The City of Culver City released their final draft of their Hillside Development Standards Study for the R-1 Neighborhood of Culver Crest at the City Council meeting on January 22, 2018. Online comments may be submitted as well.
From City Manager John Nachbar’s Dec. 7th, 2012 bi-weekly email:
- Cranks/Tellefson Hillside Slide Repair Project Reimbursement – In late November, the City received a payment of $425,000 from the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal-EMA) for the Cranks/Tellefson hillside slide repair project. Additional money is expected from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), with the total of both sources expected to be approximately $1.6 million. Combined with payments that the City has already received, this brings the total assistance received by Culver City for the 2005 disaster to over $2.5 million.
- West Los Angeles College (WLAC) Demolition Bash- WLAC has informed the City that it will begin demolition of 43-year-old “temporary” buildings during the Winter break as part of its on-going campus transformation funded by voter- approved construction bonds. To mark the occasion, WLAC is planning to hold a Demolition Bash at 2:30 pm on Tuesday, December 11th. All are invited to participate in the farewell photo. Be sure to wear your favorite 1970’s and/or construction worker apparel. Get your photo taken swinging a ceremonial sledge hammer then graffiti your thank you message to these well-used buildings on one of the walls. Following the event, guests are invited to explore the dramatically renewed campus with three new LEED certified, multi-story buildings and lovely new walkways and courtyards. The new Café West is open for lunch and the adjacent expansive lawn behind the Student Services Building offers a great view of Culver City. Parking will be free in Lot #5, which is located off of Freshman Drive.
As we can all see day-to-day, the hillside is being repaired. The project is coming along on schedule and without any major hiccups. It is scheduled to be completed in August 2008. It will result in the hill being in better condition than it has been in years, if not ever. Imagine the relief when we have a hill with a solid foundation and a street we can drive down without moving barriers.
The word REPAIR is capitalized because it’s now a reality. We no longer have to ask when is it going to happen. Now the question is, “When is it going to end?” The original estimate was this month but because of technicalities, mostly brought on by the City of Los Angeles, the completion won’t be until June 26th. However, all roadblocks have apparently been removed (no pun intended) and I’m not talking about the roadblock on Tellefson. That will remain closed until the end of the project because of equipment movement.
The Soldier Piles (I-Beams) are being drilled 50 feet into the ground and will be covered with concrete. This will be the main support for the hilltop. Now, the crane has been moved from the bottom of the hill to the top in order to complete the work it performs.
This Saturday, March 8th, there will be excessive drilling between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. This is unfortunately necessary in order to get soil samples for the geological study that must be done in order to get the permit from the City of Los Angeles (don’t ask!!!). The City has expressed their appreciation of our patience through this mess.
I spoke with the Culver City Public Works Department to find out the status of the repair of the Tellefson hill and why there appeared to be inactivity until very recently. It seems that the City of Los Angeles wanted to review the plans and has required the City of Culver City to obtain a permit to continue to repair the hill. This is a result of the concern L.A. has that the sewer line running under the hill will be damaged by drilling into the hill if the line is not specifically located. Culver City has not obtained this permit as yet but is proceeding with the work and assuring that they are not doing any work within 8 feet of where they believe the sewer exists and is avoiding areas where the line may exist. They are very close to getting approval but further analysis has to be completed.
Culver City is very comfortable with the design and not delaying their activity. They are presently preparing the site by removing dirt and making it safer to do their construction in the future. Once L.A. is satisfied, which should be in the very near future, the permit will be granted and C.C. can proceed full force. The estimated completion date now, however, has been pushed up to June.
In the meantime, Tellefson will remain closed.
GOOD NEWS- PART 3. There was a special Culver City Council Meeting held Thursday night, August 30, in order to award the hillside repair contract to Malcolm Drilling. It was approved by the City Council and the work should commence by October 1. The project is moving forward and the steel to reinforce the hill has been ordered. The job will take approximately 100 working days, which should bring it to March 2008 to complete. Let’s all hope it is so.
The completed hillside will have supports, both wood and concrete on three levels. The concrete wall will be flanked by two sets of wood pilings, drilled approximately 45 feet into the ground. The damaged property will more than likely have to be accessed from the top (Cranks Road) as well as the bottom but there are no plans to store equipment and materials there. Regarding the house on Cranks the city now owns, a study is being done to determine whether it has to be razed or if it can be taken down and if so, whether to move it and put it back once the work is complete. There is considerably more value to the property with the house on it, of course, but it may be too costly to move and return it. Tellefson Road will remain closed as it will be needed for a staging area and for storage of equipment used on the job. The rainy season might hamper some of the work being done, but unless it is an unusually heavy rainy season, it will not stop the work from being accomplished.
