Don't see this every day

Holmby Hills group takes the chutzpah prize

holmby-hills-carolwood.jpgThe neighborhood of Holmby Hills is one of the highest-income enclaves of Los Angeles, if not the highest. It has probably the least-used city streets — in part because of the questionably profligate use of no parking signs that dissuade outsiders on many, possibly most curbs. Those streets north of Sunset Boulevard are also, to the visible eye, in pretty good condition compared to long stretches of LA avenues where the pavement is truly a mess. Ever driven or ridden a bus on Wilshire Boulevard?

But it's true, there are some cracks and occasional pot holes in Holmby Hills. So the homeowners group for a corner of the neighborhood that abuts Beverly Hills wants to explore being annexed into the smaller city — in order to get a couple of potholes filled. In the LA Times:

Frustrated by the sad state of the streets, [resident William] Fleischman earlier this month asked the Beverly Hills City Council to consider annexing the 40 or so members of the Holmby Hills Homeowners Assn. north of Sunset and east of Beverly Glen Boulevard. Fleischman said he took the step after residents hailed the idea at a May meeting and the board authorized him to look into it.

"Holmby Hills pays millions of dollars to Los Angeles in property taxes, and we're getting back thousands of dollars in services," said Fleischman, 66, a lawyer who owns a Century City investment firm....

Lauren King, president of the homeowners association, broke her foot on Brooklawn at Angelo Drive when she stepped into what she described as "a crater."

Paul Kanin, who owns the house where his son lives in Holmby Hills, recently blew the right front tire of his Audi A6 after plowing into a pothole near the intersection of Greendale Drive and North Faring Road, near Brooklawn. He waited just minutes for an auto club truck to respond to his call. The driver, Kanin said, told him: "Brooklawn is a gold mine for us. We're in the area regularly."

OK, first of all. The residents of Holmby Hills don't pay millions in property taxes to the city of Los Angeles. They pay the county, which sends a slice to the city. Second, welcome to Los Angeles — the miles of streets where the need for repaving has been deferred for years is counted in hundreds, maybe thousands. And third: LOL. If there is a deader-on-arrival political question than whether Los Angeles City Hall will trade a piece of high-end turf to Beverly Hills, I can't think of it. Totally bogus. Beverly Hills, which has its own problems, won't even want them.

The funny thing would be if the city does decide to accelerate street repairs in Holmby Hills, and goes for the quick and dirty fix it uses elsewhere: laying a thin coat of asphalt over the existing street. Holmby's streets now are the old concrete pavement, which looks more elegant and announces a neighborhood as older and more established. When the city comes in with plain old blacktop, I suspect we'll really hear the hills folks screaming then.

Photo: LA Observed

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