Caruso’s Faux LAPD Station on Swarthmore

The kisok that sits at the corner of Swarthmore and Monument does not have a permit.

And Monument Corner May Lack a City Permit

What started as a Circling the News item that was intended to be humorous and light-hearted, turned into a two-week back and forth with the City to determine if Rick Caruso’s  “LAPD” kiosk was legal. It appears it is not permitted.

On May 8, we asked readers to give suggestions for the small, unused building that sits directly on the curb at the corner of Swarthmore and Monument. Subsequent suggestions included a mini-art gallery, a storage site for the Steadfast statue, a place to hold a puppet show and headquarters for a barbershop quartet that strolls Palisades Village.

But one reader said that this white kiosk was illegal and wrote that it should not be on “the public sidewalk or in the public right-of-way.”

Another reader asked if the kiosk had a legal permit and somebody else asked about the Steadfast statue. “Isn’t that on a public sidewalk? Shouldn’t there be a permit for that ugly thing?”

CTN contacted Building and Safety on May 12, and the next day received an email saying, “Since it is on the sidewalk, it would fall under the jurisdiction of Street Services.”

We contacted Street Services about the statue and about the building. Spokesperson Elena Stern responded in a May 24 email that the statue was not on the public right of way.

Stern addressed the kiosk in a May 30 email, writing “While available records don’t show that there is a permit, the property owner is providing additional information for further review and consideration. It is the priority of the Department of Public Works to gain voluntary compliance whenever possible. We seek to work directly with the property owner or developer and find resolutions.

“This approach is the same Citywide for low-level code non-compliance that does not pose an immediate threat to life and safety,” Stern continued. “The Department is working with the developer [Rick Caruso] to correct any non-compliance and will allow reasonable time for those corrections.”

A reader had expressed concern that the kiosk blocks the view of drivers turning right onto Monument, so we asked Stern if the City would be liable if there were an accident on the kiosk corner.

“I can’t comment on the City’s potential liability,” Stern answered on May 31. “I can only say that it’s being carefully reviewed with public safety the priority.”

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6 Responses to Caruso’s Faux LAPD Station on Swarthmore

  1. David Kidd says:

    Love the response from Elena Stern. I have it copied done for my personal use. Anytime I am ask a question I don’t wish to answer, I can now say, “I can’t comment on my, (fill in the blanks) I can only say ‘I have, or will, or plan to…, give it careful review, with ‘public, community, family…’, ‘safety, good, value…’ as a priority.
    Lord how I love our public servants.

    • Paula H Deats says:

      David, Burst out laughing comment! I’ll copy down the cliche platitudes – thanks for putting them together – and print them out. I think they’ll come in handy at the strangest times… I wonder if owners and residents threatened with this or that agency rule or fine can counter with the same phrases??
      And Sue, thanks for your TIRELESS follow-ups on issues. How many hours on ‘hold’? And good on you for quoting “Some animals are are more equal than others animals.”

  2. miriam meyer says:

    As much as there is no consensus on the beauty/value/cost/infringement and often quite derogatory assessments of the Caruso project in general, and i am certainly unhappy with much of it as well, given that i am a lowly middle class person, i think all of this has gotten out of hand and verges on harassment. Honestly, the man didn’t live up to many of his promises, but he created something that is, for the most part, better than what existed and we should be grateful for that and stop the griping already. Yes, we miss the old and hate change – most humans cannot take it, but what is done is done and the truly egregious should be brought to the light of day, but let’s try to give it a rest and focus on the greater societal plagues we are being confronted with!

    • Sue says:

      Miriam,

      This is not a forum about loving or hating the Caruso project or even a forum about change. It’s simply a question of “is someone following the law?” If the answer is no, then why aren’t they?

      Should all residents be held to the same standard or is this an “Animal Farm” where “some animals are more equal than other animals?”

      If you, Miriam, put up a kiosk on the public right of way, should you be required to follow the law?

      I ask you, “Which laws do you want our officials to enforce?” Laws are passed for a reason and if they are on the books they should be enforced. If there are bad laws then the public needs to work with public officials to have them repealed.

      Sue

      p.s. You can cause change. Don’t use the excuse that you are lowly-middle class person, which means you can’t do anything. In the words of Max Ehrmann’s “Desderata,”
      “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and less persons than yourself. . . .many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.”

  3. Tom Meade says:

    There are bigger fish to fry on the sidewalks of L.A. right now.

    • Sue says:

      Tom,

      Which “fish” would you have the City fry? If obeying laws is not one of the “fish,” give me a list and let’s tackle it.

      Sue

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