San Fernando Valley

Burning out on Van Nuys

Blogger Andrew Hurvitz at Here in Van Nuys sounds exasperated, or worse, at the way the onetime downtown of the Valley has gone. He writes in a post called Columbus Avenue, north of Hamlin:

These large lots will no doubt be converted into cheap and dense Casa Garageas, with cul-de-sacs lined by treeless, ugly, two story high stucco slum houses. The front lawns will be smaller than the SUV's on the driveways.

The neighborhood zoning laws allow this, and at some future, fluorescent lit community meeting, a paunchy, tired attorney will step in front of the local board, and propose a sub-division where one property will be sliced into six. The English spoken meeting will be attended by almost no locals, as the community involvement in this area is zilch.

The liberal in me cries out, "Why doesn't our city create a little environmentally sensitive little community of walking areas surrounded by smaller homes connected by paths? Like they would in Seattle, Pasadena, or Venice?"

Then the conservative in me observes, with cold empiricism, the police helicopters overhead, the garbage filled shopping carts, the vicious barking dogs behind steel gates, the illegal aliens on the corner. I can smell the Vietnamese and Chinese food in the air--industrial food production stink that wiped out the aroma of flowering orange blossoms and jasmine. A cop car cruises down here twice a year, but taggers visit weekly.

And then I think I know why people moved to the Simi Valley or Santa Clarita. Exhaustion sets in.

Just last week Andrew imagined a bright transit-dependent future for Van Nuys Boulevard near the Orange Line busway. He's also got his eye on street fashion these days.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
Recent San Fernando Valley stories on LA Observed:
The Smoke House
James Dean died 61 years ago today. Now the famous gas station is gone
Two Metro lines for two different LAs
Canoga Park Memorial Day parade
The Valley's long recount
Lisker Chronicles: Bruce Lisker waits for justice
Valley Girl at 30
Tennis worth watching in Calabasas


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