Option A: What the Neighbors Think.


A light rail service yard in Washington state.

Metro is planning a light rail train down the center of Van Nuys Bl. extending from Pacoima to Van Nuys, stopping at Oxnard St. Less probable is a dedicated bus line.

Their final decision, as to what type of transport to build (bus or train) and where to service these will come in June 2018.

Four areas in Van Nuys are under consideration for eminent domain demolition and the building of a light rail maintenance yard.

These are called the “Option” areas and they are A, B, C, and D.

Options B, C, and D

B, C, and D all straddle the existing Metrolink heavy passenger rail tracks along Raymer St. near the former GM plant on the Van Nuys/Panorama City border.


OPTION A:

Option A

Only “Option A” is located in another area: this is a 33-acre spread of light industry comprising 186 businesses, 58 structures and as many as 1,000 workers who are located NE of Oxnard and Kester along Oxnard, Aetna, Bessemer and Calvert Streets.

This blog has reported extensively, since September 2017, on the “Option A” community: a unique, productive, and innovative group of entrepreneurs who make fine decorative hardware, custom shelving; record music, weld metals, clean carpets, fashion artistic stained glass, and restore vintage Mustangs, Vespas and large yachts.

Skilled craftsman at Pashupatina
Garrett Marks, CEO, Mustangs, Etc. (est. 1967)
Peter Scholz, owner Showcase Cabinets (est. 1987)
Simon Simonian, Progressive Art Stained Glass Studio
Kristian Storli, Owner: Bar Italia Vespa
Steve Muradyan of BPM Custom Marine

They employ local workers, many of whom walk to work. There are immigrants here, but there are also people who started companies 30, 40 and even 50 years ago who would be forced to move from their little supportive community and fight to rent new space competing against cash rich marijuana growers who are swallowing up space for their noxious, lethargy inducing, industrial scale weed.


I was curious what residents in the area think of “Option A” so I went online and visited Next Door.

My Next Door app page has 2,000 community members from Burbank Bl. north to Roscoe, from the 405 to Hazeline.

 

I posted a question asking if people opposed or supported “Option A.” Overwhelmingly, by a vote of 87% to 13 (94 total votes), they said they were against it.

 

Peter Scholz and employee at Showcase Cabinets

 

 Here are some of the comments:

“It seems like a giant repair yard would be an eye sore and would attract litter, homeless encampments and shady activities since it will have very little activity especially at night. I don’t see how that is worth uprooting all these businesses who contribute to our community and have been here for all of these years.”

“I prefer local businesses any day. Plus, with numerous new apartment buildings popping up all around the area, we have potential for more retail/cafes to move in to the buildings up for lease. However, if all of that space gets used up by ugly rail yards, then the Van Nuys economy will never thrive to its full potential. I’m sick of this city being treated as a dumping ground.”

“The downside of Option A is not only a large rail yard in main area of Van Nuys (which MTA promises would be modern and attractive) but as well, that it would take out approximately 200 small and thriving Van Nuys businesses that each employ, one, two, three, five or more employees, whereas the other two main options hold a minuscule number of businesses. Eminent domain [against] all these businesses in the heart of VN would hurt us in several ways, besides uprooting the businesses and the citizens who work there, there are limited number of commercial properties currently available close by, so many of the businesses could not relocate close by, would not be able to keep locale clientele. For many who live nearby, if new properties could be found, commutes would be added. And for all those businesses relocating outside our community, or for those that would simply be forced to fold, Van Nuys would lose a healthy business tax base. Again, the other two options provided by the city for the yard (if needed based on what the final decisions are) do not suffer from anywhere near the same extent of overall downside.”

“I own a house on Hatteras near the Option A area. And I also rent a building on Aetna which would be demolished. If this happens I will sell my house, which I just purchased two years ago and I will move out of Los Angeles. There is not a reason in the world to pick our district for demolition when so many jobs and lives are at stake. If Nury Martinez allows this she should be recalled.”

Clearly, people who live near the Option A zone are insightful and understand how important it is to preserve small business in Van Nuys. They know that an enormous, gaping hole would not revitalize Van Nuys, but further degrade it.

 

The community residents, as well as the businesses near Kester and Oxnard, are united in opposing the destruction of viable businesses and local jobs.

Option A: Silence of the Nury.


Rail Service Yard at Night. What Kester and Oxnard may look like for the next 100 years.

