-Published in Valley News Group Publications Week of June 12, 2018-
I am happy to announce that on Wednesday, June 13th, the City Council voted to approve the ordinance which establishes the Warner Center 2035 Plan Implementation Board. This has been a herculean undertaking, and finally puts one of the last pieces in place to implement the vision of the Warner Center 2035 Plan (the Plan). This is long overdue.
The board, which will be made up of by a wide variety of community stakeholders, will provide a community-based entity that will ensure transparency and needed local input on how mitigations under the Plan will be identified and prioritized. This includes how funds from development within Warner Center will be utilized and leveraged to complete mitigations quickly and efficiently. The majority of these mitigations are related to necessary transit and transportation improvements required under the Plan, as well as how the area is marketed and beautification is completed and maintained. In addition, this board will assist in establishing the Neighborhood Protection Plans for the surrounding neighborhoods, provide oversight of City Department’s implementation of the Plan, and proffer general advice on how to make sure the objectives of the Plan are met.
This process took too long. While this board, or “entity,” was called for under the Plan passed in late 2013, it was undefined and left to the Planning Department to make it a reality. I saw that this was untenable and would result in more bureaucracy and leave the community on the sidelines. Consequently in a similar fashion to how the Plan was conceived and written, I brought together a diverse group of neighborhood and business leaders in Warner Center to work together to create a blueprint on how to best define this “entity.” This process was critical and needed, but did play a role in the delay as it became apparent that the goal of many in the community was to create an autonomous entity free of the City that would control funds collected by City.