Category: Regulations

Parkway Vision for Culver City

 

Imagine a parkway designed for beauty and functionality; one that’s a gateway to your property, a habitat for local plant and bird species, AND a sponge that holds and cleanses precious water before it returns to the ocean.

When new parkway regulations were first presented to Culver City council in May 2013, Transition Culver City members decided this would be a perfect time to re-imagine our parkways. We wondered how parkway regs could match what we had already observed in our neighborhoods – parkways that were more than places to curb ones car or dog.  Instead, we saw gathering places, native plant sanctuaries, and zen-like gardens.

We  interviewed experts in the field of sustainable landscape, to harvest their knowledge.  With the assistance of Flowtown Films, we decided to grow a parkway video.

We would like to thank the people and organizations who were involved in the making of this film:

Charles Herbertson – Director, Culver City Public Works  http://www.culvercity.org/Government/Misc/GovernmentContacts.aspx

Patrick Reynolds – Culver City Parks Manager http://www.culvercity.org/Government/Misc/GovernmentContacts.aspx

S. Damian Skinner – Culver City Public Works Environmental Programs and Operations https://www.culvercity.org/Government/PublicWorks/EnvironmentalPrograms.aspx

Ray Olson – City of Ventura, Environmental Sustainability  http://www.cityofventura.net/environmental

Pamela Burstler – G3 (Green Gardens Group)  http://www.greengardensgroup.com/

Tom Rau – Surfrider Foundation  http://wlam.surfrider.org/   http://tomrau-rla.com/

Andy Lipkis – Tree People  http://www.treepeople.org/

Shelley Luce – Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission http://www.smbrc.ca.gov/   

Angel Taeger  – LA Green Grounds  http://lagreengrounds.org/

To see the Culver City Parkway Draft Ordinance: http://www.culvercity.org/sirepub/pubmtgframe.aspx?meetid=854&doctype=Agenda

And a special thank you to Vallier Hardy and ModMaN of Flowtown Films http://www.flowtownfilms.com/  without whom this video project would not have been possible!!!

 

Transition & Permaculture Converge in Northern California — October 11-13, 2013

NorCal Permaculture & Transition Convergence 2013

 

 

Transition Northern California is hosting the 2013 Permaculture & Transition Convergence and everyone’s invited!

2013 Northern California
BUILDING RESILIENT COMMUNITIES
Permaculture & Transition Network Convergence
October 11-13, 2013
Solar Living Institute, Hopland CA

Transition Town movement founder Rob Hopkins is one of the Keynote Speakers… as is L.A.’s own Andy Lipkis, founder & president of TreePeople, plus other important voices in this growing movement to transform how we live upon this earth.

Check out the website for more info & to register >>
TransitionToPermaculture.org

Early Bird registration available until September 30, 2013 >>

The Parkway Landscaping Report: YES, the Public WILL be Heard!

Drought Tolerant Parkway Curb

 

Will Culver City residents be allowed to put veggies on the parkways abutting their homes?

Can property owners place benches and community library boxes on the parkways without getting fined? 

In these economically challenging times, would a permit fee of $151.50 for installing drought tolerant perennials and succulents in one’s parkway promote or prevent people from removing their thirsty lawn strips? 

How can our city ordinances support best-use of abundant residential parkway public land?

Continue reading

Residential Parkway Regulations to be Discussed at City Hall – TUESDAY May 28, 2013

Out with lawn grass strips, in with drought tolerant plantings and food gardens!

 

Parkway Regulations

 

Many Southern California cities are re-writing their residential parkway ordinances to be more in alignment with the environmental need for drought tolerance while creating a framework for aesthetics and ease of use. Now Culver City governance has Parkways on the agenda this coming TUESDAY, MAY 28, 2013 and you — yes you! — can be part of the conversation.

CULVER CITY PUBLIC MEETING TO DISCUSS
ADOPTION of a RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING
RESIDENTIAL PARKWAY STANDARDS
When:

TUESDAY, May 28th, 2013, 7pm

Where:
Culver City Council Chambers
9770 Culver Blvd., Culver City, 90232

From Culver City’s Official Public Notice of Meeting :

On Tuesday, May 28, 2013, the City Council is scheduled to consider the 1) Introduction of an ordinance related to the process for tree removals and the requirements for making modifications to parkways; and (2) Adoption of a resolution establishing Residential Parkway Standards. All members of the public are welcome to attend and participate in the discussion.

