City Manager's Update
December 6, 2013
City Manager’s Office
• Great News on Redevelopment Projects – Major progress has been made in the City’s efforts to complete its remaining projects stemming from the State’s dissolution of redevelopment. These include such projects as the Combined Properties/Hudson Pacific plan for Parcel B, the Washington/National transit oriented development at the Culver City EXPO station by Lowe Enterprises, and the creation of a market hall by Regency Centers at the Washington/Centinela site, among others.
The City Council’s dogged determination and perseverance in pursuing completion of these efforts in spite of the numerous difficulties posed by the State’s very lengthy and complex redevelopment wind down process is beginning to pay off.
On November 22 Councilmember Andrew Weissman, City Manager John Nachbar, and Community Development Director Sol Blumenfeld were joined by Senator Holly Mitchell in a meeting with Department of Finance (DOF) staff regarding Culver City’s remaining redevelopment projects. In addition, at the request of Councilmember Micheál O’ Leary, Metro had a representative attend the meeting on behalf of Culver City and the EXPO station transit oriented development project.
The group conferred on matters relating to the City’s proposed Long Range Property Management Plan for former Redevelopment Agency properties, audits of former Agency assets, and the use of Redevelopment Agency bond proceeds. This meeting, along with extensive preparation, resulted in an outstanding outcome for Culver City. On December 3 the DOF informed the City that it had revised the agency’s determination of the City’s financial obligation to the State down from $22,178,120 to $2,724,618. A major hurdle has been cleared on the path to securing the DOF’s final approval of the City’s plans for disposition of former Redevelopment Agency properties.
Now that this step has been made, the DOF will turn its attention to completing its review of the City’s proposed plan for all of the former redevelopment agency’s real property. The DOF staff’s preliminary reactions signal a positive review, as no major “red flags” were observed.
Despite this welcome breakthrough, there is still much work to be done and process to be completed. There will undoubtedly be further complications requiring effort and resolution. However, given the City Council’s guidance, determination and support, we will see these matters through to completion.
Community Development Department
• Westfield Culver City – Building plans have been approved for a new restaurant, Chipotle Mexican Grill. A permit has been issued for a new kiosk in the mall, Tronicsxchange.
• 4043 Irving Place – The project is approximately 94% complete and within budget and is scheduled for completion in December 2013.
• CDBG Advisory Board – Staff is soliciting Fiscal Year 2014-2015 CDBG project funding requests from the Disability Advisory Committee and City departments in preparation for the CDBG Advisory Board’s annual meeting. Funding requests will be brought forth for City Council consideration during a Public Hearing in January 2014.
• Farmers’ Market Holidays Hours – This year, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve fall on a Tuesday, which is Culver City’s Farmers’ Market day. In recognition of those holidays and an anticipated reduction in the number of patrons, City staff has talked with the Farmers’ Market manager regarding cancellation of the market, and rescheduling to Monday for these two days, or temporarily reducing the operating hours on December 24th and 31st. At this time it is anticipated that the market will be moved to Monday, December 23rd and Monday, December 30th due to these holidays. Market hours will remain 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
• Culver Village Business District - The newly recognized business district on Sepulveda Boulevard between Culver Boulevard and Franklin Avenues will hold their first annual holiday celebration from 5 pm to 8 pm on December 10. There will be holiday entertainment as well as free Santa photos (with 50 holiday cards included) at Samy’s Camera’s parking lot. The Village businesses will be spreading holiday cheer with tasty small bites and promotions such as special dinners, free camera workshops at 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM, complimentary massages, several raffles and more! Visit http://www.ShopCulverVillage.com for more information.
Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department
• Veterans Memorial Complex – The number of film shoots taking place at Culver City parks as well as the Veterans Memorial Complex continues to increase significantly. It’s anticipated that the projected revenue estimates for 2013-14 will double. Our success has been due in large part to our proximity to the studios as well as ease of the process to shoot in “The Heart of Screenland.”
• Veterans Memorial Building Rental Operation – Sony Pictures Television returned to use the Teen Center, the Plunge entrance, parking lots and a portion of Veterans Memorial Park for its new TV show titled Rake, starring Greg Kinnear. Four new regular renters have recently been added to the VMB weekly calendar. Many holiday parties have been booked for this month at VMB and rooms are still available. Photographs and diagrams are available on the VMB webpage at http://www.culvercity.org, and inquiries may be made directly by calling the Rental Office at 310-253-6625 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Veterans Memorial Building – USA Dance Los Angeles hosts its Holiday Ball in Veterans Memorial Auditorium on December 8. More information is available at http://www.usadancela.org. Lindsay Productions present Excalibur Bodybuilding in Veterans Memorial Auditorium on December 14. More information is available at http://www.lindsayproductions.com.
