It is often said, “It takes a village to raise a child.” It can also be said, “It takes a community to keep a neighborhood clean.”
The West Hills Neighborhood Council’s all-volunteer Beautification Committee has been working on a way to track repeat problem areas in West Hills that have uncontrolled growth of vegetation, weeds and leaves. This system includes direct notification to stakeholders who are responsible for cleaning up those messy areas.
At some point, residential developers decided to turn homes away from main streets with their back or side fences facing the street. This change may have cut back on street noise and might be safer for children, but it has created another problem. Long stretches of cinderblock fences create an “out of sight, out mind” situation where overgrown vegetation, fallen leaves and debris go unchecked by the residents who are responsible for those sections.
The West Hills Neighborhood Council’s monthly Community Cleanups often have to return to these overgrown areas year after year.
The WHNC’s Beautification Committee wants residents to take care of clearing them, as required under Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) 56.08. The ordinance states that residents are obliged to clean areas around their homes all the way to the curb, including behind the back or side walls.
Several proactive neighbors have heard the message. For example, on the north side of Saticoy Street west of Sale Avenue, someone recently filled several bags with pine needles and debris collected from the sidewalk and the gutter along the entire block-long wall.
Neighbor Christopher Harris also hears the message. He clears the sidewalk behind his back wall, which borders Medical Center Drive.
Another neighbor was seen clearing the entire stretch on the north side of Ingomar Street between Hillary Drive and March Avenue. “I just got tired of the street looking messy,” the neighbor said. “I clean it every week now.”
One simple suggestion is to have your gardener clean the commonly ignored areas beyond the fences.
For more information about the West Hills Neighborhood Council’s Beautification Committee, visit http://www.westhillsnc.org/beautification-committee.php
or email the co-chairs, Anthony.Brosamle@westhillsnc.org or Brad.Vanderhoof@westhillsnc.org.