If you live locally and are reading this website, it is most likely you’ve already converted your parkway to something more environmentally friendly with an array of luxurious drought-happy plants and bushes. And perhaps you’re growing a patch of veggies there, or put a park bench and a winding path in your parkway to help build community in your neighborhood like City Repair has encouraged throughout Portland, Oregon. Or maybe you’ve even installed a Little Free Library to promote literacy & solidarity in your neighborhood! Well, it looks like all of this and more will be out-of-compliance and incurring permit fees and possible fines if the new regulations go through unchallenged.

SEE CULVER CITY’s new proposed ordinance here >>
(scroll to Agenda Item A-1)
NOTE: There’s also information on tree removal in the ordinance,
but the focus of this blogpost is on parkway landscaping.

Come deliver your 3 minutes of opinion in person to the council,
or if you can’t attend but wish to express your views,
write an email to the council
Please familiarize yourself with the actual 5/28 agenda item report
(just posted 5/22) so you’ll be up to date with the facts.

When you come to City Hall chambers, fill out a speaker’s card—ask for assistance if it’s your first time.

IN A NUTSHELL: The report drafted by staff is an amendment to a chapter of city municipal code pertinent to Parkway Planting Standards and Tree Removal Regulations & Ordinances. Exhibit C&D of the report includes a list of recommended plantings: 20 lawn alternatives (EXHIBIT C, no permit required) and 64 drought tolerant perennials & low bushes (EXHIBIT D, permit required)—nothing over 30 inches allowed. No edibles, no garden veggies, no fruit trees. And there’s hardscaping limitations too.  TO VIEW THE LIST of recommended plants which includes helpful color reference pictures, go to the 5/28/13 Agenda report, scroll to Item A-1, click on the underlined description, then click on the PDF of “Attachments” on the right, then scroll to “Exhibit D”… whew!

Too much work? Here’s some excerpts from the proposed ordinance:

§ 9.08.210—PLANTINGS, LANDSCAPING, HARDSCAPES OR OTHER ITEMS IN PARKWAYS: PERMIT REQUIRED

A.   No person shall plant any tree, plant, shrub, flower, vine, vegetable, grain, or other vegetation in or on any Parkway in the City without first obtaining a permit from the Public Works Director. Such permit shall state the variety, location and size of trees, plants and shrubs to be planted.

B.  No person shall install, construct, deposit, or maintain any stepping stones, pavers, brick, rock, concrete structure or any other item or obstacle in or on any Parkway within the City without first obtaining a permit from the Public Works Director. Such permit shall state the type and location of materials to be installed, constructed, deposited or maintained…

If we’ve read the report correctly, it says that, pending passage of this proposed ordinance and Standards, a processing application & inspection fee for a basic parkway permit (other than walkable plantings selected from the recommended list) of $151.50 will be enacted. We’re hoping for some clarification on this point.

Here’s more from the proposed Ordinance about code violations:

§ 9.08.230 — VIOLATIONS UNLAWFUL; PENALTIES; ADMINISTRATIVE COST RECOVERY

C.   A violation of any provision of this Subchapter is subject to a civil action brought by the City Attorney, punishable by a civil fine not less than one hundred dollars ($100) and not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) per violation for each day, or part thereof, such violation occurs.
D.  A violation of any provision of this Subchapter may, at the discretion of the City Attorney, be prosecuted as an infraction or misdemeanor and subject to the criminal penalties provided in Sections 1.01.040 and 1.01.045 of this Code…
F.  It is the intent of the City Council to recover the costs incurred by the City from: (1) enforcing and obtaining compliance with the provisions of this Subchapter and (2) damage to City property resulting from violations of the Subchapter.

