Reward Offered to Combat Valley’s Spike in Home Burglaries

There have been more than 1,400 residential burglaries in the Valley so far this year, a 25 percent increase in such crimes.

A spike in “knock-knock” burglaries plaguing the San Fernando Valley prompted City Councilman Mitchell Englander Wednesday to call for a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the culprits.

So far this year, the San Fernando Valley has been home to the bulk of LA’s burglaries with more than 1,400 residential burglaries in the Valley. The region has experienced a 25 percent spike in home burglaries. Citywide, there have been more than 1,700 residential burglaries in 2017.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Knock-Knock Burglary Task Force, “Knock-Knock Burglars are organized and target affluent single-family residences located within the San Fernando Valley. The members of these Knock-Knock criminal groups are usually comprised of criminal street gang members who claim territory in the South Los Angeles area. They select homes based on the likelihood of having money, jewelry, and/or firearms within the residence. They are known to knock on the front door to determine if the residence is unoccupied. Once they determine the residence is unoccupied, they gain entry through a rear door, side door or second floor balcony and have been known to disable the alarm.”

“`Knock-knock’ crews are very sophisticated, they know exactly what they are doing,” Englander said at a news conference at City Hall. “They knock on the door and then somebody else will wait on the side of the house.” Read more »

LAPD Reconsiders Controversial Body Camera Policy

The LAPD is reconsidering its policy to keep body camera footage from the public, and is asking for community input on a new policy.

The Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners and Chief Charlie Beck outlined plans Thursday for seeking community input on establishing policies for the release of body camera footage taken during critical incidents.

Input will be gathered in community forums around Los Angeles and through a questionnaire available online or on paper.

Speaking to reporters at a new conference at the Police Administration Building downtown, Beck said the resulting policy will likely be a compromise that will please no one.

“This is a balancing act that will have an end result that will be the best servant of everybody’s needs, recognizing that probably no one will get exactly what it is they think should be the perfect policy,” Beck said.

The City Council approved a $59 million plan last June to equip Los Angeles Police Department officers with body cameras, and the department plans to issue the cameras to all patrol officers by the end of this year.  Read more »

Report Shows Fiscal Improvement for LA

As the City of Los Angeles nears the end of its current fiscal year, a new report from the City Administrative Officer shows a significant decrease in the city’s budget deficit. Although the city is not out of the woods just yet, Los Angeles has narrowed it’s 2016-2017 fiscal year from $245 million to $57 million, thanks to work by the Budget and Finance Committee, an increase in revenues, and the discipline of city departments. The city’s Reserve Fund is also set to remain at levels higher than it has been in decades.

Next month, the Budget Committee reviews the Mayor’s 2017-2018 budget proposal. Once the budget is released and hearings begin, the committee will meet with all of the various city departments to hear about their needs and listen to the public’s input.

San Fernando Valley 2nd Forum on Homelessness

The Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils (VANC) 
Resource Board 
invites you to attend the 
San Fernando Valley 2nd Forum on Homelessness
 
Monday, March 27, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. 
Granada Hills Charter High School – Rawley Hall 
10535 Zelzah Avenue, Granada Hills 91344 
 
Featured Guest Speakers: 
      • Marco Santana -Senator Bob Herzberg’s office
      • Kevin Taylor – Mayor Garcetti’s office
      • Gita O’Neill – Assistant City Attorney- Director of Homeless Policies and Strategies
      • Field Representative from Councilman Englander’s office CD12
      • Sgt. Shorts – Homeless Liaison- Ventura County Police Department
      • Betty Eskey – Director, Samaritan Center 
      • Wade Trimmer – CEO – San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission 
      • Ashlee Oh- Member of County Chief Executive Office 
This will be a great informational and networking opportunity you don’t want to miss!!!  Please forward this invitation on to other interested stakeholders.
 
Who should attend? Neighborhood Council Homelessness Liaisons, NC Board members, and any person or stakeholder working with or interested in helping the homeless community.
 
Light refreshments will be served.
 
 
This event is hosted by Granada Hills South Neighborhood Council. 

Stay Informed with NotifyLA

The City of LA’s Emergency Management Department encourages you to sign up to receive free emergency alerts from the NotifyLA program.

NotifyLA is a free emergency alert system that sends you life-saving safety information during emergencies and disasters. NotifyLA also keeps you up-to-date with relevant information about local emergencies and hazards like earthquakes, floods, fires and evacuations. It is the city’s best tool to send you emergency alerts and provide you with the information you need to keep yourself and your family safe.

Signing up is quick and easy!

Simply text NOTIFYLA (one word) to 888-777 right now to register your cell phone. Be sure to sign up on every cell phone in your family, and tell your friends to sign up too! You can also visit emergency.lacity.org/notifyla to register your home phone, additional cell phones and your email address.

Los Angeles City Council Finalizes the Baseline Mansionization Ordinance

On March 1st, the City Council voted unanimously to adopt an update to the existing Baseline Mansionization Ordinance (BMO) and Baseline Hillside Ordinance (BHO). This vote, in effect, establishes new development standards for single-family zoned properties citywide. The changes, as recommended by the City Planning Commission, incorporate additional protections to further limit large-scale homes and related construction impacts. Leading up to Council adoption of the ordinance, the Department of City Planning held public hearings with the community over the course of a six-month period to garner input. Since the adoption of the 2008 BMO and 2011 BHO, the City Council has approved several Interim Control Ordinances (ICOs) to temporarily limit the construction of over-sized homes in certain single-family neighborhoods. With the new amendment in place, the integrity and character of single-family homes citywide will be better preserved.

Some of the adopted changes to the BMO and BHO regulations include the following:

  • Establishment of new development standards for single-family zones, including the usage of angled encroachment plane and side wall articulation requirements to reduce the visual impact of building mass;
  • Modification to the definition of Residential Floor calculations to further reduce the impact of out-of-scale homes;
  • Elimination of nearly all exemptions, which created the big, boxy homes;
  • Counting of grading under a house to prevent what was previously an unlimited amount of hillside grading and
  • Reduction of Floor Area Ratio for single-family homes in R1 zones.