At last night’s Planning and Land Use Meeting a few developers proposed a few developments for review.
A 49-unit apartment building, three stories tall, was characterized as ruinous to a neighborhood of mostly single family homes.
A 5-story senior apartment complex seemed to pass muster, after its parking and setbacks were revised.
In the large land mass that is Van Nuys, there is very little construction.
The downtown is shabby, full of vacancies. The only new businesses sell pot, massages and bail bonds.
Victory, Vanowen, Oxnard, all compete for the ugliest street awards.
I wondered, after leaving the meeting, what might happen if Mayor Eric Garcetti brought architects, developers, community leaders and the citizens of Van Nuys together to create a Van Nuys Experimental Architecture District.
It makes sense. Land is cheaper. There are vacant lots and substandard buildings. Property could be acquired cheaply and the location is great, right in the center of the SFV.
Borrowing photos from the architecture website Dezeen, I came up with some projects that might be built in Van Nuys, and perhaps objections that might be raised.
“Where’s the parking?”
“You’ll have a bunch of derelicts hanging out. And that wall is going to be tagged.”
“This is crazy. It’s way too big. And I don’t want my neighbors looking down at my wife when she’s showering.”
“I mean this is just silly. You have crazy colored windows all over the building. And the angles make me dizzy. What about something more Mission Style?”
“I agree we need some new buildings on Van Nuys Boulevard. But these should have at least 1,200 parking spaces for cars along the street. That’s how you make a development!”
“It looks like a toaster to me. And the neighborhood is all 1950s ranch houses. The circle looks like a target and that makes we worried.”
“Just because Eli Broad donates $100 million for a Van Nuys Arts Center doesn’t mean he can ram this down our throats. I object because where are the front porches?”
“Why is one column diagonal and the other vertical? To me it seems crazy. And underneath this you’ll have homeless, skateboarders and maybe teenagers making out and doing other things they shouldn’t!”
“Ok, it’s a church. I get it. But where is the one steeple? It’s nothing like what you see in Vermont and that’s what I think Van Nuys should look like.”