Continuing on to page 7, concerning EXISTING NON-CONFORMING PARKWAYS, the report says:

There are currently a significant number of unpermitted alterations to parkways that will be out-of-compliance with these proposed Residential Parkway Standards (and with the existing CCMC and Proposed Ordinance, if adopted, which require a permit). Code Enforcement has not been aggressively pursuing these violations due to the lack of clear Standards and a designated permit process. With the adoption of the proposed Residential Parkway Standards,  the Code Enforcement Division has indicated that it intends to prioritize enforcement based on complaints received and the severity of the violations, consistent with the current Council-approved approach.

And here’s some illustrations from Exhibit B of the Report’s Attachments:

CC Parkway Agenda ItemA1-Dos&Donts

 

Can Culver City create customized regulations to suit the needs of our residents? Can we plan ahead as an entire community to become more resilient and food-growing-friendly in the face of challenging times or have a conversation about appropriate use of public space for the public good? Come let Culver City governance know your opinion!

If you’d like to learn more about this issue from the Los Angeles perspective, here’s some interesting stories:

“Taking Back the Streets through Urban Agriculture” from ROOTS OF CHANGE >>

An opinion about the L.A. Parkway Planting Rules from our friends the urban D.I.Y. homestead folks at ROOT SIMPLE >>

SUCCESSFUL CHALLENGE of L.A. MUNICIPAL CODE  § 56.08: Support Growing Edibles on the Parkway in L.A. >>

The inspirational story of LA’s Urban Garden Guerrilla Ron Finley on TED TALKS, Long Beach, Feb 2013:

(over a million views!)

If embedded video not visible above, click here to view:
 http://on.ted.com/Finley

Hope to see you at City Hall on Tuesday, May 28th!

——————-
POST-MEETING ADDENDUM:

Read about how the vote went  >>>
(spoiler alert: happy beginning, much more story to unfold!)

See You at City Council Chambers Monday May 13 – Support the Plastic Bag Ban!

Support the Plastic Bag Ban in Culver City

bag monster

WHEN:  Monday, May 13th, 2013, 7 pm

WHERE:  Culver City Hall , Council Chambers 9770 Culver Blvd.  Culver City  90230

Let your voice be heard with our local governance!
This coming Monday night May 13th, staff will introduce the proposed Plastic Bag Ordinance to the Culver City Council to discuss and vote on. (READ THE ORDINANCE DETAILS HERE)

Overview:
1) Introduction of an Ordinance banning single-use plastic carryout bags and requiring a minimum $0.10 per bag charge for single-use paper carryout bags; and 2) Adoption of Resolutions adopting an Addendum to the Los Angeles County Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR), Mitigation Monitoring Program, and Statement of Overriding Considerations in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

If you live, work, play or shop in Culver City, please help us communicate the importance of reducing plastic bag use in our city by delivering your 3 minutes in person to the council, or by writing an email to the council to be read aloud in the chambers. When you come to City Hall chambers, fill out a speaker’s card—ask for assistance if its your first time.

THE PROPOSED PLASTIC BAG ORDINANCE >>

Read the article FIRST VOTE ON PLASTIC BAG ORDINANCE TO HAPPEN ON MAY 13

by Gary Walker in the 05/09/13 Culver City News >>

Here are some helpful talking points
From Heal the Bay >>

From Surfrider >>

Culver City Hall decorated with Plastic Bags What our community had to say about this issue back in 2010 >>


TCC’s Plastic Bag Think Tank Video >>
Council member Meghan Sahli-Wells’ Plastic Bag Report on 350.org >>
http://www.350.org/en/node/26349

Where do many of those bags end up? Swirling around in one of the FIVE GYRES! >>

Get Ready for MISINFORMATION TACTICS from the Plastic Bag Industry >>
http://5gyres.org/posts/2012/01/03/a_convenient_misconception_industry_tactics_for_misinformation 

In Defense of Plastic Bag Bans (on GreenBiz blog) >>
http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2011/12/28/defense-plastic-bag-bans 

Plastic Bag Ban Article in Rolling Stone “PLASTIC BAG WARS” article in Rolling Stone >>
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-plastic-bag-wars-20110725

 

