It's All About Everyone
"Community residents" is a phrase that appears throughout TERA's mission statement. I mention this in response to the occasional feedback that TERA represents only homeowners. If you live in Eagle Rock, whether you rent or own, you are a community resident. TERA's goal is to represent all residents, owners and renters. TERA's Mission Statement, which was crafted in 1988, also includes the phrase "
To encourage preservation of single-family low-density residential land use..."
The shortage of housing and the incredible upswing of housing prices was not a factor in 1988. It was a reasonable goal to preserve Eagle Rock as a relatively low-density community. Times have changed dramatically. Most of the developments that have come before TERA in the last year or more are small lot subdivisions. The majority of homes are sold to individual property owners; a small number are managed as rentals. Whether apartments or homes to be owned, they inevitably increase the density of a given area. In keeping with our Mission Statement preservation of single-family homes, TERA will not support such a project if it would materially change the character of a neighborhood, or if it would be an exception to an area that is consistently single-family homes. However, if the multiple family development is located in an area in which we find similar, higher density structures, then TERA will consider supporting the project. The presence of some portion of the project dedicated to affordable housing is another positive characteristic, a quality we don't see often enough.
In conclusion, if you live here we try to represent you - whether you are a renter or a homeowner. While it is no longer the world that it was in 1988, TERA continues to honor the goals of the organization that were established many years ago.
The need to do something about the presence of so many homeless in Eagle Rock and citywide is clear. But it is difficult, on an individual basis, to take an action that leads toward overall improvement. The frequent response of "I don't want them on my street" has resulted in ever-increasing limitations on where the homeless can park a van, pitch a tent, or most sadly, sleep on the ground. Reducing the locations where the homeless can survive another night does nothing to address the problem and the need. It is in that context that the TERA Board voted to support Measure H.
Last year Los Angeles voters supported Measure HHH which was co-authored by Councilmember Huizar. The primary purpose of this measure was to build 10,000 units of permanent supportive housing and also provide millions of dollars for affordable housing in the City. The measure is funded by property taxes of $9.64 a year for each $100,000 of valuation for each property. A home valued at $500,000 would pay a little under $50 per year.
Often those who are homeless need more than a solid roof over their head. It is on that basis that the TERA Board voted to support Measure H this year and encourages our readers to do the same. Last year measure HHH focused on providing physical housing. This year Measure H focuses on providing the support services needed for the homeless to transition from a life on the streets to having a roof over their head every night; and not a roof supported by a grocery cart or a cardboard box. In addition to housing support services are essential. Mental health issues, especially depression are widespread in the homeless community. Other types of support may include substance abuse treatments and temporary financial support as an individual moves from one job to another.
It is the county's five-year goal to move 45,000 people off the streets into housing, helping them to become as self-sustaining as is possible. Measure H combined with Measure HHH provides a more comprehensive solution. Most important, as a society, we will be helping many, all of whom are less fortunate than every reader of this newsletter.
Vote "YES" for measure H.
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
In 1916 railways known as trolleys or streetcars ran down the middle Eagle Rock and Colorado Boulevards every 8 - 20 minutes. Thirty minutes after boarding on Eagle Rock Boulevard the commuter would arrive downtown. That all came to an end in 1955 when buses replaced streetcars on Eagle Rock Boulevard and the tracks were removed. There are many who wish the streetcars had not been eliminated. There is a chance that a small part of what once was may be offered again.
Los Angeles County's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (commonly referred to as Metro) is developing plans for a service commonly known as BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) that might serve the Eagle Rock community in the not too distant future while connecting transit hubs in North Hollywood and Pasadena. The most significant distinguishing factor between BRT service and routine bus service is that because BRT buses usually travel in a dedicated lane, they move at a faster pace than routine buses. It is for this reason that BRT is sometimes referred to as a rail line on rubber wheels, because it feels like a rail line but the service is provided with buses. Existing examples in the County that are similar to the service envisioned for this east-west corridor include Metro's Orange Line and Silver Line.
Officially known as the North Hollywood to Pasadena BRT Corridor Technical Study, significant study has been completed. For our area of town, the study concluded that a route between the area of the Burbank Airport and Pasadena would be desirable. Metro is considering two primary alternatives for this route. One alternative would route the buses on the freeway, totally bypassing Eagle Rock. A second alternative would route buses through Eagle Rock, probably on Colorado Boulevard. The Colorado Boulevard alternative would naturally impact the Boulevard but it is far too early to know how it might be impacted and to what degree.
In spite of the statements made with certainty, especially on social media, regarding how the Boulevard would be impacted, the truth is no one knows at this point. We also don't know how much support there is in the community for a new transportation alternative. The final decision should be made based on a simple cost / benefit analysis. There will be some tradeoffs if a route through town is chosen. Are the benefits to the community greater than the impacts to the Boulevard? We don't know yet. There are more questions than answers at this point. Metro will be conducting more community meetings. Scheduling of these meetings will be announced in this newsletter as soon as they are known.
Just a quick note that Membership Benefits do work. I am happy to report that we saved $17 on the last checkup for our cat Sophie. We go to the Animal Health Care Center because of the excellent care they provide to Queen Sophie. For all our members, be sure to take advantage of the Member Benefit programs. For non - members, you could be saving as well.