22 Aug 2014
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Property Owners Want to Secede from Brentwood Village BID

A group of property and business owners in Brentwood Village want to redraw business improvements district lines.

The Los Angeles City Council last week approved the renewal of the Brentwood Village Property and Business Improvements District (BID), amid protest from several property owners north of Chayote Street who want to secede.

The BID, which includes properties between Barrington Place and Barrington Avenue at Sunset Boulevard, collects funds from property owners for services like trash collection, tree trimming and sidewalk cleaning.

Eight property owners with nine parcels of land between them opposed the BID renewal, while five owners with 13 parcels voted for it. Six property owners either did not cast a ballot or submitted too late. There are 19 landlords in the Village with a total of 29 parcels of land.

Of those who wanted to be excluded from the new BID, several claimed that the taxes imposed on them to support the body far outweighed services rendered.

"In our section of Barrington Place, which slopes downward to the north toward Sunset Boulevard, we have sub-par landscaping, particularly with respect to trees," property owner Stephen McClintock wrote to Councilman Bill Rosendahl. "The spindly saplings are not wired for lights during the Christmas season, such as the rest of the village enjoys." 

McClintock also expressed his disinterest in having the sidewalks in front of his property cleaned because "the down-slope of the street often sends the wash water under our doors," he wrote.

McClintock also wrote that his tenants — which include , and — have their own trash collection service, and therefore have no need for the trash pick-up provided by the BID.

"The BID up in Brentwood Village does great work," Christian Irwin of Domino Realty told the City Council last week. "This is one of the gems of District 11 and to see a portion of the BID secede is extremely short-sighted, in our opinion.

Irwin represents property owners with the highest valued parcels of land in Brentwood Village, according to council documents. He also sits on the board of directors of the Westwood Village Business Improvements District.

"There's a greater-good concept," said Irwin. "When you go onto a street and there's one house that's not maintained and the rest of the street looks immaculate, the whole street suffers."

Jay Handal owns San Gennaro Cafe and was asked by his landlord to represent him in the matter. For Handal, also chair of the West L.A. Neighborhood Council, there's little benefit to the services the BID provides.

"We could do it better in our area," Handal told Patch. "Nobody wants the whole BID to go away, because ultimately it's good to get the landlords to kick in (money) to do something good for the area."
Handal and others feel that the property owners in the northern portion of Brentwood Village are subsidizing the south.

"They're acknowledging that we're not getting benefits just by virtue of the fact that they decided to reduce our price by 25 percent," Handal said, referring to a pending deal between Brentwood Village north property owners and the BID to lower their dues. 

The suggestion of lower dues first came about a year ago, said Tim Byk, executive director of the BID.

"And we put it into the renewal … to make them feel like the burden was less on them and so they didn't feel like they weren't getting value out of it."

It's simply not true that there's a difference in the services provided, Byk said.

"Not every business has a fountain in front of it," said Byk. "Not every business has the same kind of trees. As a whole, everything is distributed throughout to make Brentwood Village just that — a village."     

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