Trashed Film with Jeremy IronsDon’t think there’s a problem? THINK AGAIN. 
TCC recently co-hosted a screening of a riveting documentary called TRASHED starring Jeremy Irons as the beleaguered narrator traveling around the world seeing how humanity has been dealing with its refuse. ONE OF THE BIG OFFENDERS is the seemingly innocuous single use plastic grocery bag… because plastic never really ever goes “away.” When it breaks down, the miniscule pieces of bag are mistaken for plankton and consumed by the bottom of the food chain, which then is consumed on up the food chain until it reaches us! Watch Jeremy age before your very eyes as the facts & stats unfold:  TRAILER >>

We have a chance to make a difference here in Culver City if we can convince our council members that banning single use plastic bags by larger grocery store chains is a change mandated by the people. Will you stand up and speak out next Monday?

FRACKING: The LA Story — Sat March 23, 9:30 am – 1 pm

Transition Culver City is combining forces with other local democracy & environmental activists and West Los Angeles College to present an action-oriented seminar about fracking and the democratic process.

WHEN:
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Registration:  9:30 am
Seminar: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

WHERE:
West Los Angeles College
9000 Overland Ave., Culver City 90230

Fine Arts Auditorium (FA 100)

PARKING:
FREE parking—South Parking Structure only

Enter on Albert Vera Drive [map]

SEMINAR COST:
FREE—Includes Coffee

Seeking ways to squeeze a yield from depleted oil fields, producers of natural gas and oil across the nation are using a controversial extraction method called hydraulic fracturing (aka “FRACKING”) which forces a mixture of water and various chemicals underground under very high pressure to access hidden pockets of oil and gas. Despite sketchy regulations, ambiguous safety reports and public outrage, corporate interests continue to drive the current fracking and drilling boom.

What does this have to do with Southern California?

The Inglewood Oil Fields which hunker on the hills above WLA College is the largest contiguous urban oil field in America and is bi-sected by the active Newport-Inglewood fault line. Despite protests from concerned citizens about various health and safety issues—from air quality & noise pollution to cracks in their foundations—the 2012 Baldwin Hills Fracking Study reveals that the field has already been fracked, and that the sentous shale deep underground is a good candidate for more of the same unless the people unite to find their voice. The LA Times ran this article about the study >>

Come learn about your community rights and how to successfully mobilize.

 

  • Fracking & Democratic Process: Risks, Costs, Benefits
  • • Learn about local oil/gas extraction and fracking (hydraulic fracturing) and who benefits.
  • • Understand the health impacts and risks associated with fracking: are you at risk or paying the costs?
  • • Understand your options and how to ­exercise your democratic muscle…use it or lose it! How to take effective action on important issues.
  • • Create an action plan: sign up for direct action that will make a difference

 

Speakers & Agenda:

9:30 am — Coffee & Registration

10:00 am — Introductory Remarks
President Abu-Ghazaleh, plus WLAC ­faculty and student body representatives

10:15 am
The History and Terminology of Hydraulic Fracturing
C. Tom Williams, Ph.D., oil field specialist, Sierra Club CalFrac representative

10:30 am
— 
Urban Hazards of Oil Production in the L.A. Basin
Paul Ferrazzi, Executive Director, Citizens Coalition for a Safe Community

10:45 am
California: Don’t Be Pennsylvania!
Lance Simmens, Former Special Assistant for Intergovernmental Affairs to Ed Rendell, ­Former Governor of Pennsylvania

(Q&A follows) 

11:15 am
The Health Hazards of Fracking Chemicals
James Dahlgren, M.D., Envirotoxocology and Internal Medicine, UCLA Dept of ­Medicine
(Q&A follows) 

11:45 am
Culver City: Fracking City
Culver City Council Member Meghan ­Sahili-Wells

NOON
Proposal for a Ballot Initiative and Charter Amendment
Culver City Mayor Emeritus Gary Silbiger

12:15 pm — Q & A, Legislative Options
Stephen Murray, Baldwin Hills Oil Watch

12:30 pm — Closing Remarks
Prof. Olga Shewfelt, WLAC Professor of ­International Relations

12:45 pm — Adjourn for Action Planning ­Information


Transition Culver City teams up with Citizens Coalition for a Safe Community, Baldwin Hills Oil Watch, Make Culver City Safe, and our hosts at WLA College and their Work Environment Committee for this important awareness-raising forum and opportunity to learn about the democratic process.

