Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Please submit comments on the Wyvernwood Draft EIR - Deadline December 19th, 2011

Here is a copy of the letter the Village Green Board of Directors has sent to the city of Los Angeles, with our comments regarding the Draft EIR for the Wyvernwood project.

Please take a few moments to draft your own letter, describing what you enjoy most about living in our community. The thousands of residents of Wyvernwood, who love their quality of life in such a similar community, live with the threat that their way of life will soon be destroyed.

For more information about how you can help, please see the excellent information on the Los Angeles Conservancy's website:

Village Green
National Historic Landmark
5300 Rodeo Road, Los Angeles, CA 90016

December 11, 2011

Sergio Ibarra
City of Los Angeles, Major Projects
200 N. Spring Street, City Hall, Room 750
Los Angeles, CA 90012

RE: File Number ENV-2008-2141-EIR

Dear Mr. Ibarra:

We, the Board of Directors of Village Green, a National Historic Landmark community in Los Angeles, are writing to urge the City of Los Angeles to preserve the thriving and historic Wyvernwood community.

Both Wyvernwood and the Village Green were designed as new paradigms for middle-class housing in Los Angeles. Both were carefully and intelligently planned to successfully foster community, provide ample access to fresh air, light, and recreational facilities, using urban planner Clarence Stein’s Garden City principles. Their innovative designs work as well today as they did when they opened in 1939 and 1941. These Garden Apartment communities can’t be duplicated today, and should be preserved. While the Village Green is a National Historic Landmark, listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, and is a City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, Wyvernwood doesn’t have the benefit of such designations, but is largely intact and equally eligible.

The Draft EIR’s narrow definition of project objectives favors new construction over preservation, while claiming that the new community will come to include “dozens of LEED-approved design features, embracing conservation and environmental responsibility.” However, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Association for Preservation Technology International have established that the most environmentally responsible building is one that is already standing. Furthermore, Wyvernwood’s thoughtfully designed structures allow for cross-ventilation cooling, which is only further encouraged by the mature tree canopy that now shades the oasis of green space.

We believe that Wyvernwood’s existing buildings can be rehabilitated and sensitively upgraded to address the project’s sustainability goals and objectives. The Village Green, which received Mills Act status last December, has entered into a contract with the City of Los Angeles to restore and rehabilitate our 629-unit facility. We have created a 10-year plan to replace the majority of our aging and increasingly failing infrastructure, all while our owners and residents remain in their homes. We believe the same can and should be done at Wyvernwood. Wyvernwood has suffered neglect at the hands of its current owners, but we have shown that this sort of deferred maintenance can be successfully reversed.

Influential architecture critic Lewis Mumford wrote that Garden City communities like Wyvernwood “dared to put beauty as one of the imperative needs of a planned environment: the beauty of ordered buildings, measured to the human scale, of trees and flowering plants, and of open greens surrounded by buildings of low density, so that children may scamper over them, to add to both their use and their aesthetic loveliness,” all of which would be destroyed if the plan to replace this historic cultural resource is approved.

Please evaluate a greater range of viable preservation alternatives that can still retain Wyvernwood’s eligibility as one of Los Angeles’ most important historic districts. Because only one preservation alternative was considered in the Draft EIR (Alternative C), this undermines the purpose of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). In addition to the destruction of an entire community of people proud and passionate to live at Wyvernwood, the project as described would have a negative environmental impact which would take decades to pay off in terms of energy, carbon, water, materials, toxicity, etc.


Village Green Homeowner’s Association
Board of Directors

Steven Keylon
Joe Khoury
Steve Haggerty
Robert Nicolais
Dan Frank
Dee Dee Chapelle
John Keho
Robert Creighton