Miracle Mile Residential Association Newsletter • July 2015

Miracle Mile
Residential Association

Newsletter • July 2015 • Los Angeles, California                                                                                                    

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Man Dies in Officer-Involved-Shooting Near 8th and Sycamore
~ LAPD Holds Community Meeting to Discuss Incident

Reforming the Baseline Mansionization Ordinance 
~ A Conversation with Shelley Wagers

Councilmember David Ryu Takes Office

HPOZ UPDATE: Historic Resources Survey Fieldwork Completed

Midtown Los Angeles Homeless Coalition Tackles Chronic Homelessness

Miracle Mile Real Estate • June 2015 Sales

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Man Dies in Officer-Involved-Shooting
Near 8th Street and Sycamore Avenue

                                                                                   Edwin Folven; Park La Brea News/Beverly Press            

LAPD Holds Community Meeting to Discuss Incident
Miracle Mile Residents Concerned by Increase in Crime

A man shot after a violent struggle with two Wilshire Division officers died July 1oth at Cedars Sinai Hospital. The unidentified man was fatally wounded the previous morning after LAPD officers responded to calls that a man was smashing storefront windows with his skateboard near the intersection of Wilshire and La Brea.
According to a LAPD press release: On July 9, 2015, around 8:40 a.m., Wilshire Area patrol officers responded to a “Vandalism” radio call in the area of 8th Street and La Brea Avenue. 
The officers responding to the radio call observed a man matching the description given in the details of the radio call who was reported to be breaking storefront windows with a skateboard. The suspect fled the scene on a skateboard. The officers caught up with the suspect at the 800 block of Sycamore Avenue, after the suspect jumped off or fell off his skateboard. 
The officers approached the suspect and gave him verbal commands to submit to the arrest, the suspect refused to comply.  A violent physical altercation ensued as the officers attempted to subdue the suspect using a variety of physical force. The officer used a Taser in direct contact mode in an effort to subdue the suspect but the Taser had no apparent effect. 
The violent struggle continued and the suspect at some point was able to gain control of the Taser and use it, injuring one of the officers in the leg. The tased officer alerted the partner officer who drew their weapon resulting in an officer involved shooting. 
The LAPD held a meeting at the Ebell Club on July 14th to brief the community on the shooting and to provide residents with an opportunity to address the incident – as well as any other public safety issue. Wilshire Division Captain Howard Leslie and West Bureau Deputy Chief Beatrice Girmala took questions from the gathering of approximately 7o people, which included representatives from Sycamore Square, La Brea-Hancock, and the Miracle Mile.
Leslie and Girmala were prevented by department protocol from delving into the specific details of the incident pending the completion of the official investigations. They did go to great lengths to explain how the investigations are conducted and offered assurances that they would be comprehensive and objective.
LAPD’s Force Investigation Division and the Office of the Inspector General are conducting independent investigations into the incident. The results of these investigations will be reviewed by the Chief of Police and the Police Commission to determine compliance with the use-of-force policy.
Although a few people were frustrated by the lack of new details on the shooting, the overall tone of the meeting was civil and evidenced a mutual respect between the community and the police department.
Several questions were raised regarding the number of homeless individuals in the area, particularly those obviously suffering from mental illness. Deputy Chief Girmala said that the department was deploying teams consisting of an officer in civilian clothing and a mental health clinician to help the mentally ill access available services, including housing and treatment. She emphasized that homelessness is a complex problem that cannot be solved by law enforcement alone [see article below].
Five MMRA board members attended the meeting, including Vice President Alice Cassidy who raised concerns about the number car burglaries along Detroit Street. Tensions have been high in the eastern end of the Miracle Mile since a violent robbery occurred in the former Bank of America parking lot last April.
MMRA Vice President Ken Hixon also addressed the increase of crime along the La Brea corridor in his remarks. He said that Miracle Mile residents were pleased by the success of the restaurants and businesses that have revitalized the intersection of 8th Street and La Brea and that the safety of employees and patrons would be enhanced by a greater police presence.
Captain Leslie said that he had deployed foot patrols around the Grove and 3rd and La Brea and that he intends to expand these foot patrols south along La Brea – but he is somewhat constrained by budget and manpower issues.