 

Here’s the schedule with speakers all in one place:

WLAC Fracking Seminar Schedule, Speakers & Resources

 


Eco-Film: TRASHED, Sat. Mar 9, 7 pm @ reDiscover Center

“This film is a wake-up call about global waste.”
—Cannes Film Festival

This month’s eco-movie is the groundbreaking docu-feature Trashed starring Jeremy Irons who goes on a journey of discovery, disbelief, and hope as he witnesses the extent and effects of the global waste problem around the world and seeks out solutions. We buy it, we bury it, we burn it and then we ignore it. What happens to all the trash we produce? Each year, we now throw away fifty-eight billion disposable cups, billions of plastic bags, 200 billion litres of water bottles, billions of tons of household waste, toxic waste, and e-waste. But there are people and movements making a difference.

This meticulous, brave investigative film takes the viewer on a ride with Irons from skepticism to sorrow and from horror to hope. Official film website & trailer: www.trashedfilm.com Music by Vangelis.

We’re co-hosting this event with our neighbors Transition Mar Vista/Venice at   The reDiscover Center.What better place to screen a movie about trash than our local community art center/re-use warehouse/event space? An excerpt of their mission statement:

reDiscover promotes resource conservation, creativity, and community engagement through material reuse. Our Vision is for all Angelenos to have an outlet for acquiring and donating reusable material. As reDiscover meets this need, we move closer to a community where all waste materials can be rediscovered for their educational and creative value.

reDiscover is a nexus for environmental sustainability and crea using recycled materials. We achieve our mission and vision through strategic initiatives at our center with the reuse warehouse, gallery and event space, at schools and in the community. More about reDISCOVER >>

EVENT DATE: Saturday, March 9, 7:00pm
Doors open at 6:30 pm for networking and snacks.  Join in a brainstorming session after the screening!

VENUE: reDiscover Center, 12958 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles 90066   MAP >> 

FREE admission, donations welcome.

RSVP: Facebook users RSVP via reDiscover Center’s event page or email TCC.

Jeremy Irons in TRASHED

 

Culver City Council [finally] Addresses Plastic Bag Ban, Mon, Dec.10, 2012 7pm – BE THERE!!

 

Plastic Bag Public Hearing

 

Come one, come all—Let your voice be heard with our local governance!
The Culver City Council will be hearing public comments and deciding a policy direction for Culver City’s plastic bag policy. After LA County and LA City, Culver City is the last jurisdiction on Ballona Creek without a plastic bag ban.  We need to turn out all interested Culver City residents for maximum impact:

CULVER CITY PLASTIC BAG PUBLIC HEARING
When:

Monday, December 10th, 2012 7pm

Where:
Culver City Council Chambers
9770 Culver Blvd., Culver City, 90232

Contact:
Culver City residents only, please email your support to the
Culver City Mayor and Councilmembers in advance:

https://www.culvercity.org/Information/emailus.aspx?dept_id=38

Help us protect Santa Monica Bay and the oceans beyond by stopping pollution before it starts. Come deliver your 3 minutes in person to the council, or write an email to the council to be read aloud next Monday night in the chambers.

When you come to City Hall chambers, fill out a speaker’s card—ask for assistance if its your first time.

Here are some helpful talking points:

From Heal the Bay >>
http://www.healthebay.org/get-involved/take-action/california-plastic-bag-ban

From Surfrider >>
http://www.surfrider.org/programs/entry/rise-above-plastics

A blog link to pass along >>
http://lagreenmachine.org/2012/12/03/culver-city-council-to-finally-address-plastic-bag-ban-be-there-banthebag/

Culver City Hall decorated with Plastic Bags TCC’s Plastic Bag Think Tank Video >>
http://vimeo.com/15822782

Council member Meghan Sahli-Wells’ Plastic Bag Report on 350.org >>
http://www.350.org/en/node/26349

A recent article in the Culver City News by Gary Walker >>
http://www.culvercitynews.org/latest-news/council-to-hear-discussion-on-plastic-bags-dec-10/

