The Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council is scheduled to meet Tuesday night to discuss, update and vote on a range of civic, business and political issues spanning the gamut from neighborhood beautification and the Colorado Specific Plan to massage parlors and co-sponsorship of a Northeast L.A. mayoral forum on Feb. 12.
The ERNC board meeting will take place from 7 p.m. to at least 9 p.m. on the second floor of Eagle Rock City Hall. The event is open to the public and Eagle Rock residents are especially encouraged to attend.
Formed last October following one of the most fiercely contested elections in L.A.’s neighborhood council history, the ERNC board is set to take up its most ambitious agenda yet.
The agenda includes at least a dozen major items. The longest-running and most controversial of them is a proposal to build a 7-Eleven convenience store on York Boulevard and Tonawanda Avenue in a space vacated about a year ago by the Casa Princesa Café, which doubled as a Sign-A-Rama store.
The ERNC board is expected to discuss and vote on whether to approve or object to the proposed 7-Eleven’s request, pending before the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, to sell beer and wine from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. The ERNC’s decision will be conveyed in a letter to Associate Zoning Administrator Fernando Tovar, who deferred a public hearing last week about the 7-Eleven request on the grounds that the convenience store chain had not performed the necessary outreach work regarding the hearing.
Last month, the ERNC Land Use Committee granted conditional approval to the 7-Eleven plan following occasionally touchy public comments opposing the project. Among the conditions imposed by the committee is the requirement that the store sell beer and wine only from noon till 10 p.m. during the first year, after which the 7-Eleven must return to the planning process with the ERNC.
David Degan, a consultant to the landlord who owns the property where the 7-Eleven is planned, told Patch that last Friday two of his colleagues met with community members who live nearby. Degan said that “100 percent of the people they spoke to supported the project,” which revolves around a $3-million investment in a shopping center, with the 7-Eleven as its key tenant, located on 4515-4527 E. York Blvd. and 1507 N. Tonawanda Ave.
Asked how many people Degan’s colleagues spoke to, the consultant said: “I don’t know, but there were way more than in the opposition.”
Degan alleged that public opposition to the 7-Eleven project largely stems from the owners of Society of the Spectacle, a nearby eyeglasses store, who spoke against the convenience store at last month’s ERNC board meeting.
“One thing people don’t understand is that they can’t make the 7-Eleven go away,” Degan said. The corporate chain store is “zoned for that area, which used to have a convenience store like 7-Eleven,” Degan said, adding: “The fact that we were able to get 7-Eleven as a tenant is the biggest blessing for the blighted area.”
Besides the scheduled discussion and vote on the 7-Eleven, here is a list of the other items on the ERNC board’s agenda for Tuesday:
• A report on the ERNC’s liaison with Eagle Rock’s Take Back the Boulevard initiative.
• A report on the ERNC’s alliance with other neighborhood councils in Northeast Los Angeles.
• An update on massage parlors in Eagle Rock by representatives of the Los Angeles Police Department and Council District 14.
• A discussion and vote on co-sponsoring a debate in Northeast L.A. on the March mayoral elections.
• A report by the ERNC Land Use Committee.
• A discussion and vote on building parklets along Colorado Boulevard and Eagle Rock Boulevard.
• A discussion and vote on installing sculptures on medians along Colorado Boulevard.
• Formation of an ad-hoc committee to explore amending the Colorado Boulevard Specific Plan, and communicating with local businesses about the planned amendments’ requirements, exceptions and enforcement.
• Formation of a new committee to further refine and streamline ERNC bylaws, including provisions regarding stakeholder voting in elections, and the appointment rather than the direct election of the ERNC president by members of the elected ERNC board.
• A report by a committee on street banners designed to instill civic pride in the community.
• Announcement of construction on Figueroa Street and Scholl Canyon Road in March.