Option A: Good News From Nury.


Options B, C and D
Option A: Destruction of 186 companies and 58 buildings and 1500 jobs.

Over the past few weeks, this blog has been engaged in enlightening the community about a potentially lethal plan, proposed by Metro, to construct a light rail service yard over the graveyard of 33 acres of businesses radiating NE from Oxnard and Kester.

“Option A” would bulldoze four blocks of small, family run companies, employing over a thousand people, demolishing 58 buildings and as many as 186 companies. This walkable, affordable, diverse area would become a vast zone of silence, blocks from Van Nuys Boulevard, and diminish hopes for a revival of Van Nuys which light rail could bring.

I met a group of fascinating entrepreneurs who build fine cabinetry, record music, restore vintage Vespas, repair racing boats; and service, sell and refurbish antique Ford Mustangs. I toured impressive shops and interviewed artisans who make exquisite glass and fine decorative metals forged with advanced machinery and human hands.

These people are overwhelmingly locals, they own or rent homes nearby, many chose to live here to be close to work. And they are first or second generation immigrants from Mexico, Armenia, Lebanon, Germany, and Norway as well as Reseda, North Hollywood and Lake Balboa. They are all struggling to make a living, but many are doing very well, and some own their buildings. Others rent space, but pay reasonable prices and would be finished if they were forced out.

All along I wondered why their elected representative, Councilwoman Nury Martinez, was not acknowledging their plight.

Now it seems she has heard the cries from people who are in fear of seeing their livelihoods decimated.

Jim Dantona, Chief of Staff for Ms. Martinez, sent me an email today. Attached was an official letter from the Councilwoman’s office to Metro in which she lays out why she opposes “Option A” and thinks “Option B” is a better choice.

Written in political diplomatic politesse, it acknowledges that the most negative impacts will fall on the “Option A” neighborhood. The word “impact” is used often, to describe the ruins of businesses…..just as our federal government concocted the phrase “collateral damage” to describe non-combatants killed in war.

“Option B”, near the existing Metrolink train tracks and Van Nuys Boulevard, is a far more sensible place to construct an additional train yard. New train yards fit best next to old train tracks.Metro will not make an official decision until January 2018. But for now, Councilwoman Nury is no longer silent. She has voiced, in print, her opinion that Option A should not happen.

7 thoughts on “Option A: Good News From Nury.

  1. The location of a proposed rail yard in Van Nuys reminds me of three things.

    First, ARTIC in Anaheim. https://granolashotgun.com/2017/10/05/anaheim-transit-suck-it-up/ The transportation hub is a fine building, but it was constructed in an isolated location that will forever limit its usefulness. It was built where it was for complex political reasons rather than on any rational transportation basis.

    Second, a city planner friend on the far fringe of the metroplex confided that local officials are quietly exploring how they can get the tracks for the new California High Speed Rail to run through low income neighborhoods for de facto “slum clearance.” The state may have one set of goals in mind, but locals want very different things.

    Third, ugly intensively used older neighborhoods generate far more jobs and tax revenue than they consume in municipal services and public infrastructure. The leafy upscale enclaves of fashionable homes may cost more and look nicer, but they are a negative return on investment from a tax perspective. The ugly stuff subsidizes the pretty stuff. If the city really wanted to get the biggest bang for the buck it would demolish a couple of blocks of luxury homes to accommodate the new rail yard.

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    1. Johnny Great write up. Measure M will bring about a lot of change that seems to benefit those that have the ability to be part of the development. I’m in Option A and while we might survive this round I feel that our area is truly filled with very artistic and innovative people. The area has the potential to become a lot more going forward but I certainly hope it can be done in a manner that truly benefits the area rather than to completely destroy it. Bookmarked your page.

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  2. Thank you for sharing the letter from Nury Martinez — and for your series of blog posts that provided effective advocacy for the businesses and their owners who would be displaced by Option A. Sharing their stories helped emphasize the viability of the industrial area they occupy and the loss Van Nuys would experience if they were forced out.

    Liked by 1 person

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