For inspiration: THE MAJESTIC PLASTIC BAG (a mockumentary) >>
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLgh9h2ePYw

Where do many of those bags end up? Swirling around in one of the FIVE GYRES! >>
http://http://5gyres.org/what_is_the_problem/

Get Ready for MISINFORMATION TACTICS from the Plastic Bag Industry >>
http://5gyres.org/posts/2012/01/03/a_convenient_misconception_industry_tactics_for_misinformation 

In Defense of Plastic Bag Bans (on GreenBiz blog) >>
http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2011/12/28/defense-plastic-bag-bans 

“PLASTIC BAG WARS” article in Rolling Stone >>
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-plastic-bag-wars-20110725

And your official TCC FACEBOOK invite >>
https://www.facebook.com/events/503903089643478/

 

 

Let’s Go to the Do The Math Tour in L.A.! Sunday, Nov 11

Bill McKibben & 350.org are taking their show on the road — driving a biodiesel bus all over the country for the Do The Math Tour! They’ll be in Los Angeles this coming Sunday, Nov 11, 2012. Tickets are still available, and TCC is planning on attending! Will you join us?

WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012
Doors open at 6 pm, show starts at 7 pm

WHERE: Ackerman Ballroom @ UCLA Student Union
308 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles 90095

COST: $10 + small ticketmaster fee
Prepurchase tickets 

The goal of this tour is to jump-start the next phase of the climate movement across the nation. But this is NOT your typical stand-and-deliver lecture! Each city’s event will be unique and interactive, including video footage from environmental luminaries (including Naomi Klein &  Josh Fox) as well as live music. LA’s musical guest is Nellie MacKay.

Join the TCC field trip to Do The Math:
If you’d like to join up with us to attend, you have two ways of getting there:

BY BIKE:
Bike meet-up at 5 pm in downtown Culver City. RSVP for exact location. Route planned by members of the Culver City Bike Coalition. Helmets, lights and lock required.

BY FOSSIL-FUEL MOBILE:
Carpool meet-up at 5:15pm in Culver City just west of Sawtelle. RSVP for exact location. If more folks than can fit in  one 5-seater, we will improvise on a caravan.

We will reconvene and find each other at Ackerman Ballroom so we can experience the presentation together. Please purchase your tickets independently but you’re welcome to travel there together with us!

More about Bill McKibben >>

 

Fracking From Above…

Baldwin Hills Oil Fields

MYSTERY PHOTO CAPTION: Cappuccino Latte Froth?

No, it’s an aerial view of the Baldwin Hills oil fields between La Cienega and WLAC’s College Blvd — the largest contiguous urban oil field in the U.S.

This area has become a focal point for Fracking discussions in Southern California as concerned citizens seek accurate and trustworthy information and momentum builds to put a moratorium or ban on this controversial drilling trend that’s been sweeping the nation in the name of energy autonomy.

So what’s going on below ground?
Are Southern Californian oil fields like Baldwin Hills the same as other fields across the nation? Is horizontal fracking happening here? Is the technology safe? Can gas & chemicals migrate? How do we protect our precious water resources? Does fracking trigger earthquakes? Who’s monitoring the drilling? What’s going on with Assembly Bill 972?

Get the scoop on all this and more at:

FRACKING AWARENESS NIGHT at the Aero Theatre!
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 — 7:30 pm
DETAILS IN PREVIOUS POST>>

This educational evening of film, panel discussion and Q&A focuses on the issues from a Southern California perspective. Action plans will also be discussed.

Panelists include:
• PAUL FERRAZZI, Executive Director of the County-wide Citizen’s Coalition for a Safe Community

• DR. CLYDE TOM WILLIAMS, retired oil/gas field specialist

• MEGHAN SAHLI-WELLS, Culver City Council Member

The Panel will be moderated by DONALD STRAUSS, MFA, Founding Chair and Core Faculty, Urban Sustainability Master of Arts at Antioch University. Donald has an interest in urban ecosystems and global environmental change narratives.

Fracking Awareness Night @ the Aero, August 21, 2012