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Will 219 NIMBYs kill Sunset Junction?




Early last month and early this month, the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council presented the City's Board of Commissioners of the Department of Public Works and Councilman Eric Garcetti's office two resolutions it had made on its own.

One of the resolutions, made in July, was to request that no permits be granted to the nationally-known Sunset Junction Street Fair unless previous debts and current fees be paid in full. The other resolution was to declare that the Street Fair should not be fenced off.

It was these two arguments that the Board of Commissioners of the Department of Public Works and Eric Garcetti's office fell back on when electing to not issue permits to Sunset Junction Street Fair yesterday.

Is it a case of NIMBY's intruding when a broader interest is obviously at stake, even as the representational legitimacy of Neighborhood Councils is being increasingly called into question?

The Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce had also asked several of SJ that it reported had never been answered, and, because of its inside position on the Neighborhood Council, took its complaints to the board. The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council committee also passed a resolution on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce to address some of its questions. The Fair responded, making the motion moot.

The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council's Governmental Affairs Committee co-chair is Paul Michael Neuman--who is also Councilman Paul Koretz's communications director.

Speaking as a Neighborhood Council executive, Neuman told me today that "Certainly, there's a lot of conversation inside of City Hall as well as outside of City Hall." He added that "The question of paying fees is a question that affects a lot of people. It's not a simplistic matter. What is simple, though, is that money's owed."

Two-hundred and nineteen (219) people voted in the last Silver Lake Neighborhood Council election. The board's votes on both motions to kill Sunset Junction unless certain conditions are met were both unanimous.

Ironically, Neuman complained to me about Sunset Junction's "lacking efforts in community outreach."

But he was also quick to point out that he's had good concert experiences there too.

"I've seen great concerts there. I'm glad I saw John Cale there. I saw Camper van Beethoven there. You can quote me on that," Neuman told me.

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