• Senior Center Holiday Party – The Culver City Senior Center Holiday Party will be held on Friday, December 13 at 11:30 am, will honor the Senior Center Member of the Year, and install the 2014 Board of Directors. Tickets are $3.50 for lunch and entertainment and are on sale at the Senior Center business desk to members.
• Holidays at the Senior Center - The annual Senior Center Holiday Talent Showcase will take place on Tuesday, December 17 at the Senior Center. The Culver City High School AVPA String Orchestra will perform a free concert on Wednesday, December 18 at 1 pm, and the Ukulele Holiday Show with Cali Rose and the CC Strummers will take place on Thursday, December 19 at 1 pm.
• Culver City Senior Citizens Association (CCSCA) – The Board of Directors of CCSCA has been meeting with the City of Culver City’s Director of Parks, Recreation and Community Services to work on finalizing the Memorandum of Understanding and continuing its excellent working relationship. The CCSCA represents over 4,000 guests at the Culver City Senior Center, and it is anticipated that the agreement with this outstanding group will be finalized before the end of the year.
• CCSCA Membership Registration: 2014 Culver City Senior Center Association membership registration will be held from December 16 – 20, 9 am to 2 pm and will resume again in January on Monday, January 6, 2014 for two weeks: January 6 to 10 and January 13 to 17 from 9 am to 2 pm. Registration will take place in the Senior Center lobby on these dates. No registrations will be taken outside of the times and dates listed. Memberships are $13 a year, plus $5 for a parking permit. Fitness Room membership and newsletter mailing are at an additional fee.
• Culver City Police Department Announces the Swearing-In of Four New Police Officers - After completing a rigorous 20-week academic and physical training program at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Police Academy, four Culver City Police Department Recruits were sworn in by Police Chief Don Pedersen during a ceremony at the Police Department. The Police Department would like to formally welcome Officers Darrin Takade, Maurillo Gamboa, Precious Ares, and William Kutylo into the Culver City Police family and congratulate them on this accomplishment.
• Councilmember Jim Clarke Goes on a Ride Along - On November 26 Councilmember Jim Clarke went on a Ride-Along with Parking Enforcement Officer Brad Witt. Councilmember Clarke got an opportunity first-hand to observe the daily experience of being a Parking Enforcement Officer.
• Cub Scout Troop #91 Participates in Tour of the Police Department - On December 4 Cub Scout Troop #91 came to Police Department to get a tour of the Police Station and learn what Police officers do on a daily basis. They also learned holiday season safety tips.
• Plastic Bag Ban Outreach Efforts - The Culver City Reusable Bag Ordinance (No. 2013-006) will take effect on December 28 and is aimed at reducing the number of single use plastic bags in the environment. The ordinance bans the use of single use plastic bags at stores meeting certain criteria and requires a 10¢ charge for each paper carryout bag sold to a customer at such stores. The deadline for supermarkets and large retail stores with a pharmacy to comply is December 28, 2013. Smaller grocery stores and convenience stores will have until June 27, 2014 to comply. This is one of many single use plastic carryout bag bans adopted in California with many more jurisdictions to participate in the future. Public Works staff and Santa’s elf helpers (Heal the Bay and Linwood Howe School Students) distributed reusable shopping bags at the December 5th Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony in Downtown Culver City.
The following upcoming community events will be held for the distribution of reusable bags and informational materials on the Culver City Bag Ban.
1. December 6, 6 pm to 8 pm At the Holiday Tower Tree Lighting Ceremony at Veterans Memorial Building, look for the Public Works table and Santa’s elf helpers handing out reusable shopping bags.
2. December 7, 9:30 am to 11:30 am - Senator Holly Mitchell has organized a walk & talk on the trails at Kenneth Hahn Park. Reusable bags will be given to all participants. http://sd26.senate.ca.gov/events/walk-talk-your-state-senator
3. December 8 , 5:30 pm to 8 pm – The SO-In, SEW-In will take place in the Dan Patacchia Conference Room at City Hall. Come by and learn how to make your own reusable bags. Supplies and sewing machines will be provided to practice, and participants can take a homemade bag home. Transition Culver City and TB Repair Café will be on hand to help. http://transitionculvercity.org/ http://ourtimebank.timebanks.org/events/cloth-grocery-bag-sew
For more information on the types of stores with a compliance date on December 28, 2013 and those on June 27, 2014, visit: http://culvercity.org/recycle.
• APWA Award for Jefferson Hetzler Improvements - On December 10 Culver City will be accepting an award for the Jefferson Boulevard Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvement Project at Hetzler Road from the American Public Works Association (APWA). This project included the installation of raised landscaped medians, a permeable parking lot allowing rain water infiltration, new sidewalks, bike lanes and bike racks.
• 50th Anniversary of the Baldwin Hills Dam – On December 14 form 11 am to 4 pm the Baldwin Hills Conservancy and other entities are having an event to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Baldwin Hills Dam Failure. For additional information and to RSVP (required), please call 323-290-5270.