I think they heard us.
Adler Realty sent their minions to Los Feliz tonight, and an auditorium full off pissed-off residents told them in no uncertain terms that their development, as currently planned, is a non-starter.
Rebecca Goodman of Save the Derby
got medieval on their asses with a PowerPoint presentation that spelled out what the loss of the Derby would mean for Los Feliz.
Jay Platt of the L.A. Conservancy
gave a point by point refutation of the company's ridiculous claim that the Derby's structure has been so altered over the years as to render it historically insignificant.
The crowd jeered the Adler group's hilarious description of the project as "emulating the traditional Spanish-Colonial style", their traffic mitigation "plan" (which amounts to road widening, and not much else), and their assertion that this gigantic complex (half a city block, with a total floor area of 150,000 square feet) would somehow be good for Los Feliz.
All in all, not a good night for the Adler people. I almost felt sorry for them.
Councilmember Tom LaBonge heard us, too. He heard the voters say that we don't want to lose the Derby to a beige stucco box with 400 parking places. His planning advisor is on record as saying that the Councilmember supports saving the Derby structure. Hopefully Mr. LaBonge will continue his great work as an advocate for neighborhoods on the City Council, and fully get behind this effort.
After the meeting my friend Anna (representing San Pedro!) and I headed over to the Derby for a drink at the after party. The bouncer told us if we stuck around long enough, we'd get a taste of Japanese hip-hop, live. To me that was Exhibit A in the argument against tearing down the Derby: where else can you go from swing to Japanese hip-hop in the space of one week?
I briefly spoke to Rebecca before I left and, in true Derby fashion, she sipped a Cosmopolitan while she animatedly recapped the night's events. She and the rest of the Save the Derby volunteers were excited about tonight's turnout, optimistic about the progress of their fight, and definitely ready to keep pressing forward in their effort to preserve the building they love so well.
Los Feliz is behind them.