June 14, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Brentwood Beat: Things are feeling better

Brentwood Beat columnist Jeff Hall.
Brentwood Beat columnist Jeff Hall.

The Archer School’s expansion plans – with lots of limitations – appear to be well on their way toward ultimate approval. At the Planning Commission hearing held in Van Nuys, both sides presented their arguments in a highly respectful and civil manner.

It feels like everyone is ready to be done fighting. People are now rallying behind a plan that will see even more traffic restrictions imposed on Archer than already existed.

Councilman Mike Bonin says he now wants to take the Archer standards and work with other schools along Sunset to adopt the same standards. This would be a gamechanger.

If all the schools along Sunset adopted the Archer standards, traffic in the area might actually go down.

Restrictions on Archer alone will have little impact. But now that the Archer debate appears to be drawing to a close, it seems like the Brentwood Community Council, Brentwood Homeowners Association, and others are now willing to address the question: “What about all the other schools?”

For some reason this question wasn’t being addressed before. Now – fingers crossed – it will be.

It also feels like now that everyone is reasonably happy with the Archer outcome that everyone can relax again. The most recent BCC meeting felt like the friendliest one in recent memory.

Fights like the one over Archer can obscure the fact that, in the main, Brentwood residents do a lot to work together in a very collaborative manner on the issues facing our community.

Volunteers work to save the Coral Trees; others volunteer huge amounts of time studying the potential traffic impacts of proposed projects; others serve on homeowner boards and other committees; local schools get a lot of support; our religious institutions are strongly contributing members of the community; and, it feels like more and more, the Brentwood Community Council really is the place where it all comes together.

It was very encouraging to listen to a presentation by a representative of the Big Blue Bus organization at the most recent BCC meeting. Within a year, the new Expo Line will open, and there will be a stop at Olympic and South Bundy.

This stop will make it possible for many from our immediate area to ride the train all the way Downtown Los Angeles. Once upon a time, it seemed like such a development was a real pipe dream. But, as noted by the Big Blue Bus representative, there isn’t enough parking at the Expo Line stop on Olympic. If people can’t park there, they might not take the train. But there also aren’t enough buses going from Brentwood to Olympic, and Big Blue Bus now seeks to rectify that.

The goal is to have a fairly steady stream of buses heading south down both Barrington and Bundy, so Brentwood residents can take the bus to the Expo Line. The buses will operate in a steady loop, so it will be relatively easy to get back to Brentwood from Olympic and Bundy.

The Big Blue Bus spokesperson said this new system won’t be a “magic bullet,” but if we could get 10 percent of local drivers to take the bus, we’d all notice improvements in local traffic. So there’s another little piece of progress. The CalVet retirement home on the VA campus is about to finally get a kitchen. And the VA itself seems committed to its goal of doing more for homeless veterans in the area. More progress.

Teri Redman Kahn continues to bang the drum for water conservation. Even more progress. Norm Kulla, senior aide to Mike Bonin, just announced he will retire this July.

This will be a loss; Norm has done a lot to try and impose sanity on Brentwood during its occasional dustups. He digs in, he gets results – and he does it all with a warm sense of humor that causes combatants to relax a bit. He has been a big contributor to progress in the area. Let’s wish Norm well – and hope for a terrific replacement.

Now, if we really want to see life get good in Brentwood, Brentwood resident Josh Stephens thinks he has just the answer. Josh writes that Brentwood would benefit from the opening of a few friendly pubs. I couldn’t agree more. Everything is so chi-chi these days; there’s no real “hangout” in Brentwood.

Such an establishment would be a great place to gather and figure out even more ways to make Brentwood a better place. Or maybe we take a break from all that, relax and laugh now and then. If we need to do some kind of local Kickstarter campaign to help get this up and running, let’s do that.

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