Option A is a Metro Los Angeles plan to construct a rail maintenance yard on 33 acres of industrial land currently occupied by 186 businesses employing as many as 1,500 people. The location radiates from the NE corner of Kester and Oxnard and will demolish every single building from Kester to Cedros along Oxnard, Aetna, Bessemer and the south side of Calvert.

Family run businesses, enterprises utilizing high tech computers to fashion exquisite cabinetry, decorative metals, and music recording studios, will be gone. Destroyed as well: low cost rentals for vintage Vespa restoration, boat yards, exotic mushroom growers, glassmakers, sauna builders, and Ford Mustang restoration.

The Option A area is walkable, diverse, affordable, and near downtown Van Nuys. If it is obliterated it will become a vast zone of emptiness, high security cameras, fences, walls, and rob Van Nuys of its last industrial area which serves as a creative incubator for artists, builders and skilled craftsmen.

Metro: In attempting to increase density, variety, diversity and walkability why would you destroy the very thing you wish to create?

Metro has three other option sites which are B, C, and D. The September 28, 2017 Daily News article explains.

Options B and C are on either side of Van Nuys Boulevard at the Metrolink Train Crossing.

Option D is at 7600 Tyrone Ave, 55 acres of land owned by the Department of Water and Power. It said it will NOT relinquish the land.

B, C, and D do not involve the displacement, destruction and eviction of 186 companies.

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

Silence of the Nury

Despite the suffering and anxiety of so many men and women in Van Nuys, Councilwoman Nury Martinez has been completely silent on this issue since the official announcement of the Option A scheme was announced in mid-September.

Some in her office have conducted meetings with the worried owners in the Option A area. But she has not publically stood with the afflicted businesses. She has not voiced her support for them and she has not taken a stand opposing the vast hole of a train yard just steps from her office in Van Nuys.

Her Facebook page shows many photos of her attending events in the past few weeks.

  • She recognized a project to fund breast cancer research.
  • She welcomed a Panorama City project to mentor young people in work.
  • She supported National Food Day to promote nutrition.
  • She joined cops and politicians to oppose domestic violence.
  • She celebrated the retirement of a 30-year LAPD veteran.
  • Latino Heritage Month got a photo with her.
  • Dodger Manager Tommy LaSorda got a 90th Birthday photo with her.
  • The International Day of the Girl got a photo with her.
  • LA Family Housing got a photo with her.
  • Girls Empowerment got a photo with her.


“My Nury, my Nury, why have you forsaken me?”

Ivan Gomez, Pashupatina

Ivan Gomez, son of Mexican immigrants, grew up poor with his four siblings on Friar Street, dodged gangs, bullets, drugs and went on to self-mentor in the art of making fine metals, eventually opening a highly respected and technologically advanced company, Pashupatina, inside a restored building on Aetna St. He merits no photo op with Nury Martinez.

Peter Scholz, Showcase Cabinets

Peter Scholz, cabinet maker, lifelong resident of Van Nuys, owner of Showcase Cabinets, in business since 1987, employing skilled craftsmen who also live in Van Nuys, he has no photo op.

Scott Walton, Uncle Studios

Scott Walton of Uncle Studios, established 1976, legendary recording studio on Kester and Aetna, he may be obliterated, and he has no public support from Ms. Martinez.

Kristian Storli, Bar Italia Vespa.

Kristian Storli, who restores vintage Vespas and has been evicted from two places on Calvert and Bessemer, and only finally found a home last year on Aetna, only to learn his shop may be wiped off the map. He has no photo op with Ms. Martinez.

Steve Muradyan of BPM Custom Marine

Steve Muradyan of BPM Custom Marine, who supports a wife, two children and two aged parents, rents a facility on Calvert St. (down the street from  MacLeod Ale) and he may lose his 6,000 SF space. Where will he go? There are no affordable, local industrial sites for 50-100 foot long racing boats. Does his plight matter to Ms. Martinez?

Skilled worker at Pashupatina

There are 1500 others who are obscure but working hard, trying to earn a living, doing the right thing here in Van Nuys.

Why is Nury silent on the plight of her most productive and contributing constituents? Why is she sticking her finger up in the wind to see which direction Metro Los Angeles blows rather than fighting for the community she purportedly represents?

Silence is not what people in jeopardy, at risk in losing everything they have worked for, expect from their elected leader.

Pashupatina: Ivan and Daniel Gomez in their shop which they completely renovated with their own hands and money in 2015.
At work at Pashupatina. Programming and designing intricate metals for decorative hardware.
Mustangs, Etc. Est. 1976
Pashupatina.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave