Caruso Should Follow the Signed Agreement
(Editor’s note: Pacific Palisades Community Council Treasurer Richard Cohen said at a September 28 PPCC meeting that Caruso might not be following the Protect Our Village agreement because of alleged violations. Circling the News contacted Mark Grinblatt, an Alphabet Street resident, who had signed the agreement between Rick Caruso and POV. The entire agreement was posted earlier by CTN.)
Grinblatt replied in a September 29 email: “In the 1.5 years since I signed the agreement, Caruso Affiliated has never contacted me. So, I assume there is no complaint on their part and they intend to abide by the agreement.
“I have watched aspects of the agreement being violated, like contractors and their workers, and now employees, parking all over the Alphabet Streets and just let it pass in the interest of facilitating the opening date and being a good neighbor. Sometimes good neighbors look the other way when it is a minor infraction. When it gets to be bigger than that, neighbors talk.
“Bottom line: The Village opened, it is hopping with people and Caruso got it done with very little friction from the neighborhood. Now that the project is open, there is no harm in Caruso following the agreement to the letter.
“If it was a good agreement to begin with, it is a good agreement now. We always knew the neighbors would make 99 percent of the sacrifice up front (which they did) and they expected a lifetime of relief from the burdens of, for example, failure to follow the two-hour free parking provisions.
“These provisions were not designed to get a few bucks break on parking for people who own million-dollar homes. Rather, they were intended to help this kind of development fit into a unique residential neighborhood with substandard streets and not burden residents with traffic, safety, and parking problems, including the headache of permits, one-side street parking or one-way streets.
“They were also intended to help Palisades businesses outside the new village, because the customers of these businesses would find it increasingly frustrating to find the street parking spots needed to visit those establishments, ultimately blighting the rest of the commercial village.
“I hope citizens of the Palisades, the Community Council, and Caruso see the wisdom of such neighborly provisions—and back the agreement.
“These provisions are all we have to maintain the unique vitality of the Palisades, which benefits the Caruso Palisades Village, as well as its residential/commercial neighbors.
“If enough Palisadians don’t feel they own the agreement and help enforce it, ultimately, we will just be another group of LA homes with a mall in an era when people increasingly stay home, shop online and watch Netflix. Rents outside the development initially will go up and stores outside the development can only remain viable if there is a commensurate increase in customer traffic.
That is a tall challenge when your former parking spots are taken up by those visiting or working at the Caruso development. Once the hoopla wears off in a few years, if there are few economically viable destinations in our little downtown besides the CA Village, the whole downtown becomes less attractive to visit, and then, even the CA Village may die a slow death.
“Going forward: I am just hoping that the entire Palisades, as a community, will adopt the POV agreement as theirs. Why would anyone, including Caruso, object to any line of it?
“If Caruso or other Palisadians feel the agreement in hindsight, has flaws or features that should be modified in everyone’s interest, we should all have a conversation.
“It is in everyone’s interest to get along, to keep everyone happy about shopping at the Village, and to maintain a sense of community and home in one small slice of this world—indeed, a world that seems to be pushing in the opposite direction.”