L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Gets His Wall
In February, we reported that L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, spooked off the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, had applied for a six-foot security wall to be erected around his "Getty House" mansion in Windsor Square.
The neighborhood's homeowners association, along with the Internet, was understandably outraged. How could this former "kid from East L.A." (so "Jenny on the Block," no?), a man who traveled to Mexico to preach "bridges not borders," make such a complete 360 to bratty, paranoid pol?
But the mayor knew all he had to do was wait:
So the wall, which shatters the area's 42-inch limit, was approved on June 8.
When the Park La Brea News contacted Windsor Square Association Vice President John Welborne on June 21 for comment, he said: "We are unaware that a variance has been granted." Join the club, dude.
However, a couple devoted homeowners did get wind of the April 21 public hearing for Villaraigosa's zoning request:
The Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, Windsor Square HPOZ Board, and the publisher of the Larchmont Chronicle also filed letters in opposition to the fence...
"When he leaves, we will be stuck with the fence whether or not there is an occupant of the house," according to the testimony of the Windsor Square HPOZ Board. "In addition, more people would have attended this hearing, but the [location] was not posted."
Well, too late now. Tony wins again! We'll be calling around to get some explanations in the morning, so stay tuned, if you're not too busy Weinering out.
Update: Villaraigosa's chief of staff, John Carr, tells the Los Angeles Times that "the idea came from LAPD."
Carr explains: "This is really to enhance the security there, and we're trying to do it in a way that's as pleasing as possible and have it be in line with what the neighborhood says."
Plus, the mayor has made so many concessions on his wall already (why doesn't the media write about that, right?):
Carr said that he's worked with various residents and organizations during the planning process and that the city has made several compromises. Officials originally wanted an 8-foot, 6-inch hedge, Carr said, but after neighbors protested, the plans were modified.
Now, plans call for a 6-foot fence (6-foot-3 in some areas where the yard slopes) and 3 feet of hedge at the base. It will look like a wrought-iron fence. Carr said the look should blend in with the neighborhood's style.
Which does not at all change the fact that the mayor is erecting a six-foot wall around his mansion.
And in the end, the spiky ring of neighborhood blight will probably just give mayoral creepers that many more shadows to lurk in and hedges to crouch behind. Not that we're planning on it...