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Canyon News

Urbanization Creeping Into Mulholland Scenic Corridor
Posted by Joann Deutch on May 5, 2012 - 10:45:19 AM

LAUREL CANYONEvery once in a while something sparks you to take a look at the familiar through new lenses. That’s when I noticed that - yuk - Urban Creep inch by inch is encroaching on the scenic beauty which is the bedrock our hillside lifestyle. The Mulholland Scenic Parkway Specific Plan is designed to protect the degredation of the area:

P1010805.jpg
No Parking signs along Mulholland Drive


●”¦To assure maximum preservation and enhancement of the parkway's

outstanding and unique scenic features and resources.

●”¦To preserve Mulholland Drive as a slow-speed, low-intensity drive.

●”¦To preserve and enhance land having exceptional recreational and/or

educational value.

●”¦To reduce the visual intrusion caused by excessive lighting.

       Local activists need to rejuventate our committment to the scenic beauty unique to our area.

Urban Creep
is on the march.  You can tell by the choice of words that I’m not a happy camper.  You shouldn’t be either.  What’s the beef ?  Every once in a while something sparks you to take a look at the familiar through new lenses. That’s when I noticed that - yuk - Urban Creep inch by inch is encroaching on the scenic beauty which is the bedrock our hillside lifestyle.

I’m not talking about development or densification, I’m talking about something more basic.  All of a sudden Mulholland Drive, which is a protected Scenic Corridor, is turning into Sunset Boulevard. It didn’t happen overnight. It was more of one thing being piled on top of another. 

      

The principle tenets of the Mulholland Scenic Parkway Specific Plan which should protect Mulholland from the Urban Creep include:


●”¦To assure maximum preservation and enhancement of the parkway's

outstanding and unique scenic features and resources.

●”¦To preserve Mulholland Drive as a slow-speed, low-intensity drive.

●”¦To preserve and enhance land having exceptional recreational and/or

educational value.

●”¦To reduce the visual intrusion caused by excessive lighting.


The straw that broke the camel’s back was the appearance of NO PARKING signs almost every 20 feet between Laurel Canyon and Coldwater, as if Mulholland is like any other principle road in Los Angeles. I can’t help but rail at the visual blight these signs create.  No one is going to adhere to them, and no one is going to enforce them.  Ever try getting parking enforcement up here? So what’s the point?

           

These omnipresent signs popped up after the community was forced to band together to launch and privately fund www.NOLITTERZONE.COM.  Why do we need this organization?  Because wherever there is a sign permitting daytime parking, people come by and huck building waste, furniture, and trash at the foot of the sign.  Get the city to remove the trash.  Hah! We had to take matters into our own hands on our own dime.

           

If you’ve lived in the hills for a few years you remember the day when there were one or two overhead wires.  Until 1950 all overhead wires were banned inside the Mulholland Scenic Corridor.  Now utility poles groan under the weight of dozens of wires.  They seem to multiple faster than rabbits.  They certainly fall far short of the “preservation and enhancement of the parkways outstanding and unique scenic features.”

           

Drive further west on Mulholland into the fancy neighborhoods of Beverly Hills and Bel Air.  See any of this stuff going on?  No Siree.

           

I think it started at the eastern end of Mulholland with the bus bench and shelter just north of the Mulholland/ Laurel Canyon intersection.  The Mulholland Specific Plan forbids all commercial speech inside the corridor.  That bus bench is inside the Scenic Corridor.  The local conservationists tried to work out a compromise because they appreciated the comfort to bus passengers while waiting for the 218.  Make no mistake that The City is raking in grand theft dough on this deal.  The community was promised that the bench would not be illuminated. Promises made and broken, in the hopes that local activists will be worn down.

           

City employees seem to be oblivious to the existence of the Mulholland Scenic Parkway Specific Plan.  We need to demand that ALL changes to Mulholland be reviewed by community representatives.



 

Cliffside Malibu

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Serving Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills. Brentwood, Laurel Canyon, Los Feliz, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Melrose, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Topanga, Canyon, Westwood & Hollywood Hills.