VOICES - When running for election to Council District 5 in 2009, Paul Koretz pledged to preserve neighborhood character by opposing the building of disproportionately sized houses next to conventionally sized homes.
Finally, fifteen – count ‘em,fifteen – months ago the Councilperson filed a motion for a Residential Floor Area (RFA) Overlay District to stop rampant mansionization in the Beverly Grove neighborhood.
The Planning Department has yet to lift a pencil on this matter, and Koretz seems to be content with the stalled situation -- even though mansionization has accelerated alarmingly.
Now a coalition of 60 homeowner associations across Koretz’ Council District 5 has stepped up behind Beverly Grove to prod the Councilmember to stand up for his own motion.
The Coalition letter reads in part:
"The Coalition of HOAs – Council District 5 shares your (Koretz) commitment to improving residential neighborhoods. Of the many problems facing CD 5, development issues pose unique and pressing threats because the built environment remains in place for decades. Large commercial developments draw the most attention, but individual residential projects have enormous impact on quality of life for your constituents.
Your motion in August 2011 to establish an RFA Overlay District in Beverly Grove signaled a welcome readiness to protect CD-5 neighborhoods from oversize houses. But 14 months later, we have seen no tangible action from the Planning Department. Meanwhile, mansionization has accelerated at an alarming rate.
The damage to neighborhood character is irreversible and needs immediate action.
Your proposed Beverly Grove RFA is supported by the Baseline Mansionization Ordinance and fully consistent with City policy on every level. Failure to follow through on it will put your commitment in question and leave neighborhoods across your district exposed to reckless speculation.
The Coalition of HOAs - Council District 5 urges you to bring the full force of your office and influence to bear on this issue. The Planning Department needs to be informed that you will not tolerate any further delays on the Beverly Grove RFA."
Frankly, the hope we placed in Councilperson Koretz to heed his constituents’ will is fast crumbling. His inaction unfortunately resembles that of his predecessor, Jack Weiss, who notoriously ignored his constituents’ will.
(Rosanne Keynan lives in the Beverly Grove area.)