A Conversation with City Planning Director Michael LoGrande
Residents from the 39th and Western Ave. community met with the City Planning Director Michael LoGrande on Monday, June 13th, to present a set of demands against the Pine Tree Motel, Dan Mar Motel and the W&W Recycling Center – three nuisances businesses located just a block away from the Martin Luther King Park.
Painting a Troubled Picture
These nuisance businesses fuel the crime and violence that affects King Park as well as the welfare and safety of families and residents. Although residents have organized and campaigned hard to bring about the renovations at King Park over the past three years, and have seen tangible changes at the park, the nuisance businesses continue to threaten and keep families, children and residents away from fully using the new park facilities.
South LA Families Need Mr. LoGrande
Resident activists Karla Acosta and Les Benson led Director LoGrande on a tour of the affected area where a triangle of crime surrounds the park and affects nearby neighbors and schools.
About 130 residents showed up for the event where representatives from various local community groups, including local activist Celia Castellanos, the Park Advisory Board, the NANDC and LAPD. They spoke about their ongoing efforts to clean up and make the park and neighborhood safer and the need for action on the part of city departments like City Planning.
The Community Waits
The community presented four key demands including a public hearing for the W&W Recycling Center and the Pine Tree Motel, and a report-card hearing for the Dan Mar Motel, and to meet again with residents in 6 months. While LoGrande committed to the report-card hearing for the Dan Mar Motel, which already has an existing set of conditions placed by Community Coalition in the past, the public hearings for the Pine Tree Motel and W&W Recycling Center are pending following a review of the evidence documentation that Community Coalition and residents submitted. His department committed to an answer in 30 days. The evidence submitted includes written nuisance reports and photographs that chronicle nuisance activities that include prostitution, drug and alcohol sales and consumption, gambling, loitering, littered and obstructed alleyways and sidewalks.
Resident leaders and Community Coalition will continue to follow-up with the City Planning Department in the coming weeks.
Community Coalition received wide press and media coverage for the event. You can watch and read more by clicking on the links below:
Noticias Univision KMEX 34
Intersections South LA Report
KPFK’s “Centro American sin Censura”
Upcoming articles: La Opinion and L.A. Times