a 13-week review period before adoption by the MTA Board scheduled for September. During this 13-week review, on July 30 and 31 MTA’s Technical Advisory Committee will hear brief presentations from applicants who wish to appeal their project ranking.

o Network Wide Traffic Signal Synchronization - This project is for upgrades along regional arterials: network wide signal synchronization and upgrade of 16 intersections with advanced detection capabilities and performance measurement system for planned Automatic Traffic Control System (ATCS) real time operations. Funding for this project is anticipated to become available in FY 2015. Culver City initially requested $996,884 for the project. MTA has preliminary recommended approving $989, 517, with a City match for the project being $247,379 and a total cost for the project of $1,236,896.

o Ballona Creek Bike Path Connectivity Project at Higuera Bridge - This project will increase bicycle connectivity by constructing a new ramp to the Ballona Creek Bike Path at Higuera Street and adding associated wayfinding signage. Funding for this project is anticipated to become available in FY 2015. Culver City initially requested $584,749 for the project. MTA has preliminary recommended approving $615,625, with a City match for the project being $205,502 and a total cost for the project of $821,127. This project was ranked 5th out of 43 projects submitted.

· Los Angeles County Recycling Market Development Zone (RMDZ) - The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works has announced that the expansion for the Los Angeles County Recycling Market Development Zone (RMDZ) was recently approved by CalRecycle. The Los Angeles County RMDZ consists of nine cities in Los Angeles County and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. With this announcement, Culver City is now one of nine new additional member cities of the RMDZ. For more information contact Culver City Public Works Environmental Programs Division at (310) 253-6411.

· Alley Maintenance - The Public Works Department began its annual alley maintenance program the week of June 24. The work is scheduled to be completed by the end of August.


· Service Alert - Please be advised that UCLA’s Ackerman Turnaround will close for a period of three years due to the construction of a new conference center. Culver CityBus Line 6 and Rapid 6 will utilize the northbound bus stop at Westwood Medical Plaza as the ending point for northbound trips and the starting point for southbound trips. Bus stops at Westwood/Strathmore and southbound Westwood Medical Plaza will be closed throughout the construction period.

For more information about service alerts, bus routes and schedules, please visit the Culver CityBus website


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