Regarding the FEMA money, the Office of Emergency Services (OES) has sent a letter to FEMA, which is a necessary procedure. This letter recommended that FEMA accept the appeal from Culver City and to allow the time extension needed to qualify the city for funds. While FEMA does not have to comply with the OES recommendation, Culver City is cautiously optimistic that it will receive funding from FEMA.
GOOD NEWS- PART 2. The last time you read “Good News” in this column, it was a false alarm. The City didn’t anticipate the complexities of the lawsuits that were flying around at the time that put a halt to any activity to repair the hill. Now, though, it appears everything is in order to commence with this project. The City has completed the plans for the repairs needed to make the hillside above Tellefson safe again. These plans are out for bid and proposals to fix the hill should be back in the City’s hands by July 12, 2007. We are then on track for a contract bid to be awarded on July 23 with the work to commence around August 13, 2007. The completion date is due by the end of November, hopefully before any significant rains show up. We have never heard the City officials so confident about this project and actually gave us a specific timetable that they plan to follow.
One of the homes atop Cranks has been purchased by the City and will possibly be torn down for use as construction staging (storing equipment and the like). When the project is complete, the City will re-sell the property and return it to private hands. A second home, owned by the Vendeweghe family, may also fall under this provision depending on necessity. Before Thanksgiving, we will all again be allowed to traverse Tellefson. Your Culver Crest Neighborhood Association appreciates your continued patience during this trying inconvenience.
Sorry we jumped the gun in our last newsletter announcing the great news that the City is moving ahead with this project. Unfortunately, there is a new stumbling block, literally. It seems there is a very large drainage pipe buried at the base of the hill possibly just below the area where the retaining walls are to be reinforced and new beams are to be placed. The exact placement of the pipe is not known but its precise location must be established because it presents a potential for interference and major damage can result if the pipe is punctured. The City of Los Angeles owns the pipe and had been attempting to pinpoint its precise location. However, thus far, they have been unable to do so. The Culver City Engineering Department has redesigned the project to span over the pipe. Once the pipe’s position is found during construction, a field change, if necessary, will be made to the design and repair will proceed. This has, as have many other complications, caused considerable delays. Currently, the initial design is being completed and will be presented to the City Council no later than the May 29, 2007 City Council Meeting for plan and spec approval. It will then be put out for bid, a contractor selected and then the repair can commence. An exact timetable has not been established but we’re told the project will be completed this year.
Another setback regarding this repair has been caused by the significant delay due to the lawsuits, which have now been settled. Unfortunately the extension of time requested of FEMA was denied. This means they will not disburse any more funds for this project. They stated that this is no longer an emergency issue and therefore no longer eligible for funding. The City has hired a consultant, a former O.E.S. employee very experienced in these matters, who is developing an appeal package to be presented to FEMA. This letdown will not stop the process as the City has committed to finance the project out of the City’s General Fund.
We will bring you up to date of any new developments of this very critical project at our April 11 General Meeting.
The homeowner’s lawsuits between themselves, the City and their insurance carriers have been settled. Basically, the major issue was who would pay how much and to whom. This will allow everyone to be on the same page and move forward with what really matters… getting the hill repaired. This will now give workers the right-of-way to commence work on the hill that has been long overdue and stuck in a quagmire by legal process.
The construction plans are complete, save for a few changes to satisfy the homeowners. These plans should be complete this month and will be ready to go out to bid in early February, with final bids acceptance in March. A contractor will then be selected and approved by City Council. If all goes well and the rains don’t impede activity, construction will commence in April and be completed in September 2007. As they say, “from our mouths to God’s ears”.
The City has communicated with FEMA, who’s funding is still undetermined, and further explained the reasons for the delays in the project and the necessity for the City’s extension request. While they have not heard back from FEMA, the City is obligated to move forward with the project in accordance with the terms of the settlement agreement with the homeowners.
Therefore, THE PROJECT WILL MOVE FORWARD REGARDLESS OF WHAT FEMA FUNDS OR DOESN’T FUND.
As a side note, the City purchased the house at 10745 Cranks (the blue and orange one). The official explanation is that it made the settlement agreement less complicated. The house will remain as-is unless it is determined that repairing the hill would be easier if it were demolished. After the completing of the repair, the property will probably be sold by the City to whoever wants to purchase the property.