For additional information:
Park La Brea News/Beverly Press, 9 July 2015: Police Shoot Suspect During Altercation with Officers on Sycamore Avenue
Los Angeles Times, 10 July 2015: Man Shot by LAPD During Mid-Wilshire Altercation Dies


Reforming the Baseline Mansionization Ordinance
~ A Conversation with Shelley Wagers


The MMRA Channel on YouTube:

[Click on image to view video]

Reforming the
Baseline Mansionization Ordinance

A Conversation with Shelley Wagers

The rapid spread of mansionization has overwhelmed neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles. The Baseline Mansionization Ordinance [BMO] enacted in 2008 was supposed to stop McMansions, but the loop-hole riddled legislation has proven to be completely ineffective.
The Miracle Mile is currently in the process of creating an Historic Preservation Overlay Zone [HPOZ]. The principle purpose of the HPOZ is to preserve the historic character and scale of our neighborhood, but the failure of the BMO to thwart super-sized homes also played a critical role in deciding to pursue the iron-clad protections afforded by an HPOZ: it the only guaranteed way of stopping mansionization in the Miracle Mile.
Although the MMRA believes that an HPOZ is the best solution for the Miracle Mile, we fully support reforming the BMO for the benefit of the City at large. One of the leaders spearheading the effort to to fix the BMO is Shelley Wagers, a long-time community activist and resident of the Beverly Grove – a neighborhood that was ground zero for mansionization.
In this interview Shelley provides a history of the original BMO; why it hasn’t worked; and what is being done now to repair the ordinance. She also talks about the long and bitter struggle to create the Beverly Grove Reduced Floor Area Overlay Zone. Shelley is a keenly intelligent and articulate person. She has a knack for making complex issues understandable – she is also very good company.
For additional information:

Sign the petition to stop mansionization at:


Councilmember David Ryu Takes Office



Councilmember David Ryu Takes Office

David Ryu, the newly elected representative of Council District 4, was officially sworn in June 28th at a ceremony on the south lawn of City Hall. Among the honored guests was MMRA President James O’Sullivan. O’Sullivan was one of the first community leaders to step forward and publically endorse Ryu.
“It was an honor to attend David's swearing in ceremony,” said O’Sullivan [photo left; center]. “David is a man of great humanity and humility, which was in abundance that day. Watching him support his mother and father as they walked down the steps of City Hall – and his acceptance speech – were all about honoring others and not himself. It was quite a day.” 
Photographs courtesy of Liza Gerberding.

For additional information:
Los Angeles Times, 28 June 2015: David Ryu, First Korean American City Council Member, is Sworn In
LA Observed, 21 June 2015: Ryu Names Former Garcetti, Shriver and Hahn Aide as Chief of Staff
Park La Brea News/Beverly Press, 8 July 2015: Ryu Wants Discretionary Funding Under Microscope

Larchmont Buzz, July 15, 2015: David Ryu Names Nikki Ezrahi as Field Deputy Wilshire Area



HPOZ Update ~ Historic Resources Fieldwork Completed


Historic Resources Survey
Fieldwork Completed

[Click on image to view video of survey team at work]

