WE WON! SOUTH VALLEY AREA PLANNING COMMISSION GRANTED ROCKIN’ RESCUE’S VARIANCES
Jan 27, 2017 — Hi Everyone. Last night, democracy prevailed in Los Angeles. The South Valley Area Planning Commission (SVAPC) unanimously voted to grant the variances necessary for Rockin’ Rescue to continue to operate in its current location at 19855 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills, California.
This happened in large part because of your support. Over 5,500 people signed petitions in support of Rockin’ Rescue. Many of you left very insightful and persuasive comments, which were submitted to the SVAPC.
And last night, approximately 100 Rockin’ Rescue supporters attended the SVAPC meeting to show their support. About 40 of them addressed the SVAPC, providing moving stories of how Rockin’ Rescue helps dogs, cats, and people. There were Volunteers and Employees from the City’s West Valley Animal Shelter, Employees and Volunteers from Rockin’ Rescue, people who adopted their dog or cat from Rockin’ Rescue, Rockin’ Rescue’s neighbors, and good citizens who simply wanted to have such a great rescue in their neighborhood. The manager of the OSH (Orchard Supply Hardware) across the street even volunteered his parking lot if the lot at Rockin’ Rescue is ever full. Businesses next door and across the street from Rockin’ Rescue submitted letters of support: Upholstery Zone, Excitement, Oak & Poppy, Bank of the West, and Wells Fargo.
The Commissioners listened. Thank you to:
Commission President Steve Cochran
Commission Vice President Lydia Drew Mather
Commissioner Rebecca Beatty
Commissioner Raymond Bishop. Commissioner Bishop stated the findings of the 5 elements which are necessary to approve a variance.
All of the Commissioners voted in favor of the variances.
We want to thank the following people, among many others, who helped in this matter:
Leonard (Len) Shaffer, President of the Tarzana Neighborhood Council and President of the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners; the entire Tarzana Neighborhood Council.
The Woodland Hills Neighborhood Council, its President Joyce Fletcher, and its Secretary Linda Kouy-Ghadosh.
The Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council, its President Jill Banks Barad, and its Vice President and Land Use Chair Ron Ziff.
Other local Neighborhood Councils.
City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and his staff:
Andrew Pennington, Senior Planning Deputy
Svetlana Pravina, Field Deputy
John Popoch, Deputy Chief of Staff.
Andrew Pennington and the others supported Rockin’ Rescue throughout this process, from the Zoning Administrator hearing to the SVAPC. Andrew spoke in support of Rockin’ Rescue at both hearings.
Councilmember Blumenfield has also introduced a resolution for the City Council, so that other Animal Rescues in Los Angeles will not have to go through this ordeal in the future.
For those of you who live in Canoga Park, Reseda, Tarzana, Winnetka, and Woodland Hills, please remember that Councilman Blumenfield is up for re-election this year. The primary is on March 7; the general election is on May 16. Please vote; we need people on the City Council, and their dedicated staff, who care about animals and will actually do something to help them.
Our new State Senator, Henry Stern, wrote a letter of support for Rockin' Rescue which was submitted to the SVAPC. It is good to know that we have a strong supporter of animals in the State Legislature, as well as on the City Council.
Newscaster Jane Velez-Mitchell broadcast the entire hearing live. Video from the hearing is on her Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/janevelezmitchell
The entire hearing is posted in several segments.
Thank you to:
Winston Stromberg, Shivaun Cooney, Rachel Stauber, Shannon Lankenau, Danny Aleshire, Daniel Green, and Linda Enriquez of the Law Firm of Latham & Watkins, who worked on this matter on a pro bono (free) basis.
Brad Rosenheim and Gary Werner of Rosenheim & Associates, who also worked on the appeal on a pro bono basis.
Rob Glushon of Luna & Glushon, who also consulted and appeared on a pro bono basis.
Beth Chrisman, Certified Forensic Document Examiner.
Southwestern Law School students Gloria Ramirez, Jeremy Lishman, and Sara Brown.
And of course Ady Gil, Bari Fiore, Fabienne Origer, and everyone at Rockin’ Rescue -- please continue to save the lives of dogs and cats, and provide adoption services to the people of our community. Thank you to my family for their support.
Thank you again to all of you who supported Rockin’ Rescue and the homeless dogs and cats of our community; your support really made a difference. I will keep you posted on any further developments; documents in the matter can be found at:
Best regards, Jeff