December 18, 2006

At Least the Psychic Saw It Coming

The Atwater Village Pedestrian Oriented District [PDF here] has been a subject lately on the AV forum [here] and Friends of AV blog [here].

What is it? The POD represents "communal" portions of Los Feliz Blvd. and Glendale Blvd. as they pass through Atwater Village to "encourage people in the surrounding neighborhoods to walk and shop along these streets." Click map on right to see larger vision of how the POD is "orientated."

What kind of businesses discourage walking and shopping? These apparent ne'er-do-wells, from the list of Prohibited Uses [PDF pages 3 & 4]:

  • Adult Entertainment
  • Auditorium
  • Automotive Painting
  • Automotive Repair and Service
  • Automotive Sales, used
  • Automotive Storage Area
  • Automotive Storage Garage
  • Automotive Upholstering
  • Bail Bond Broker
  • Baseball Batting Range
  • Body Piercing Establishment
  • Bowling Alley
  • Cable Television Broadcasting
  • Car Wash
  • Day Labor Site
  • Fortune Telling, Psychic
  • Gasoline Stations
  • Helicopter Landings
  • Hospital (contagious, mental, drug and alcohol)
  • Miniature Golf
  • Night Club
  • Open Storage Area
  • Pawnshop
  • Pool Halls
  • Public Storage Facility
  • Recycling Business
  • Rescue Mission
  • Restaurant, drive through
  • Roller Skating Rink
  • Shooting Gallery
  • Skateboard Track
  • Skating Rink
  • Sports Arena or Stadium
  • Tattoo Studio
  • Tow Truck Dispatching

A finer NIMBY wishlist has hardly been produced. My favorite: "Automotive Sales, used," as if "Automotive Sales, new" is so much more pedestrian friendly. And let the NFL know Atwater Village will not be bidding for LA's new pro football stadium.

So how did existing gas stations, psychics and car washes get there? According to a Los Angeles Independent article [PDF here], they must have beat the 2001 ordinance: "Those businesses that appear on the list but already exist in the area would be exempt."

That's one way to keep the competition down.


Date Maven said...

Roller Rinks? That's just hillarious!

sagedj said...

Why is check cashing not part of that list?

Anonymous said...

Or casket stores? Or H&R Block?

blogger said...

Death and taxes, man. You can't ordinance those out of existence. - AVN

Anonymous said...


Erin S. said...

what about big-ass ugly shopping centers (a la the petsmart-costplus-nordstrom rack-michael's monstrosity in Glendale)?? I'd much rather stroll by a fortune teller than have to worry about getting run over by a massive SUV coming out of a pedestrian-unfriendly parking lot.

Also, I'm interested to know what they classify as "nightclub"--would a place like the hipster Bigfoot Lodge count? My guess is no.

blogger said...

I guess as long as they don't have a roller rink, a mega-shopping center is OK. (Although the Costco center went up in 1996, five years before this ordinance.)

I think the greater challenge for Atwater Village is to come up with a list of approved businesses. So far I think the only two on the list are mom-and-pop coffee shop and wine-tasting store.