Katie Horak, Senior Associate with Architectural Resources Group [ARG], reports that the fieldwork part of the Historic Resources Survey has been completed. The survey documented every property within the boundaries of the Miracle Mile HPOZ [see map].
Horak explained to the Miracle Mile HPOZ Committee that ARG is now “cleaning up the data” and writing the Survey Report. A draft of the report will be submitted to the Committee for review by the end of July.
ARG is in the process of preparing individual DPR forms for each property and hopes to have the draft DPRs ready for the Committee’s inspection by mid-August.
“DPR” is an acronym for the California Department of Parks and Recreation. A DPR form is a standardized state form for documenting historic resources. It includes basic information – address and a property description – and a photograph of every property within a historic district.
Horak said that ARG is on track to submit the final report to the Los Angeles City Office of Historic Resources by September.
The Miracle Mile HPOZ Committee has been holding a series of “block meetings” to educate residents about the process and benefits of HPOZ. The Committee’s goal is to visit every block within the HPOZ boundaries. The Committee is also planning a community-wide meeting in the Fall.

If you would like to host an informal meeting for your neighbors to discuss HPOZ please contact Mark Zecca, Chair of the Miracle Mile HPOZ Committee:
For more information visit:

Miracle Mile HPOZ Website


Midtown Los Angeles Homeless Coalition
Tackles Chronic Homelessness


Midtown Los Angeles Homeless Coalition

Tackles Chronic Homelessness

[Click on image to enlarge]
Anyone out after midnight will notice the homeless people sleeping in doorways and on bus stop benches along Wilshire Boulevard – as well as in other nooks and crannies of the Miracle Mile. The 2015 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count identified over 1,000 homeless individuals in the Midtown region of Los Angeles – most of them unsheltered [see map above]. 

A new group has formed to address chronic homelessness in the area: the Midtown Los Angeles Homeless Coalition. Led by Scott Epstein, Chair of the Mid City West Community Council, the group includes representatives from government agencies, neighborhood and business groups, and social service providers. Its goal is to decrease the number of people living on the streets by assessing their needs and connecting them with existing housing resources.

The coalition is supporting the implementation of the county-wide Coordinated Entry System, which matches chronically homeless individuals with permanent supportive housing. Studies have shown that a Housing First approach is the most effective way to help people experiencing homelessness. It also saves taxpayers money through reduced law enforcement and emergency health costs.

Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks, including direct outreach to our homeless neighbors and fundraising. To learn more or volunteer visit:

For additional information:

Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority: Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count

United Way of Greater Los Angeles: About the Coordinated Entry System



Miracle Mile Real Estate • June 2015 Sales


Miracle Mile Real Estate
• June 2015 Sales •

1009 S. Curson Dr.
4 bdrm; 3 bath
3,048 sq. ft
lot: 5,501 sq. ft.
listed price: $1,390,000
sale price: $1,377,500
sale date: 6/22/2015

916 S. Ogden Dr.
3 bdrm; 2 bath
1,753 sq. ft.
lot: 5,934 sq. ft.
listed price: $1,099,000
sale price: $1,065,000
sale date: 6/16/2015




(...below the fold...)


MMRA Board Meeting
August 6, 2015
@ 7 PM

Board meetings are held at
the Berch Lounge
Westside Jewish
Community Center

5870 Olympic Blvd.


Purple Line Construction
Community Meeting

Thursday, July 16, 2015
5:30–7 PM

James Cagney Boardroom
5757 Wilshire Blvd.


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[Click on image to enlarge]

Miracle Mile

History Quiz

Around 1939 – the same year that the "Wizard of Oz" was in production – Judy Garland and her mother, Ethel Gumm, opened a flower shop in the Miracle Mile. Here's Judy with a customer. What business now occupies this location?

Miracle Mile Farmers' Market
Every Wednesday 11 AM ~ 3 PM

Wilshire Courtyard

Miracle Mile
Residential Association

James O’Sullivan, President

Alice S. Cassidy, Vice President

Joseph Steins, Treasurer

Ken Hixon, Vice President
Director of Communications

Mark Zecca, Chairperson
Miracle Mile HPOZ Committe
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Copyright © 2015 Miracle Mile Residential Association.  All rights reserved.

Miracle Mile Residential Association
P.O. Box 361295
Los Angles, CA 90036-9495


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