By Marylin Krell
Special to Brentwood News
South Brentwood is considered by many as the most uniquely urban community of Brentwood. Bordered by Wilshire on the south, San Vicente on the north, Federal on the east, and Centinela on the west, South Brentwood has residents who can walk to the farmers’ market, dinner, drugstores, banks, markets, and shops.
More than 13,000 residents live in South Brentwood, with an estimated equal ratio of owners to renters. The local Homeowners Association (HOA), South Brentwood Residents Association (SBRA), strives to represent everyone in the area. Unusually, SBRA welcomes all residents; renters, condo dwellers, and homeowners alike. In 2010 the South Brentwood Homeowners Association became the South Brentwood Residents Association to reflect member diversity.
SBRA will celebrate its 40th anniversary at this year’s Annual Meeting, Thursday, April 28, aiming to bring the community together to share and discuss issues of the day. Topping the agenda will be homelessness, the VA Master Plan’s effect on South Brentwood, and how residents can help out with these issues.
Speakers at the event will be Councilmember Mike Bonin; Lisa Pinto, district director, Office of Rep. Ted Lieu; and Ann Brown, new Director of the VA Greater L.A. Healthcare System. The meeting is open to everyone in the community.
Much like the rest of Brentwood, South Brentwood’s history is steeped in conservation.
SBRA was officially incorporated in the early 1970’s when developers attempted to develop a portion of Kenter Creek north of Wilshire and west of Wellesley and rezone all of South Brentwood to R-3 (see page 12 “The Gross Property”).
Kenter Creek is a neighborhood secret. It is a perennial “blue line” stream that runs above and below ground from the Santa Monica Mountains through Brentwood and Santa Monica into Santa Monica Bay. Between Montana and Wilshire, the creek is fed by underground springs and flows year round through the backyards of approximately 75 homes. It is not generally visible from the street.
A major threat to the viability of Kenter Creek has been the negligent actions of residents. Dumping, landscaping, and structural intrusions have been commonplace. For example, a former resident deposited a non-native crayfish species into the creek, which virtually eliminated the large native Pacific Tree Frog population.
Two years ago, a group of neighbors organized the Kenter Creek Committee. In co-operation with SBRA, the Committee created a letter and guide, including information about federal, state, and local regulations which protect the creek. The guide has been delivered to all homeowners along the creek south of Montana as well as to local realty offices. The group has worked closely with the cities of Los Angeles and Santa Monica as well as with state and county officials. CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin visited the creek and openly supports the work of the committee.
Like all other Westside communities, the biggest concern for SBRA is traffic, especially as it impacts Bundy and Wilshire. Several projects are currently being proposed on Wilshire, with the Martin Expo Town Center at Bundy and Olympic expected to greatly affect the area. Representatives have been working with CD11 staff and other nearby communities to try to influence the project primarily in terms of traffic and parking.
Annual Meeting and 40th Anniversary Celebration
The SBRA’s annual meeting will be held Thursday, April 28 at the Tenth Church of Christ Scientist (across from Ralph’s Market) at 1133 S. Bundy Dr. from 6:30-8:30pm.
From 6:30-7pm attendees can meet sponsors and representatives of local organizations helping the homeless including the Clare Foundation, the Giving Spirit, Homeless Health CARE LA, Imagine LA, My Friends Place, New Directions/Oasis for Women, Ocean Park Community Center, Poverty Matters, St. Joseph Center, the Venice Family Clinic and Chrysalis.
Also between 6:30-7pm, SBRA will collect new or gently used clothing through Chrysalis, a nonprofit organization which helps homeless and low-income individuals find and retain employment. Business attire donations are requested including blazers, ties, black pants, ties, white shirts and shoes. Plus sizes are especially needed.
The formal meeting will begin promptly at 7pm.
For more information visit at www.southbrentwood.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SouthBrentwoodResidentsAssociation, set to relaunch this summer.
Marylin Krell is president of the South Brentwood Residents Association.