Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council Abandons Wyvernwood Decision, Removes Item From Agenda

A "Save Wyvernwood" banner was lowered two nights ago above a northbound 101 Freeway overpass. Isabel Avila/isabelavila.com

Last week, the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council’s executive committee struck from tomorrow’s general board meeting agenda the action item to support the Wyvernwood redevelopment project. After issues were brought up ranging from securing a proper location, to whether or not their decision would make a difference on the project, the neighborhood council doesn’t appear likely to revisit the motion in the future, said Edward Padilla, president of the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council.

“This is probably one of the most prominent issues we’re going to deal with,” said Padilla in an interview. “And it’s not that we don’t want to address important issues . . . (but board members) are being attacked about it and it’s causing division.”

The $2 billion mixed-use redevelopment was originally voted for by the Boyle Heights neighborhood council at its January meeting and was approved with a 9-3 vote, the Boyle Heights Beat reported. Since the neighborhood council didn’t give 24-hours notice of a location change, the vote was nullified and was expected to be voted on this month.

The $2 billion Wyvernwood redevelopment project’s contentiousness has reached as high as city advisory meetings, and as low as town halls. 15 Group, the Wyvernwood developer, expects the project to be an economic stimulus by replacing the rent controlled housing with multiple affordable housing units. Opponents including El Comité de la Esperanza and Frente de Apoyo del Comité de la Esperanza (FACE) argue that the project would displace its residents.

Members of el Comité felt the neighborhood council’s decision to abandon the vote was a victory, said Roberto Mojica, El Comité’s public relations officer and 25-year wyvernwood resident. Yet when the executive committee decided to strike the motion, 15 Group Principal Steven Fink didn’t object the decision.(15 Group representatives did not respond to our request for comment in time for publication.)

When the neighborhood council  discussed changing the location of the meeting from the Boyle Heights Senior Center to Lou Costello Junior Youth Center, the developer and some board members were concerned about safety. Lou Costello Junior Youth Center is within walking distance of Wyvernwood Apartments.

Padilla said that since the motion on the Wyvernwood redevelopment came to the neighborhood council, it has caused a division within the council and at its meetings. Some council members have told Padilla they have felt personally attacked throughout this process, including Padilla himself who has been harassed by telephone. Padilla has referred those members to the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment to file their grievance.

Local community voices have been drowned out of the process, Padilla added, because both the opposition and proponents intimidated each others residents from coming forward.

Maybe it’s best, Padilla said, that the conversation go to City Hall. “That’s where it needs to go ultimately.”

For  tomorrow’s Boyle Heights neighborhood council general board meeting, here’s the agenda.

  • Phaedra

    Just build it already…….. please.

  • Xochitl Palomera

    Build What? Do you Live in Wyvernwood?

  • Anonymous

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I really don’t understand how stopping development is supposed to preserve affordability.

  • This statement is not wholly accurate: “15 Group, the Wyvernwood developer, expects the project to be an
    economic stimulus by replacing the rent controlled housing with multiple
    affordable housing units.”

    There are currently 1,187 units at Wyvernwood, all of them covered by LA’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance, the city’s most important mechanism for ensuring a supply of affordable housing. But it applies only to housing built before 1979, which means that tearing them down would remove that many homes from an already-shrinking stock. The developer is promising to voluntarily make 660 units affordable but history teaches us that there is no reason to trust such promises.

  • Hello. In answer to your question, please see my comment above.

  • Yvonne

    The Neighborhood Council process was put in place to give residents/stakeholders — even if they are not voters — an arena to participate in shaping their communities. It’s unfortunate the NC volunteers (no one gets paid for putting in the hours) were subjected to harassment. The Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council’s push back would have been exciting to watch! While the developer may still have been able to build as desired, at the very least the NC would have been able to help mold the project into something the community still could have benefited from. Even if it was something as slight as 2 more units of affordable housing.

  • GET REAL

    MOST OF THE PEOPLE WHO COMPLAIN ABOUT NO REBUILDING WYVNERWOOD APARTMENTS……..HAVE BEEN AND ARE CURRENTLY INVESTIGATED.BY THE GOVERNMENT……….A LARGE PERCENTATE OF THOSE PEOPLE THAT DO NOT WANT TO REBUILD WYVERNWOOD…..ARE NOTHING BUT IMMATURE ADULTS WITH SMALL MINDS NOTHING BUT LIARS,,,AND IGNORANCE VERY SELFISH…………..OPEN YOUR MIND —STOP THINKIN GHETTO………..AND NEED ALOT OF ATTENTION……….AND A MENTAL EVALUATION……………….THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH CHANGES……….GET THE BAD APPLES OUT OF WYVERNWOOD APARTMENST……..DONT WORRY ABOUT PROFIT ITS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS…….IGNORANT…………WORRY ABOUT THE RESULTS ………..AND THEY DONT QUALIFY TO MOVE BACK TO WYVNERWOOD IS BECAUSE THEY ARE THE BAD APPLES THAT MAKE ANY COMMUNITY LOOK BAD …….MOST LIKE THESE ARE THE PEOPLE THAT ARE BEHIND THE VERY PROFITABLE DRUG TRADE IN WYNVERWOOD………..PEACE OUT ………..LET GET THE BAD PEOPLE OUT……………

  • Tom McBride

    If the affordable units are part of the contractual agreement with the City and the residents, the developer has to abide by the agreement. I was involved(in a small way)in a similar development near MDR, The Lincoln Apts. Maybe it’s not 660 units. Maybe the number can be increased. The project can work and benefit everyone. L.A. needs revitalization badly and this is a project that will provide a huge number of jobs to the local community for decades. Let’s not be short sighted and keep an open mind.

  • Scott

    Wow, that was an intelligent post. I do not think that the majority of people get the big picture. You know how modest middle-class houses are going for around $1.3 million? It is getting so that very few people can really buy property; most people will be renting. How far of a stretch would it be for middle class and even affluent people’s communities to be gentrified and its residents displaced somewhere else. When one is biggoted towards people of a certain socio-economic class or ethnicity, their plight does not seem to matter to that person; however, when it does become real to that person, because the road has been made clear through legistlation, that person will only have themselves to blame.

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